Program Book 2000-2001 page 10
Concert I: Program Notes, continued

poser and conductor. Pierné was perhaps one of the most 'complete' of French composers. It was entirely characteristic of him to pass easily from the light to the thoughtful, from outward sparkle to inner penetration, and to evoke many shades of emotion and feeling.

The Introduction and Variations is an excellent example. Pierné composed the work in 1934 and dedicated it to the Marcel Mule Quartet. The character of the introduction is slow and sedate, but it is furtively interrupted twice by the theme of the rondo. This is followed by a series of decorative variations, amplifications (a fugue for example) and ornaments, all separated by two 'divertissements' based on a motif borrowed from the introduction. Certainly, the character of the popular rondo theme imparts a certain joviality, a brightness, in truth an earthiness — the writing of which is so light, so polished and the language so chaste that it maintains, from start to finish, a smiling discretion which never infringes on the limits of good taste.

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book