Program Book 1998-1999 page 19
Concert III Program Notes continued

Steve Reich is one of America's best-known composers, and an acknowledged leader among composers of so-called "minimal" music.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Steve Reich and video artist Beryl Korot after their stunning video opera The Cave was premiered in Vienna's 1994 Festwochen. I wrote to Steve asking if he thought any piece of his might work in a transcription for saxophone quartet. He replied that New York Counterpoint, originally for clarinet solo with tape or clarinet ensemble, could work well on saxophones and encouraged me to make an arrangement for saxophone quartet and tape. My arrangement of the work is published by Boosey & Hawkes. — S.F.

New York Counterpoint (1985) is a continuation of the ideas found in Vermont Counterpoint (1982), where a soloist plays against a prerecorded tape. The soloist pre-records ten clarinet and bass clarinet parts and then plays a final 11 th part live against the tape. The compositional procedures include several that occur in my earlier music.

New York Counterpoint is in three movements: fast, slow, fast, played one after the other without pause. The change of tempo is abrupt and in the simple relation of 1 :2. The piece is in the meter 3/2 = 6/4 (= 12/8). As is often the case when I write in this meter, there is an ambiguity between whether one hears measures of 3 groups of 4 eighth notes, or 4 groups of 3 eighth notes. In the last movement, the bass clarinets function to accent first one and then the other of these possibilities, while the upper clarinets essentially do not change. The effect, by change of accent, is to vary the perception of that which in fact is not changing. — Steve Reich

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes