Every month I receive e-mails from musicians around the borough requesting that they come and perform at one of our Westminster Music Library events.
About nine months ago I spoke to Michael Hernandez – the leader of The Coloratura Wind Quartet – who agreed to bring his ensemble for a recital in the Music Library. Having wowed our audience with a brilliant concert last October, imagine my delight when I discovered that this incredibly accomplished clarinettist is also a brilliant alto saxophone player, who had recently put together a saxophone quartet.
This fledgling ensemble comprises an impressive wealth of experience and talent; its members primarily perform as professional soloists and instrumentalists within larger ensembles in addition to coaching and mentoring responsibilities. A prevailing love for and commitment to chamber music however inspired the formation of this group. Would we be interested in hosting a recital in 2013?
This was an offer I simply could not refuse, and we were not disappointed. These talented musicians are not just saxophonists; they are consummate, dedicated, and professional musicians that stand up to the best of chamber ensembles of any instrumentation anywhere. Indeed Andy Robinson is usually to be heard playing viola! Baritone saxophone and viola is not the usual combination of instruments you would expect one musician to be so accomplished in.
The programme was a colourful mixture of music from the classic saxophone quartet repertoire, traditional Klezmer tunes arranged for saxophone quartet, and arrangements of jazz standards by those musical giants Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and Lorenz Hart.
The final piece – Gordon Jacob’s Saxophone Quartet – was a memorable close to a truly enjoyable evening, and judging by the rapturous applause that followed, I suspect I was not alone in thinking that we had “not had enough saxophone”.
“I cut my musical teeth in Westminster Music Library, providing free concerts of such a high standard just adds to its proven track record”.
“Amazing – it was a joy to hear the (almost complete) family of saxophones playing together”.
“Great music and great players, thanks for the opportunity”
“I really enjoyed this concert, an excellent performance. Thank you!”