KRZYSZTOF MEYER (b.1943): Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra, Op. 79, NICOLA LEFANU (b.1947): Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Saxophone Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 06N086
Description: LeFanu's concerto occupies an unique sound-world due to the use of quarter-tones throughout, lending a strange, archaic wildness to the lyrical, highly virtuosic solo part. Notwithstanding this apparent modernism, the piece adheres to a predominantly chromatic idiom with modal inflections, in vigorous, incisive music alternating with surging, moonlit nature music, ornamented by seabird calls. Meyer is a noted authority on Shostakovich, and was a close friend of Lutoslawski, and his natural idiom seems to fall somewhere between these two towering figures. Meticulous attention to sonorous detail and the subtleties of the interplay of dissonance and consonance in the work's striking harmonic vocabulary provide the technical veneer for an intense dark-hued brooding first movement and a vigorously discursive, agitated second movement, more modern but stopping well short of the Polish avant garde of the 1960s that provided the composer's early background. The popular Glazunov, by the way, is performed from the soloist's corrected edition of the previously much mis-edited manuscript, and incorporates his own cadenza. John-Edward Kelly (sax), Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic; John-Edward Kelly (Glazunov), Micha Hamel.