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LEONARD SALZEDO, 1921-2000

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JENNIFER PAULL marks the second anniversary
on 6 May 2002 of the composer's death

 

Let proportion be found not only in numbers and measures, but also in sounds, weights, times, and positions, and what ever force there is.

- Leonardo Da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

 

If one had to find a way of describing Leonard Salzedo's music, it would be difficult to find words more ideally suited to the syncopated rhythms and feeling for movement and dance which permeate all of Leonard Salzedo's oeuvre. The proportions and placing of his structures were symmetric, syncopated and driven by an inner pull against gravity. His music invades one's memory by all of these qualities, by haunting melody and imaginative colourings; but most of all, because it is so good.

On what would have been his 80th birthday on 23 September 2001, a Commemorative Concert of his works took place at the Purcell Room, London. In the programme, Richard Sandland of The Fine Brass Ensemble wrote the accompanying note for the Toccata for Brass Quintet Op 109:

'At the première, I remembered Leonard, white wine in hand, being very happy with the piece. He said that he had worked out the number of combinations of polyrhythms possible across five instruments in a 9/8 bar (the piece is wholly in 9/8); his only concern was that he had only used about 75 percent of those combinations, and felt that he could have got the other 25 percent in somewhere.'

Whether Leonard was deliberately writing for dance, as had been his career's leitmotiv, or not, his music made one move, made movement inevitable, and clever construction its counterbalancing support.

I have been playing Leonard Salzedo's music for over thirty years. He wrote six pieces for me, and arranged another. Whenever I am working on one, I can simply never get it out of my head -- or my feet!

I am convinced that Leonard Salzedo's rightful place will become more and more evident with retrospection. His Ballet Witch Boy has been performed over one thousand times in more than thirty countries. The list of his successes is long. The man himself was simple, modest and charming. His music seemed as full of inner tension and explosions as he appeared collected and calm.

Leonard Salzedo

This was a musicians' musician, a wonderful friend, and the kindest of men.

Thank you, Leonard!

Copyright © 6 May 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland

 

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A LEONARD SALZEDO PAGE AT AMORIS INTERNATIONAL

A LEONARD SALZEDO PAGE AT IMPULSE MUSIC

 

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