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Bach: Art Of The Fugue / New Century Saxophone Quartet

Release Date: 05/11/2004 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 20204   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Michael StephensonChristopher HemingwayStephen PollockBrad Hubbard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Saxophone Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The late jazz great Paul Desmond likened his alto saxophone sound to a dry martini. As I savored the New Century Saxophone Quartet's subtle timbre mixtures and easily undulating tempo choices throughout The Art of Fugue, I duly passed out the cocktail glasses! Reed pops and clicks hold no place in the smooth ensemble blend, while note attacks and dynamics seemingly emerge from stringed instruments caressed with bows of different shapes and sizes. Take the baritone saxophone's entrance at the start of Contrapunctus 13, for instance. Sounds like a period cello, no? Such feathery, unpressured, and well-thought-out performances are preferable to the overly reverential refinement that makes the Berlin
Read more Saxophone Quartet on CPO sound relatively precious (there's also much to be said for the Los Angeles Saxophone Quartet's more emphatic, fuller-throated style on Protone). Good as this disc sounds in the standard two-channel configuration, SACD 5.0 Multi-channel offers greater spatial perspective between the four players. In all, this release gives total joy from start to finish. [6/10/2004]

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Michael Stephenson (Soprano Saxophone), Christopher Hemingway (Alto Saxophone), Stephen Pollock (Tenor Saxophone),
Brad Hubbard (Baritone Saxophone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Saxophone Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1750; Leipzig, Germany 

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