“…a hauntingly beautiful and evocative setting of Lala Fisher’s poem…”
Spirited quartet triumphs
By CAROLYN PHILPOTT.
Mercury Newspaper. May 16, 2011
22SQ Saxophone Quartet
Michael Lampard, Baritone
Baha’i Centre of Learning, Hobart
THE architecturally stunning, dome-shaped auditorium at the Baha’i Centre of Learning was the ideal setting for this concert by dynamic saxophone quartet 22SQ, comprising young local musicians Benjamin Price (soprano saxophone), Georgina Smith (alto saxophone), Mitchell Ellis (tenor saxophone) and Nicholas Nugent (baritone saxophone).
The program incorporated a variety of old and new works, some written specifically for saxophone quartet, others adapted from works initially composed for different combinations of instruments. Works by Dutch composers featured prominently and were given fine treatment by the ensemble, especially the challenging contrapuntal piece Mein Junges Leben, hat ein End (My Young Life has an End) by the early Baroque composer Jan Pieterszoon-Sweelinck and the more recently-composed Punctus Einz of Ruud van Eeten, a highly energetic reinterpretation of J.S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue).
Two works in particular stood out as the focal points of the concert: the version of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra for quartet alone, and Matthew Dewey’s The Moon Flower for baritone and saxophone quartet, given its world premiere at this concert.
The ensemble performed the Glass concerto with great precision and unity and the driving rhythms of the second and fourth movements came across very effectively. Baritone Michael Lampard gave a strong and well-articulated performance in The Moon Flower, a hauntingly beautiful and evocative setting of Lala Fisher’s poem of the same name.