Program Book 1999-2000 page 06
Concert I: American Variations Program Notes

Elliott Carter (b. 1908) is a native of New York City. He majored in English literature at Harvard, then decided to be a musician and stayed on for graduate studies in music with Walter Piston. In 1932, Carter went to Paris where he studied for three years with Nadia Boulanger. He settled in New York City in 1936. Throughout his career, Carter has taught frequently at Peabody Conservatory, Columbia University, Queens College, Yale University, and the Juilliard School, but his main activity has been composing.

The Canonic Suite for a quartet of alto saxophones is a revision made in 1981 of the Suite for Quartet of Alto Saxophones. It was awarded a prize in 1945 by Broadcast Music, Inc. and was first published in that year. The Fanfare is a canon in four parts at the unison. The Nocturne is a four-part canon in inversion (saxophone 2), retrograde (saxophone 3), and retrograde inversion (saxophone 4). The Tarantella is a four-part canon at the second above.

Tayloe Harding (b. 1959) is the Head of the Department of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Valdosta State University. Harding's works have received performances throughout the United States, Canada and on six continents. Commissions for his new works have been received from Thamyris, the Atlanta Winds, the African-American Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlanta Community Orchestra, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Saxophone Quartet, and from numerous individuals and universities.

Quartet for Saxophones (1990) is a work in three movements for the standard saxophone quartet. The work is traditional in its structure: the outer "fast" movements make use of angular melodies and repeating motivic fragments developed from the melodies, while the inner "slow" movement features a lyrical melody exchanged through the instruments in an evolving, but recurring homophonic texture. Each movement is also of a different form: simple arch, ABA; through composed, song-like; developmental, monothematic.

David Sipos (b. 1943) is a piano tuner, free-lance copywriter, composer and lyricist. He has written several jingles for Fisher-Price, Mattei and Tyco. Many of his children's songs are performed at Buffalo area schools. His children's musical, The Boy from Planet Yes, is currently in workshop.

Palindrome: that which reads the same backward as forward. The A minor scale in its purest (Aeolian) form is a palindrome when read to the top and back. Scalindrome explores this aspect of diatonic music. The piece is structured so the second half is the mirrored image of the first, thereby reading the same backward and forward. "I actually thought of calling this piece EVADE DA VE which, of course, is a palindrome, but I thought it might be too silly. Besides, I was worried that too many people might take it as a suggestion."

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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes