Program Book 2002-2003 page 12
Concert II Program Notes

PERRY GOLDSTEIN (born 1952 in New York City, New York) studied at the University of Illinois, UCLA, and Columbia University, from which he was awarded a doctorate in music composition in 1986. His principal composition teachers were Herbert Brun, Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, Ben Johnston, and Paul Zonn. He has received commissions from Juilliard Quartet cellist Joel Krosnick and pianist Gilbert Kalish, saxophonist William Raaiman and the Zephyr String Quartet, The Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, Slagwerkgroep den Haag, HET Trio, violist John Graham, the Guild Trio, and pianist Eliza Garth, among others, and his music has been performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Recordings of his work are available on Challenge, New World, and Vanguard compact disks. A dedicated educator, he received a 1997 "Chancellor's and President's Award for Excellence in Teaching" from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he has taught since 1992.

"Motherless Child Variations is based on the Spiritual of the same name. I have tried to stay out of the way of the tune and to present it in many guises, always careful to keep it recognizable. After a brief introduction, the melody occurs in six versions, in various characters. It is introduced in a somber duet between baritone and tenor saxes, alto and soprano then joining in for a bluesier four-part version. After a spirited, mixed-meter interlude, the tune returns in a new and funkier manifestation, led by the baritone saxophone playing a repetitive bass line, as well as a chorale version in which an unexpected harmonization unfolds in the instruments' highest registers. A subsequent gloss on the melody interpolates driving compound meter passages between piecemeal statements of the tune, in emulation of the "call and response" music so typical of the African American tradition. The harmonic structure implied by the melody supplies the backbone for three ensuing jazz swing choruses, alto, tenor, and soprano saxes soloing successively over the chord changes. The tune then resurfaces explicitly in one last straightforward and passionate rendition. Motherless Child Variations lasts approximately ten minutes."

Rocco DI PIETRO is an artist whose work as composer-pianist, essayist, educator and habilitationist, has crossed various disciplines boundaries. He has found that the path of the creative life has taken him like a 'traveler' in interdisciplinary studies. As a result of various mutations in the life course much of his recent work is unclassifiable. The journey, through the accumulation of experience has continually led him back to a renewed sense of musical composition. He studied in Buffalo during the hey day of the New Music scene with Lukas Foss, performing with the Philharmonic in one of those now legendary marathon "Battle of the Bands" with the Grateful Dead. In these early years his music was involved in the textural music that he heard in Xenakis, Ligeti, Cage, Brown and Nono, composers he heard live in the "Festivals in the Arts Today" held in Buffalo in the sixties. Rocco Di Pietro
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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book 2002-03 Concert II program notes