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<<  -- 3 --  Anna L Franco    SHINING THROUGH


Quintet for Saxophone & Piano (Movements I, II and IV) was performed by the Mannes Saxophone Quartet and Kyle Adams on piano. The Scherzo movement opens with an urgency expressed with the fullness of five instruments. After a minute, the mood changes briefly into a slower dreamlike interlude, and then they're off again, building up momentum.

The second movement, Adagio, is one of my favourites of this recording, opening with a warm melody that is developed in sequences and adorned with playful fragments. Throughout the movement, the instruments take on an especially lyrical, singing quality, igniting the rarely-tapped Romantic potential of the saxophone-piano combination which Johnson has mastered.

The fourth and finale movement, Epilogue, is led by the piano in a gentle, probing melody. The softness of the brass brushes against the piano's ever more insistent cry, which the saxophones gradually take up as their own mission. The performers show their total dedication to the intricacies of the music; in a beautifully balanced dialogue, the instruments unite into an unforgettable farewell. The piece closes with a quiet statement from the piano supported by the saxophones [listen -- track 8, 10:32-11:45].

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Copyright © 6 September 2006 Anna L Franco, New York City, USA


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