Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

West Point Band : Sax4_Fault_Lines

Multimedia
Audio Video

Fault Lines

 

Program Notes

Personnel/Production Credits

Click on a title below to hear the recording in MP3 format (some titles not available).

Fault Lines (1998) (Bergez Editions Music Publishing) (3:21) Perry Goldstein (b. 1952)

Saxophone Quartet (1998) (published by the composer)(13:08) David Froom (b. 1951)
I (4:00)
II (4:58)
III (4:10)

Paranoid Android (1997) (manuscript) (6:16) Radiohead, arr. Joseph Abramo

Andante et Scherzetto (1942) (Billaudot) (8:27) Pierre Lantier (b. 1910)
Andante (5:41)
Scherzetto (2:46)

Motherless Child Variations (2002)


(Bergez Editions Music Publishing) (10:29)
Perry Goldstein (b. 1952)

Rush (2002) (Pine Valley Press) (5:13) David Kechley (b. 1947)

Just Friends (1931) (manuscript) (3:38) John Klenner, Sam M. Lewis
arr. Mark Vinci

 

PROGRAM NOTES

Fault Lines (1998) was composed as a celebratory piece for saxophonist Arno Bornkamp and pianist Ivo Janssen (to whom it is dedicated) on the occasion of their fifteenth anniversary as a duo. Short (just over three minutes) and lively, the work's gestural language pays homage to bebop, the American jazz style of the latter 1940's that features continuous lines played at breakneck speed. The harmonic language derives from the blues. The main body of the piece, highlighting the alto saxophone against a bluesy piano vamp, occurs twice, surrounded, at beginning, middle, and end by passages featuring melodic unisons.

Fault Lines was premiered at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw by Arno Bornkamp and Ivo Janssen on September 15, 1998. This version, for saxophone quartet, was arranged for the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, and was premiered at Beurs de Berlage in Amsterdam on January 30, 2000. This recording by the West Point Saxophone Quartet beautifully captures the energy and edginess of the piece.

-Perry Goldstein

Each of the three movements of David Froom’s Saxophone Quartet blends different aspects of our rich and complicated American legacy, the combination of imported (and locally developed) European traditions with our homegrown ideas. The Quartet’s first movement combines the repetitive structures of minimalism with modernist language and Schoenbergian continuous development, while making fleeting reference to Classical traditions of form. Nothing is simple, though, as sections fly off in unexpected ways. The second movement, while the most unpredictable formally (shifting from imitative counterpoint to arioso to recitativo accompagnato), is the most unambiguous harmonically, with nostalgic references to the “Americanist” language of Barber, Schuman, and Hanson. The final movement begins with an impressionistic haze, then shifts abruptly into a kind of pantonal be-bop. At the end, the haze returns and transforms, through the filter of the previous movements, into a hard-driving rush to a powerful close. This Quartet was written in 1999 for the Aurelia Quartet.

-David Froom

Radiohead's Paranoid Android is from the album OK Computer, which was released in 1997 and led to the rise in popularity that they currently enjoy. Their music is not easily categorized and consists of conventional guitar-based rock as well as much more experimental music. The arrangement of Paranoid Android heard here was written by Joseph Abramo. Radiohead band members state that the song is said to be about total chaos and came about as a pasting together of three different sections. This arrangement of Paranoid Android has allowed us the opportunity to delve into a style of music that is seldom explored within our genre. The quartet is joined for this selection by SSG Eric Sheffler on drums.

-SSG Chris Rettie

Pierre Lantier's Andante et Scherzetto was written in 1942 and follows a rich tradition of French repertoire for saxophone quartet. Because Lantier taught at the Paris Conservatory (one of the premiere institutions of classical saxophone instruction in the world) and conducted orchestra concerts which featured saxophone soloists, his knowledge of the saxophone was first hand and resulted in a compositional style very characteristic for the instrument. The year of composition for this work is also the year of Marcel Mule's appointment as Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory. Coincidentally, Mule spent many years as a saxophonist with the Garde Republicane band, the highest level French military band, and it was there that he formed his first saxophone quartet. By forming this quartet and actively commissioning new works for saxophone quartet, Mule helped develop a base of French repertoire that is today considered standard for the genre.


-SSG Chris Rettie

Motherless Child Variations (2002)

Just as a pearl is formed by the agitating sand in an oyster, and a diamond is created by enormous pressure on coal, out of the misery of Black Americans' affliction came some of this country's most vital music. The Black experience in America was manifested in the energy of Jazz; pain was expressed in the development of the Blues (sung, as Abbe Niles put it, by men and women who “Got de blues, [but] too dam' mean to cry”); hope and faith were embodied in the Spirituals. Writing in 1926, James Weldon Johnson states that “Spirituals were literally forged of sorrow in the heat of religious fervor.” Spirituals were developed by groups of people singing together, harmonies springing spontaneously in the moment. Spirituals were sung to the swinging of the head and body. Spirituals were about conviction, faith, misery, deliverance, freedom, and joy, heartfelt utterances rather than arty contrivances.

“Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” is a mournful Spiritual of two simple, heartbreaking stanzas. The words read:

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like I'm almos' gone,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like I'm almos' gone,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Way up in de heab'nly [heavenly] lan',
A long ways from home;
Way up in de heab'nly lan'.
A long ways from home.
True believer, True believer,
Way up in de heab'nly lan'.
A long ways from home.

My Motherless Child Variations (2002) is based on this Spiritual. I have tried to stay out of the way of the tune and to present it in many guises, always careful to keep it recognizable. After a brief introduction, the melody occurs in six versions, in various characters. It is introduced in a somber duet between baritone and tenor saxes, alto and soprano joining in for a bluesier four-part version. After a spirited, mixed-meter interlude, the tune returns in a new and funkier manifestation, led by the baritone saxophone playing a repetitive bass line, as well as a chorale version in which an unexpected harmonization unfolds in the instruments' highest registers. A subsequent gloss on the melody interpolates driving compound meter passages between piecemeal statements of the tune, in emulation of the “call and response” music so typical of the African American tradition. The harmonic structure implied by the melody supplies the backbone for three ensuing jazz swing choruses, alto, tenor, and soprano saxes soloing successively over the chord changes. The tune then resurfaces explicitly in one last straightforward and passionate rendition.

Motherless Child Variations was composed on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, the premier Dutch saxophone quartet, and is dedicated to that ensemble.


-Perry Goldstein

Rush was inspired by a radio broadcast of the West Point Saxophone Quartet, which I happened to hear while driving in the car. I was impressed by the new virtuosity of the group and its convincing performances of a number of chromatic, rhythmic, edgy, sorts of pieces. Writing a piece like this appealed to me as a contrast to my previous quartet, Stepping Out. The idea of the opening (a seamless line of 16th notes beginning softly and growing) came to me early on, but I could not act upon it. It stuck with me though and in August 2002 when I was invited to be a resident at Bellagio, a retreat in Northern Italy, I was able to begin and complete the entire piece during that month. The title Rush is self-explanatory. Its tempo is relentless even during the more lyrical "chorale with protesting soloist" middle section and begins and ends with the same 700+ notes!


-David Kechley

 

After searching for many years for the opportunity to record with strings, Charlie Parker was offered the chance in 1947. Three recording sessions occurred and are now available in a collection titled Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes. Since its release, it has become a standard in the record collections of saxophonists and jazz listeners around the world. The recording of Just Friends was Parker's most commercially successful single and is reputed to be the recording of which he was most proud.

Mark Vinci's arrangement of Charlie Parker's recording of Just Friends follows the tradition of the harmonization of jazz solos played by the entire saxophone section of a jazz band. For this piece, the Quartet welcomes SFC Bryson Borgstedt on tenor saxophone, SFC James Mullins on oboe, MSG Lou Pappas on bass, SSG Scott Arcangel on piano and SSG Rone Sparrow on drums.


-SSG Chris Rettie

 

GROUP AND PERFORMER BIOGRAPHIES

The West Point Saxophone Quartet, from the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York, is comprised of members of the saxophone section of the Military Academy's Concert Band. The quartet has appeared in a wide variety of settings throughout the Eastern United States, presenting both clinics and recitals for schools and communities, to include performances at the Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance Region VI Conference in Athens, GA., and the 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montreal.

Founded in 1965, the West Point Saxophone Quartet consists of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music within the classical, jazz and popular idioms, and exposes its audience to the technical virtuosity, tonal beauty and versatility of which the saxophone family is capable. Within the repertoire of the group is the music of such composers as J.S. Bach, Eugene Bozza, David Froom, Perry Goldstein, David Kechley, Pierre Lantier, Yusef Lateef, Jean Rivier and Dana Wilson. The quartet actively welcomes original compositions and commissions. As musical ambassadors of the United States Military Academy, the West Point Saxophone Quartet is indicative of the professional excellence of the Military Academy Band.

SSG Brian Broelmann has been a member of the Military Academy Concert Band since October 2001. He received his bachelor's degree in music education and his master's degree in music performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he studied with Robert Faub and Timothy McAllister. SSG Broelmann is a winner of the Crane School of Music concerto and new music competitions. He is a recorded soloist on North Country public radio and has performed professionally in northern New York and Orange County, NY.

SSG Lois Hicks-Wozniak joined the Military Academy Concert Band in 1996. SSG Hicks-Wozniak has studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of North Texas and Florida State University. While at Florida State, she completed a bachelor's degree in music performance, and continued master's studies in saxophone performance and ethnomusicology. Her teachers include Frederick Hemke, Patrick Meighan and Debra Richtmeyer. Among her many awards is the Special Presentation Winners Recital Series, sponsored by Artists International Presentations. As her prize, she performed her New York Recital Debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in January 1996. She has performed at the Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, the New England Saxophone Symposium and the Region VI Saxophone Symposium at the University of Georgia at Athens. She was a featured soloist at the 12th World Saxophone Congress 2000 in Montreal where she played the Glazunov Concerto with the Military Academy Concert Band and Michael Titlebaum's Solo for Alto Saxophone and Wind Quartet. As artist-in-residence at Mississippi State University, she performed the Mississippi premiere of Dream Dancer for alto saxophone and wind ensemble by Michael Colgrass. SSG Hicks-Wozniak is a teacher and clinician, and her performances have been broadcast on New York public radio.

SSG Chris Rettie is currently a doctoral candidate in saxophone performance with a minor in wind conducting at Louisiana State University. He holds a master's degree from Louisiana State University and a bachelor's degree from Murray State University, in Kentucky, both in saxophone performance. His primary teachers have been Griffin Campbell and Scott Erickson. A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Chris has won MTNA solo competitions in Kentucky and Louisiana and, in 1995, was named a Yamaha Young Performing Artist. He is a co-founder of and baritone saxophonist with the Red Stick Saxophone Quartet. As a member of the Red Stick Quartet, he performed at the 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montreal, the 43rd Annual Meeting of the College Music Society in Toronto, numerous regional and national congresses and has been a finalist in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the MTNA Chamber Music Competitions. SSG Rettie has been a member of the Military Academy Concert Band since October 2001.

SFC Wayne Tice is an active performer, soloist, teacher and clinician. He is the principal saxophonist and a frequent soloist with the Military Academy Concert Band. He has been a featured soloist at the New England Saxophone Symposium and the 2002 Biennial Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance. As a member of the West Point Saxophone Quartet, he has performed at the New England Saxophone Symposium, the US Navy Band's Saxophone Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance Region VI Symposium at the University of Georgia and many other colleges and universities. At the 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montreal, SFC Tice performed, with the Military Academy Concert Band, the world premiere of David Kechley's Restless Birds Before the Dark Moon, which won the twenty-fourth annual National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. He has taught saxophone at Williams College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently on the music faculty at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York. He earned his bachelor's degree in music from Old Dominion University and a Master of Music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His teachers include Dennis Zeisler, Lynn Klock and Yusef Lateef. His latest collaboration with Yusef Lateef is the CD Wayne Tice Plays the Music of Yusef Lateef.

Production Credits
Quartet NCOIC, SFC Wayne Tice
Recording Engineer, MSG David Hershey
Graphic Design, MSG Christian Eberle, SSG Chris Rettie
Photography, MSG James Mullins

 

Return to Menu
  Follow Us    Facebook®  Twitter®  youTube®