Pequena Czárdás

Pedro Iturralde  (1929 – )

Pedro Iturralde is a Spanish saxophonist, saxophone teacher and composer. He wrote Czárdás in 1949, when he was only 20. He went on the lead his own jazz quartet, experimenting with combining jazz and flamenco music.

Piece en forme de habanera

Ravel (1875 – 1937)

This piece was written in 1907, originally for bass voice and piano, though it has since been arranged for a great many instruments. It offers great opportunities for virtuosity, though the form is the sultry Spanish dance.

Temporal Variations

Britten (1913 – 1976)

Britten composed much music for individual performers, and this was originally inspired by the playing of the oboist Natalie Caine, who gave the first performance with the commissioner of the piece Adolf Hallis on piano. It had only been finished 3 daysbefore, and Hallis had to play from Britten’s compositional sketch. Afterwards the work was withdrawn, and only published posthumously.

If (from the Diary of Anne Frank)

Michael Nyman (1944 – )

Michael Nyman is an English composer of minimalist music, including several operas, concerti, and chamber works. As well as this, he is a librettist, musicologist, and composer of many film scores (including that of “The Piano”). The “Diary of Anne Frank” was a Japanese film, for which Nyman composed the score, including twosongs, “If” and “Why”, which have become concert works.


John Harle (1956 – )

Harle is an English saxophonist, educator, record producer and composer who wrote“Rant!” as a concerto for Jess Gillam and the BBC Concert Orchestra.


Oboe Concerto

Alessandro Marcello (1673 – 1747)

Marcello was born in Venice, a little before Antonio Vivaldi, and was the son of a senator. As a nobleman he could well afford to develop his interest on music, and wrote several sets of concerti, including this one, originally for oboe and in three movements.

Folk Dances from Csik

Bartók (1881 – 1945)

In his youth Bartok loved collecting folk-music from his native Hungary and beyond. These tunes were to form the basis of later compositions, like the well-known dances for two violins, which we heard as an exhilarating encore from the Arcadia Quartet of Romania. The folk-dances from Csik were published for solo piano.


Graham Fitkin (1963 – )

Graham Fitkin composed “Gate” for soprano saxophone and piano in 2007. Of it he writes “This piece started from one thing – a trill. The alternation of two adjacent notes gives rise to a simple and constant grouping of beats. Place it in different temporal contexts and the inherent quality of the trill is questioned.”

Flow my Tears

Dowland  (1562 – 1626)

The composer and lutenist John Dowland held positions at the court of the King of Denmark, and at that of Charles I in London. He is best known for his songs, said to have been published in eight capital cities, and in particular for this one, and he laterwrote “Lacrimae”, a set of pavanes for viols and lute, based on its tune, which became one of the best known consort pieces of its day.

Valse Vanité

Rudy Wiedoeft (1893 – 1940)

The American virtuoso saxophonist Wiedoeft was the son of German immigrants, born in Detroit, and is credited with popularizing the saxophone is the 1910s and 1920s. He led a flamboyant life – he nearly died when stabbed by his wife – and expired of cirrhosis in 1940. He was known as the Kreisler of the saxophone, and several of his compositions became successes.


Milhaud (1892 – 1974)

Darius Milhaud was a member of the composers’ group in Paris in the 1920s, known as Les Six, which also included Honegger and Poulenc. He was a prolific composer, turning his hand to many different types, and showing the influences of jazz, and the music of Brazil (which he had visited as a young man). “Scaramouche” comes from the incidental music to the children’s play “Le Médecin Volant” of 1937, and was adapted as a piece for two pianos in 1939.

All of tonight’s works are first performances for ACMC

Jess Gillam and Zeynep Özsuca – 11th February 2019: Programme Notes