On November 23rd Gozitan saxophonist Philip Attard and Maltese pianist Christine Zerafa will play for us. As a duo Philip and Christine received a Tunnell Trust award for 2015/16 and individually they are the recipients of several awards and prizes.
They will play a programme of works spanning years between the mid 19th century and the 1990s.
The earliest piece in their programme is Le Carnaval de Venise by Jules Demersseman (1833-66), a French flautist and composer. He was a close friend of Adolphe Sax and composed some of the first works for the saxophone.
Included in the programme is the Sonata for Saxophone and Piano by Fernande Decruck (1896-1954), a French female pianist, organist and composer of chamber music, orchestral works and pieces for piano and organ. Her husband Maurice Decruck was a bassist and classical saxophonist, who played with the New York Philharmonic. The couple collaborated on an educational book on the saxophone in the 1930s and at this time Fernande Decruck began to compose her first works for the instrument.
The most modern programme piece is the Fuzzy Bird Sonata (1991) by contemporary Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu. His compositions include symphonies, concertos, and many orchestral pieces, also an entire series of chamber music related to birds. Yoshimatsu acknowledges that birds are a significant influence on his compositions. Apparently it was the unique character of the saxophone that inspired the blending of music from various traditions into this 'fuzzy' piece.
Other composers included in the programme are Saint-Saens, Bozza, Busser and de Falla.
The concert is supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.