Make a ‘saxophone’ call in the WRH

Jenny Sabliov, Staff writer

On Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall, Allen Zurcher, D.A., will conclude the faculty recital series for the fall semester.
With more than 35 years of experience as a professional musician, composer, arranger and educator, Zurcher is sure to present a program to enthrall the audience.
In addition to teaching Jazz History at Mercyhurst University, Zurcher is also a part of the Presque Isle Saxophone Quartet and the Erie Philharmonic.
The Presque Isle Saxophone Quartet consists of Bethany Dressler, Scott Meier, Ph.D., Rebecca Wunch and Zurcher.
A performance by the quartet will take place during the recital as well.
In addition, Zurcher will perform a few French classical pieces for saxophone and piano with accompanist Beth Etter, D.M.A.
Etter and Zurcher have known each other for several decades.
They were both a part of a music festival at Allegheny College at least 30 years ago and have not performed since together a recital at Edinboro last season.
These pieces include “Prelude, Cadence et Finale for Alto Saxophone and Piano” by Alfred Desenclos and Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 109 for Alto Saxophone and Piano by Alexander Glazunov and Marcel Petiot.
They will also perform Etudes 1, 2, 9 and 10 for Alto Saxophone by Charles Koechlin.
“The pieces are incredibly complex, beautiful and harmonically and amazingly complicated as they modulate right and left,” Etter said.
“Allen is known by everyone to always pick the most difficult pieces and has an extremely high level of demand on himself for his performances which makes it a pleasure to play with him because the piano part is extremely difficult.”
The duo worked on the repertoire for the recital for over a month and took time and patience to understand whether the notes played are correct.
“Over time, the music has grown on me,” Etter said.
“It is so beautifully written for the saxophone. The works show the range of the instrument and are written in such a way that emphasize the instrument and are tonally amazing,” Etter said.
The recital is free and open to the public.