Notes and Editorial Reviews
Lynn Klock (sax); Dennis Zeisler, cond; Virginia Wind S
ALBANY 1466 (53:40)
Alto Saxophone Concerto.
Alto Saxophone Concerto,
Woodland Serenade and Rondo. Sapphire.
Professor of saxophone at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Lynn Klock inspired the first of the pieces we hear here, Samuel P. Hazo’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble. A life-affirming piece, this concerto is almost a hymn of praise to the instrument it showcases, celebrating as many aspects of it as it can. Lynn Klock is a superb saxophonist, as the cadenza underlines. Only one other piece by Hazo has been reviewed previously according to the
, reviewed by Jerry Dubins, in 2004, who found it rather anonymous (
28:1). The same disc was reviewed in a later edition of
, by Walter Simmons (28: 3) who found more to enjoy.
Klock commissioned the next piece, David Jex’s Concerto. It is subtitled “Sweet Sorrows,” an epithet which refers to the loss of several friends, colleagues, and family members. The piece eventually works its way through its grief to a celebration of life itself. The piece is beautifully scored: It is evident Jax has a real feel for the expressive capabilities of a wind orchestra as well as for the saxophone, something once more in evidence in the very approachable, and fun,
. The softer, more reflective moments of this latter piece are in particular most sensitively rendered. Catherine McMichael’s
Woodland Serenade and Rondo
is a brief concerto but is highly effective. The percussion department includes wind chimes, vibraphone, and marimba, all aiding the initial laid back, magical atmosphere. Klock’s saxophone is most eloquent. Stravinskian angularity permeates the rondo. Her other piece here,
, begins in a wonderfully happy-go-lucky fashion. A more introspective central section leads into a salsa via a cadenza.
is another that seeks to alleviate a sense of loss through the medium of music, this time the fatal preflight test of Apollo I in 1967, which killed all three astronauts on board. Balmages’s expertly scored music is very descriptive of events.
The recording is expert; the performances just as expert and always enjoyable, with Dennis Zeisler a most attentive accompanist. The final arrangement of Dinicu’s
is great fun and the perfect, slightly zany, way to end a splendid disc.
FANFARE: Colin Clarke
Works on This Recording
Apollo, for saxophone & wind ensemble by Brian Balmages
Lynn Klock (Saxophone)
Virginia Wind Symphony
Length: 12 Minutes 16 Secs.
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