Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where to Start...

I am at the beginning of something new. I realize that the idea of blogging is nothing new to many, but for me, it's the deep end of the pool. we go.

I am a member of the Washington Saxophone Quartet, we've been together since 1976. It's a very good professional ensemble in the Washington, DC area. In fact, you may have heard us on All Things Considered on NPR. We're the saxophone quartet playing those little variations on the program theme. We call it anonymous fame. Andy Warhol was very generous with 15 minutes. We're delighted to get 60 seconds. At our concerts, audience members are often surprised to find out that they've been listening to a saxophone quartet on that program, and didn't know it. And that's one of the reasons for the blog.

The saxophone quartet is one of those non-traditional chamber music groups. A relatively new concept in the world of classical music. The saxophone is right at home in the jazz and pop world. And that's fine. But when it comes to more serious music, we are in uncharted territory. Classical saxophone quartets have really only been around since the 1930s, and that was mainly in France and Belgium. In the United States, as recently as the 1960s, saxophone was not taught in many colleges and often the teacher was a clarinetist, oboist, or bassoonist. Today you can study saxophone, but things really haven't changed that much, outside the in the real world. It's still a new and unfamiliar sound to many, many people.

We've come a long way, but we have a longer trip ahead...the success of that journey may hinge on the notion that saxophone quartets are accepted into the world of serious, classical, chamber music. So we'll see what thoughts on the subject are out there.

But that's it for now.

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