New and different combinations of sound were heard in Walker Recital Hall this past Thursday, when the D’Angelo Department of Music had the last of its Faculty Recital Series for this academic year.
Dr. Allen Zurcher performed on both the soprano and alto saxophones for an audience comprised of music students and faculty. A number of guest artists also joined him.
Zurcher is an adjunct faculty member of the music department, where he teaches jazz history and music theory, as well as sight singing and ear training. He has had a vast professional career, ranging from playing on famous recordings to cruise lines and symphony orchestras.
At the beginning of his recital, Zurcher called it a recital of saxophone chamber music. Because of this, he had many guests join him, including Dr. Shirley Yoo, assistant professor of piano; Dr. Scott Meier, assistant professor of music education; and Dr. Patrick Jones, Mr. Geoffrey Wands and Miss Amy Federowicz.
For his first piece, Meier joined Zurcher, and the two played a “Konzertstuck for Two Alto Saxophones” by Paul Hindemth. This piece was very non-tonal, in that the two instruments were often playing in separate keys at one time. It was also broken up into many small sections, which allowed the listener to process the music easier.
Next on the program was a piece that Zurcher played and was accompanied on the piano by Yoo. It was a piece in three movements titled “Concertino, pour saxophone alto et orchestre” by Jeanine Rueff. This piece sounded extremely difficult and was dramatized by contrasting sections of fast and slow tempo.
Following a brief intermission, Zurcher was once again joined by Meier, and this time by Jones to perform a piece titled “Doo Dah for Three Alto Saxophones,” by William Albright. This was a play on American Contemporary music, and included some sections that were very abstract, as well as some that had jazz themes.
Freshman Brittany Barko said she “liked how ‘Doo Dah’ mixed genres into one piece, and how it still only used the saxophone instead of including other instruments.”
For the final piece of the program, Meier, Wands and Federowicz joined Zurcher to play “Saxophone Quartet No. 2” by Steve Cohen. This piece was in three movements, and it included a large number of beautiful melodies, which were passed around from instrument to instrument.
Zurcher’s recital was extremely well accepted by students and community members alike. He received a standing ovation at the end of his performance. Many thought that his program was to thank for the recital’s success.
Senior Andrea Baker said she “really liked the diversity of all the pieces and the composers. I think the pieces really showed his technical ability.”