Con­tem­po­rary sax quar­tet hits all the right notes

The Arran Banner - - News - An­drew Stir­ling

An ea­ger au­di­ence lis­tened raptly in Brod­ick Hall to the warm bright brass sounds con­jured by youth­ful quar­tet Sax Ecosse on Satur­day night.

Or­gan­ised by Mu­sic Ar­ran, this lat­est of a series of top musical per­for­mances brought much-an­tic­i­pated de­light to Ar­ran’s strong com­mu­nity of mu­sic lovers.

Sax Ecosse is the name of the group which was founded by the two fe­male mem­bers back in 2004. The group’s in­stru­ments span a full range of sax­o­phone ‘voices’: so­prano, tenor, alto and bass.

Each is a fine piece of pol­ished met­al­work, glint­ing gold un­der the lights, as the per­form­ers wres­tle with their musical mas­ter­pieces. The per­form­ers took it in turn to in­tro­duce each work to the au­di­ence – high­light­ing links back to the golden age of the sax­o­phone in US clubs, back in the 1930s.

Once the con­cert got un­der way, un­fa­mil­iar and mem­o­rable sounds punched stri­dently through the hall. Many of the pieces per­formed were writ­ten for sax­o­phone per­for­mance and not widely aired. While Grieg’s Hol­berg Suite is reg­u­larly per­formed and broad­cast, the ar­range­ment for sax­o­phone quar­tet came as a re­fresh­ing sur­prise, with the brass in­stru­ments giv­ing a unique and com­pelling sound.

Only to­wards the end did a stac­cato pas­sage yield what might have sounded to a passer-by like a traf­fic jam of clas­sic cars – with the flam­boy­ant honk­ing that might be ex­pected un­der such cir­cum­stances.

Liv­ing around Glas­gow, the en­sem­ble found it a plea­sure to be able to hop on a train and be wafted over to the warm re­cep­tion the mem­bers en­joyed on Ar­ran. This has in­cluded be­ing treated to homemade ap­ple cake, with lo­cal ap­ples, and overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion with lo­cal mu­sic sup­port­ers.

The grate­ful lis­ten­ers ap­plauded loudly and, af­ter a de­light­ful en­core, de­parted con­tent­edly into a still, clear Brod­ick night.

A Brod­ick au­di­ence en­joys the per­for­mance of Sax Ecosse.

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