James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Saxophone Ensemble Puts Fresh Spin on a Holiday Favorite
Friday, December 09, 2016 - 02:20 PM
And now for something slightly different. Under the direction of classical saxophonist and composer Lin Chien-Kwan, the University of Rochester's Eastman Saxophone Project played several selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. In keeping with the spirit of their name, the ESP played enchanting arrangements that made use of the several members of the saxophone family. Just listen in the video below to how the saxophones pass each other in ascending lines during the "March," or the baritone and bass saxes’ rumbling woodiness punctuating "Dance of the Reeds."
The ensemble, founded in 2010, "strives to promote the popularity of the saxophone through innovative programming and versatile performances." The group performs from memory and without a conductor — bold decisions that highlight the cooperation and communication among the group's members. Past programs have included works by Bach, Ravel and Stravinsky.
Now step back and let the Eastman Saxophone Project serve up a holiday classic, with a twist.