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Breathing Lessons - Music For Saxophone Quartet

Audio Samples

>Tanenbaum, Elias : Sax Quartet
>Sampson, David : Breathing Lessons, for 4 saxophones
>Morrill, Dexter : Six Bagatelles, for 4 saxophones
>Sauter, Eddie : Piece for tuba & saxophone quartet
>Ewazen, Eric : Rhapsody for saxophone quartet

Album Summary

>Tanenbaum, Elias : Sax Quartet
>Sampson, David : Breathing Lessons, for 4 saxophones
>Morrill, Dexter : Six Bagatelles, for 4 saxophones
>Sauter, Eddie : Piece for tuba & saxophone quartet
>Ewazen, Eric : Rhapsody for saxophone quartet
Performer Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The saxophone quartet is a versatile and exciting medium and the New Hudson Saxophone Quartet is one of the world leaders in the field. Dexter Morrill pays homage to two great jazz saxophonists as well as to classical models, whilst Eddie Sauter's almost unknown work for tuba and saxophone quartet is full of imaginative invention. Eric Ewazen provides a brilliant and energetic conclusion. Whether written for or premièred by the group, these are all first recordings.

Fanfare
The New Hudson Saxophone Quartet is as versatile and virtuosic... Said versatility includes the ability to match sound and blend to the piece, from the smooth silk of the Ewazan to the gritty in-your-face texture of the Tanenbaum. If your taste runs to the new and sometimes challenging, this disc is warmly recommended.

Ritmo
The American Classics series continues delving into the endless catalog of semi unknown authors (most current) of the United States, through relatively new instrumental ensembles. This time they go to the saxophone quartet, a set of undeniable potential, even beyond the mere association of jazz.

American Record Guide
The Sauter Piece, set in four movements with specific metronome markings, recalls the stoic yet quietly expressive chromatic language of William Schuman and Vincent Persichetti. The integration of the tuba into the saxophone quartet is seamless and natural, and Mendoker is a formidable presence... The Ewazen Rhapsody revels in the nostalgic beauty and infectious rhythm characteristic of its composer... the members play with great enthusiasm and reliable technique...

The Tune
The clear star of this recording is the chamber group enhake, consisting of clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. The instrumentation is that of the famous Messien Quartet for the End of Time. What I admire about the group as well as the compositions is that they choose to have that instrumentation but somehow sound like its antithesis. Instead of writing broad soloistic movements like the Quartet for the End of Time, each piece implies a much more homogenous texture. The chamber musicians blend well and manage to have perfect balance and definitive melodic material despite the vast difference in volume between the grand piano, the clarinet, and the strings (perhaps some props should go to the recording engineer on that one too).

Cinemusical
For those newer to chamber music, saxophone quartet music is less of a stretch than one might think. The associations of the instrument with popular music already lend itself to a different sort of comfort than more traditional quartets. In the sort of stellar repertoire chosen, the instrumental timbres are really allowed to shine, especially as they are recorded here. The works are all performed with a sort of familiarity that comes from frequent performances of the music coupled with close work with the composer's in rehearsals. The release will be a great way for those fortunate enough to hear the group in concert to have a great memento. For the rest, it Is a perfect disc of contemporary music of one of our premiere chamber music ensembles playing pieces that are worthy of attention.



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Works Details

>Tanenbaum, Elias : Sax Quartet
  • Ensemble: New Hudson Saxophone Quartet
  • Running Time: 10 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1999

>Sampson, David : Breathing Lessons, for 4 saxophones
  • Ensemble: New Hudson Saxophone Quartet
  • Running Time: 19 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Morrill, Dexter : Six Bagatelles, for 4 saxophones
  • Ensemble: New Hudson Saxophone Quartet
  • Running Time: 11 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2004

>Sauter, Eddie : Piece for tuba & saxophone quartet
  • Performer: Scott Mendoker (Tuba)
  • Ensemble: New Hudson Saxophone Quartet
  • Running Time: 11 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1961

>Ewazen, Eric : Rhapsody for saxophone quartet
  • Ensemble: New Hudson Saxophone Quartet
  • Running Time: 9 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2004