Program Book 1998-1999 page 18
Concert III Program Notes

Josquin des Prez was born in the northern France/Belgium area. We
have little knowledge of his early life, but it is known that in 1459 he was
a singer at the Cathedral in Milan. In 1472, Josquin left the service of the
duke and entered the service of the Sforza family, the governing family
of Milan. As evidence of their rulership, they employed many artists,
including singers, instrumentalists, sculptors, and painters. The Sforza
family was, for example, one of Leonardo da Vinci's patrons.

Just as Beethoven summarized the accomplishments of the
Viennese school, Josquin summarized the accomplishments of the
preceding generations of Dufay and Ockeghem. He is on the border
between the Middle Ages and the modern world. His works include 18
masses, 100 motets, 70 chansons, and other secular works.

EI Grillo (The Cricket) is a delightful example of Josquin's secular
music. The motet Ave Maria demonstrates Josquin's absolute mastery of
counterpoint and vocal orchestration. — S.F.

Alexander Glazunow, 1865-1936, born in St. Petersburg, was gifted
with an exceptional ear and began to study piano at the age of nine.
He was composing by the age of 11. In 1879, he began composition
studies with Rimsky-Korsakov and progressed "not from day to day but
from hour to hour" said Rimsky- Korsakov. His First Symphony and First
String Quartet were completed in 1881. Glazunow composed in all
genres except opera, with the major portion of his music written before
1906. He wrote eight symphonies and eight quartets. The first seven
were for strings, the last was composed in 1931 for saxophones. In 1982,
the ASQ chose the Glazunow Quatour as the showcase work for its
debut at Carnegie Hall. — H.F.

Mark Engebretson began his music composition studies in 1987 with
Michel Fuste-Lambezat at the Conservatoire National de Region de
Bordeaux, while studying saxophone with Jean-Marie Londeix on a
Fulbright / Annette Kade Fellowship. He pursued masters and doctoral
degrees at Northwestern University, studying with M. William Karlins, Jay
Alan Yim, and others. His works have been heard at major festivals and
concert halls in Europe and America. Mr. Engebretson has received
numerous commissions from the Austrian Cultural Ministry and and from
the Swedish Society for Composers.

Tell no more of Enchanted Days was written in 1992 for the Vienna
Saxophone Quartet. It is in four movements of different forms, all of
which together form a single large-scale arc. The first movement is in
ABA form, the second in "circular" form (it has a melody, then an impro-
visation section which repeats ad libitum, then a return to the melody),
the third movement was conceived of in the shape of an abstract line
drawing, and the fourth is a simple arc. The piece, though not program-
matic, was inspired by James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young
Man. All manner of techniques playable on the saxophone are em-
ployed, from simple melody to quarter-tones and multiphonics (the
playing of more than one pitch at a time on a single saxophone). The
score incorporates an array of notational techniques, ranging from
standard notation to spatial notation. — Mark Engebretson

 

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes