Australian Music for Saxophone
GERARD BROPHY We Bop!
MARGARET SUTHERLAND Saxophone Sonata
DULCIE HOLLAND Saxophone Sonata
RAE MARCELLINO Whispers of
ROGER FRAMPTON Double
PAUL SARCICH Matters Arising
Margery Smith (saxophones)
Daniel Herscovich (piano)
Roger Frampton (piano)
rec 1996-98, Sydney
TALL POPPIES TP132
Typically an album such as this will attract reviews uneasy about the bridging
of jazz and classical. I am not sure why we set up such barriers to the
appreciation, pleasure and growth that comes from music whatever its perceived
origins. It is typically Australian that the stylistic 'crashes' implicit
in marrying together these pieces is not regarded as a problem - nor is it.
Brophy's piece is chaotically Tippettian: a jazzy jangle, jiving, hiccupping
with bells. Marcellino's Fauvel piece is ballistic, modern, explosive
and hammering. It howls and shrieks taking in memories of the Soukh along
the way and emulating, in its melodic approach, the component struggles of
a severed worm. Frampton's Dreaming has more continuity of line but
by contrast is touched with greater dissonance. It is a morose little effort.
The Sarcich grumbles and growls like a Leviathan or indulges in Blitzkrieg
(10.08). He also finds room for an irresistible lyrical inspiration and his
dangerous 'take' on this is held up to a Middle-Eastern filter.
The Sutherland sonata is Baxian (Bax was her teacher for a short time),
aggressive, jazzy. There is also the same sense you find in the clarinet
sonatas of William Alwyn and Arnold Bax but without the melodic drive of
the Bax. The work suggests waters deeply stirred (6.30) and the sax pipes
querulously among craggy piano statements. The piano writing recalls the
ruggedness as well as the delicacy of Bax's masterwork Winter Legends.
Nobility and tragedy haunt these pages. The Dulcie Holland piece is roundly
contoured dappled with ochre and cinnamon tones and certainly more
songfully-inclined than the Sutherland.
Margery Smith and the other artists serve the music well as far as I can
make out from music all of which was quite new to me. The recording is quite
close but none the worse for that.
Available in the UK from Seaford Music.
phone +44 (0) 1323 732553
fax +44 (0) 1323 417455
24 Pevensey Road
East Sussex BN21 3HP
or if in difficulty you can contact the ever-helpful Tall Poppies direct:-
Tall Poppies Records
PO Box 373
Glebe NSW 2037