Program Book 2000-2001 page 08
Concert I: Program Notes

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (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. Glazunov 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. Some of the material from this work was later used in Glazunov's Saxophone Concerto, one of the most popular works for alto saxophone. In 1982, the ASQ chose the Glazunov Quatuor as the showcase work for its debut at Carnegie Hall.

ALFRED DESENCLOS was born in Pas-de-Calais in 1912. He won the Paris Conservatory's prestigious Prix de Rome in 1942, and in 1943 became the director for the conservatory in Roubaix. He produced a wealth of piano music, songs, chamber music, a symphony, a requiem and film music. Most of his writing fits into the French tradition, which pays homage to esprit and elegance.

The three-movement quartet for saxophones was composed in 1964 in a style that combines masterful control of form with a lyricism that is expressive and rich in variation. The first movement is built on two contrasting themes, one agitated and the other pastoral. In the Andante, the long, dream-like phrase in the soprano saxophone is broken off in the middle section by a passionate outburst. After an introduction, the finale begins with an Allegro energico filled with jazz-inspired syncopation.

Desenclos' Quatuor pour Saxophones was commissioned by the French Parliament for the saxophone quartet of Marcel Mule.

GABRIEL PIERNÉ (1863-1937) studied at the Paris Conservatory from 1871 to 1882 with Marmoutel (piano), Cesar Franck (organ), and Massenet (composition). His career as a conductor began in 1903, and he enjoyed a fine reputation both as com-

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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book