Program Book 1999-2000 page 15
Concert II: Program Notes, continued

crowned King Henri IV of France. To create the correct period ambience, Poulenc turned to a collection of dances by Claude Gervaise, a composer and violinist of Margot's time. Poulenc orchestrated and reworked these dances for a mixed wind ensemble with percussion and harpsichord in such a personal way that they took on the composer's own unmistakable character. Noted Swedish composer Jonas Forssell (b. 1957) arranged this Suite Française for saxophone quartet in 1991.

Henri Pousseur, born in 1929 in Malmedy, Belgium, took as his point of departure the music of Webern. He worked in close contact with Boulez, Stockhausen, and Berio in the early 1950's, and was co-founder of the Apelac Electronic Studio in Brussels. Rejecting traditional concepts, Pousseur bases his forms on the dialectical unity of opposites, for example, greater against lesser instrumental activity, contrasts in speed, register, timbre, type of articulation, as well as the various parameters such as duration, dynamics and timbre to which post-Webern composers extended the concept of serialization.

His work for saxophone quartet Vue sur les Jardins Interdits, composed in 1973, was dedicated to the memory of Italian composer Bruno Maderna (1920-1972), whose death from cancer at the age of fifty two robbed contemporary music of a major artist and brilliant conductor.

John Dowland, of English or possibly Irish origin, was born in 1563, probably in London. He was a lutenist of distinction but failed, allegedly because he was a Catholic, to win a position in the royal service, seeking his fortune abroad at Kassel and later, in 1598, at the court of Christian IV of Denmark. He was forced by debt to return to England in 1606 and eventually won appointment as one of the King's Lutes in 1612.

Dowland was the composer, in particular, of one of the best known and most imitated songs of the period, Flow my teares. It epitomized the fashionable humour of the day, melancholy. Dowland himself provided an apt pun on his own name - Dowland, semper dolens (Dowland, always grieving) - although he had a reputation as a cheerful man.

Paul Harvey is an English saxophonist, professor, composer and arranger, born in Sheffield in 1935. He is the founder of the London Saxophone Quartet, and has composed over thirty works for saxophone, many of which, like The Harfleur Song, are clearly inspired by the music of the Renaissance.

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes