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Nexas Quartet | Current

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AUSTRALIA - New South Wales

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Current

by Nexas Quartet

This recording is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from the ensemble and is a reflection of their collaborations with leading Australian composers.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: I. Polonaise
1:59 $1.29
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2. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: II. Musette
2:49 $1.29
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3. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: III. Aria
3:34 $1.29
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4. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: IV. Minuet
2:48 $1.29
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5. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: V. Polonaise II
1:52 $1.29
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6. From Anna Magdalena's Notebook: VI. Minuet II
2:06 $1.29
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7. Nostalgia
3:24 $1.29
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8. Slipstream: I. Allegro, alla fanfara
3:27 $1.29
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9. Slipstream: II. Con ritmo
3:24 $1.29
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10. Slipstream: III. Sentirsi bene
3:43 $1.29
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11. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: I. Overture
2:29 $1.29
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12. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: II. Juliet
3:06 $1.29
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13. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: III. Romeo
2:17 $1.29
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14. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: IV. Juliet and Romeo's Love Scene
7:10 $1.29
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15. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: V. Duel
5:32 $1.29
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16. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet: VI. The Death of Romeo and Juliet
5:29 $1.29
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17. Dark Nebulae
9:50 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Nexas Quartet
Current
Australian works by
Kats-Chernin | Rojas | Orlovich | Hindson | Skipworth

From Anna Magdalena’s Notebook
Elena Kats-Chernin (2007).
Arr. Michael Duke

This work was originally composed for String Quartet and arranged for Nexas Quartet by Michael Duke in 2015 with expressed permission of the composer. When the Australian String Quartet commissioned a work from her, Elena Kats-Chernin stated: “Somehow the thought of going to Anna Magdalena Bach's Notebook seemed appealing to me. Bach gave her the Clavierbuechlein in 1725, which he started with two partitas, the rest was gathered over years. I decided to choose the ones that I liked the most; and also the ones which would work in contrast with each other. The way I worked with the material was to give the original piece a chance to sound recognisable, at the same time giving it an impetus to change direction.”

Nostalgia
Daniel Rojas (2015)
Arr. Jay Byrnes

‘Nostalgia’ was originally the middle movement of Rojas’ Little Serenade for String Orchestra and has been arranged by Jay Byrnes at the suggestion of the composer. Daniel Rojas states that the ‘Little Serenade’: “is my homage to our memories of childhood: those ceaseless moments of restlessness, mischief, tears, playtime and parties that once weaved the novel and naive texture of life”. The contrasting middle movement, ‘Nostalgia’, is a bittersweet tribute to an innocence that dissolved long ago; vague traces of those childhood joys and tears, however, are etched into the delicate fabric of adult life.

Slipstream
Matthew Orlovich (2016)

Composed at the invitation of Nexas Quartet ‘Slipstream’ is scored for Saxophone Quartet and bicycle bell. Between the saxophone quartet world and the world of cycling, there are parallels to be found, not the least of which are the pursuit of precision teamwork and a love for “the thrill of the ride”.
The three movements of ‘Slipstream’ are characterised by a mostly exuberant mood. “The jostling counterpoint and textural ideas in my score are inspired by the art of slipstreaming or drafting, as it is known in cycling parlance”.
Matthew Orlovich,
Composer.

Scenes from Romeo and Juliet
Matthew Hindson (2015)

Matthew Hindson’s ‘Scenes from Romeo and Juliet’ first began as a commission by the National College of Dance. The world premiere of this ballet was given in Newcastle in 2015 with Nexas Quartet performing on stage.

In a recent interview with Cut Common Magazine Matthew Hindson stated:
“In this piece, I tried to use some aspects of Elizabethan dance forms mixed in with my more contemporary dance responses. It is still always classical music, however. My hope is that the music sounds very emotive of the drama and action implicit in the story.”
‘Scenes from Romeo and Juliet Suite’ is divided into six movements, each depicting aspects of the characters and the drama of the narrative.

Dark Nebulae
Lachlan Skipworth (2010)

Dark Nebulae are vast clouds of atomic dust found in the far reaches of outer space, their density blocking even light from passing through. This piece evokes the physical sensation of these colossal masses as they drift about, slowly twisting, stretching and colliding with each other. To do this, each saxophone plays almost exclusively multiphonics, whereby using an unconventional fingering - a thick and complex chord of several pitches at the same time is created. From eerie glowing consonances to grating dissonances, these multiphonics are layered and overlapped throughout the piece. Through the interplay between chords, one can hear wisps of translucent cloud strands, shrouded shapes moving imperceptibly, and surges of impenetrable.

Article by Samuel Cottell
The Nexas Saxophone Quartet launches their new CD at the end of this month, with works by Matthew Hindson, Elena Kats-Chernin, Matthew Orlovich, Daniel Rojas and Lachlan Skipworth. Samuel Cottell talked to the Quartet and found out about the music. The CD launch concert, featuring the works discussed in this article, will take place in Sydney on 29 November. This article was originally published in the Fine Music magazine.
Since their inception over twelve years ago, Nexas Quartet (Michael Duke, Andrew Smith, Nathan Henshaw and Jay Byrnes) have premiered countless new Australian works. Their new CD also features an all-Australian program. With music of Elena Kats-Chernin, Matthew Hindson, Matthew Orlovich, Lachlan Skipworth and Daniel Rojas, Current is an eclectic recording showcasing the diverse nature of Australian music - as well as the eclectic and engaging sound of the saxophone quartet.
Nexas first performed Elena Kats-Chernin's From Anna Magdalena's Notebook in Strasbourg at the World Saxophone Congress in 2015. Originally written for string quartet, Kats-Chernin adapted the work for Nexas. 'This offers a fresh take on one of Elena's most popular works and also explores new possibilities of timbre and enhanced dramatic effects', says Andrew Smith. (Nexas has a strong association with Elena Kats-Chernin, with Michael Duke also premiering her saxophone concerto Macquarie's Castle with the Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra last April.).
In 2014, Nexas teamed up with Matthew Hindson to present a ballet version of Romeo and Juliet. Nexas loved the piece so much that they asked Hindson to turn it into a suite. The result Scenes from Romeo and Juliet was premiered earlier this year.
'In this piece, I tried to use some aspects of Elizabethan dance forms mixed in with my more contemporary dance responses. It is still always classical music, however. My hope is that the music sounds very emotive of the drama and action implicit in the story', Hindson says. Scenes from Romeo and Juliet is divided into six movements, each depicting aspects of the characters and the drama of the narrative.
Lachlan Skipworth wrote Dark Nebulae while he was based in Germany, and the work differs somewhat from his typical musical style. 'Dark Nebulae alludes to deep space and dark matter. That's why the sound world for it is based upon multiphonics and these slowly evolving musical lines that emerge from nowhere and from within each other', says Andrew Smith. 'There is this cluster of sound. This is probably the most "out there" piece on the recording', he adds.
Matthew Orlovich's new work Slipstream was also written for Nexas. The three-movement work starts with a fanfare introduction with an up-tempo lively feeling, and the second moment is a 'split personality', with two types of character juxtaposed - a funky character and a straight-faced character, as the composer has written - before the race to the finish line in the third movement.
'The jostling counterpoint and textural ideas in my score are inspired by the art of slipstreaming, or drafting, as it is known in cycling parlance. Between the saxophone quartet world and the world of cycling, there are parallels to be found, not the least of which are the pursuit of precision teamwork and a love for "the thrill of the ride"', says Orlovich. There is also a bicycle bell featured in this work.

Daniel Rojas, known for his energetic and Latin American-influenced music, demonstrates a tender and lyrical side to his compositional style in Little Serenade. He has written of his piece: 'Little Serenade is my homage to our memories of childhood. The contrasting middle movement, "Nostalgia", is a bittersweet tribute to an innocence that dissolved long ago; vague traces of those childhood joys and tears, however, are etched into the delicate fabric of adult life.' For this recording, the slow movement 'Nostalgia' has been arranged and adapted by Jay Byrnes of the Nexas Quartet.
'The translation from strings to saxophone often works quite well, and this piece is quite effective for a saxophone quartet,' says Byrnes. 'The biggest challenge in arranging this was capturing the harmonies and nuances from the eight parts of the string orchestra to only four parts for the quartet.'
The pieces on this album are all substantial works that we feel very passionate about, Byrnes says. 'One of our aims is to bridge the divide between the intensely challenging contemporary works as well as the more accessible, and find a middle ground. So that there's something in there for everyone', adds Andrew Smith.

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