1:00pm - 1:30pm, Sunday 29 July, 2018
ENSEMBLE - LUXUM QUARTET (Sydney)
'I have loved Italian madrigals since my student days, and “Recitation Book” for Saxophone Quartet feels something like a madrigal collection, but with a grand finale. My approach to composing is vocal, and the singing quality of saxophones is one of their fine strengths. The movements in this piece are relatively brief and intimate songs.
Much of my recent music draws its inspiration from the distant past. An old melody pushes open a door in my mind and a parallel world or dream makes its way out. Each piece in this set found its inspiration in that way.
The title “Recitation Book” implies a set of lessons. I don’t want to say explicitly what each “lesson” means, but the titles of the pieces circle around the theme of death, which for me implies the passing of the old, and the coming of the new.
I have not only quoted a number of old melodies in “Recitation Book,” but two whole brief pieces as well. This first is J.S. Bach’s four-part chorale “Jesu, meine Freude,” and the second is an arrangement for the four saxophones of the five-voiced madrigal “Ecco moriro dunque” by Gesualdo di Venosa.'
The Luxum Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In addition to playing for various concerts, conferences and recitals at the Conservatorium, the quartet has performed for the International Towers Barangaroo, The Calyx at the Royal Botanical Garden Sydney, Ensemble Apex’s XS Chamber Music series, collaborated with Petrichor Sax, and in 2017 was selected to attend the Estivo Chamber Music Summer School at the Conservatorio di Verona in Italy. Luxum was the winner of the Woodwind Prize at the inaugural Conservatorium Association Chamber Music Competition in 2017. The quartet performs a diverse range of styles and genres, including core French repertoire, minimalism, crossover and modern music, as well as transcriptions of string quartet repertoire. Luxum is also committed to working with Australian composers and premiering new works for saxophone quartet.
The Luxum Quartet will be joined by Mary Osborn on alto for this programme.