Earth Dances – Saxophone Quartet (5 movements) – Opus 47 (1991) by Andrew Downes. https://www.andrewdownes.com
This video is the recording from the Live premiere performance by Saxtet – Nigel Wood (soprano sax), Gerard McChrystal (alto sax), Andrew Tweed (tenor sax) and Lionel Ferer (baritone sax) – on 2lst November 1991 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. Archive pictures of the group Saxtet are included along with samples of the score.
Commissioned by ‘Saxtet’ with funds from West Midlands Arts and the Peter Whittingham Award, and first performed by Saxtet – Nigel Wood (soprano sax), Gerard McChrystal (alto sax), Andrew Tweed (tenor sax) and Lionel Ferer (baritone sax) – on 2lst November 1991 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. Numerous performances by Saxtet followed: in Birmingham (Adrian Boult Hall), London (Royal Festival Hall foyer, extracts, January 1992), and on Saxtet’s 1992 world tour, in Bombay, Los Angeles, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Wellington, New Zealand, Perth and many other venues.
‘…a fascinating series of 5 pieces which reflect this composer’s developing interest in world culture and musics. The new work is especially successful in its rhythmic aspect, which leads the listener to a constant series of surprises and unexpected accents. It was extremely well received.’
THE BIRMINGHAM POST
The quartet was performed in the Recital Hall of Birmingham Conservatoire, in the final of the 2015 Andrew Downes Performance Prize competition, by the Nuance Quartet – Chloe Percy-Smith (soprano saxophone), Emma Jones (alto saxophone), Rachael Kendall (tenor saxophone) and Chalcedony Williams (baritone saxophone).
In October 2015 the work was performed in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, by the Flotilla Saxophone Ensemble, directed by Andy Tweed.
Sheet music and audio for Earth Dances is available from Lynwood Music: