The Raschèr Saxophone Quartet was named after classical saxophonist Sigurd Raschèr, who founded the quartet in 1969. They are regarded as the one of the best in their genre, and with about 300 works dedicated to them have done a lot to make the instrument popular. Four of these dedicated works are presented here, all first recordings, all composed around 1985.
I must say I’m quite impressed with this. I do like modern classical music, but I don’t usually like wind instruments. I suppose the jazzy sound of the saxophone makes me think different.
Out of the four works presented here I choose to go a little bit into the Nicola LeFanu piece. It bears the curious name Moon over the western ridge, Mootwingee. Nicola LeFanu is a British composer. She has composed around sixty works, and six operas. The Moon composition was written during a visit to Sydney, after some travels to the Australian outback. It sings praise of the landscape there: “great distances, great quiet; ancient trees standing in the white sand of a dry creek bed; groves of golden wattle, alive with birds; grey-green desert as far as the eye can see, broken by ranges of craggy hills; shapes ever-changing, in the shimmer of midday heat or the shadowy world of a moonlit night“. Mootwingee Googles to Mutawintji National Park, so I suppose it is that. It is in the area LeFanu herself says she has been to: the west of New South Wales.