Dances and Declamations

Music for the Emerging Saxophone Quartet

Clarence Barber composer
Lawson Lunde composer
Edward Gates composer
Paul Cohen arranger
Richard Lane composer

TTF Saxophone Quartet
Paul Cohen soprano
Jordan Smith alto
Daniel Kochersberger tenor
Bryan McNamara baritone

Release Date: April 19, 2024
Catalog #: RR8102
Format: Digital

Contemporary music is often difficult to access, both for audiences and performing musicians, and doubly so if it involves unorthodox musical setups. Paul Cohen, leader of the TTF Saxophone Quartet, is here to challenge this conundrum. DANCES AND DECLAMATIONS compiles a treasure trove of saxophone quartets that are a pleasure to play — and to experience.

This eclectic collection includes modern, minimalist constructions, Brucknerian soundscapes, waltzes, fugues, and not least Cohen’s own arrangements of Renaissance dances. Each of the pieces on DANCES AND DECLAMATIONS are imbued with genuine cheer, liveliness, and appeal. It’s music that speaks to the mind, yes, but even more importantly, puts a spring in your step.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Bagatelles: I. Allegro Clarence Barber TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 3:54
02 Bagatelles: II. Allegro giocoso Clarence Barber TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:46
03 Suite: I. Prelude Lawson Lunde TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:25
04 Suite: II. Five Tones Lawson Lunde TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:04
05 Suite: III. Eclogue Lawson Lunde TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:16
06 Suite: IV. Interlude Lawson Lunde TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 0:37
07 Suite: V. Finale Lawson Lunde TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:52
08 Foursome: I. Four-Square Ostinato Edward Everett Gates TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:40
09 Foursome: II. Four-in-Three Edward Everett Gates TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:23
10 Foursome: III. Two-by-Two Canon Edward Everett Gates TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 0:52
11 Foursome: IV. Four-Ward March Edward Everett Gates TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:15
12 The Renaissance Book: I. Three Dances arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:20
13 The Renaissance Book: II. Ah Robin arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:42
14 The Renaissance Book: III. Downberry Down arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:03
15 The Renaissance Book: IV. Blow thy Horn, Hunter arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 0:47
16 The Renaissance Book: V. Where Be Ye, My Love arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:44
17 The Renaissance Book: VI. Pastime with Good Company arr. Paul Cohen TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:04
18 Quartet (for Saxophones): I. Prelude Richard Lane TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:24
19 Quartet (for Saxophones): II. Waltz Richard Lane TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:33
20 Quartet (for Saxophones): III. Fugue-like Richard Lane TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:46
21 Quartet (for Saxophones): IV. Lament Richard Lane TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 2:04
22 Quartet (for Saxophones): V. Finale Richard Lane TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 1:26
23 Declamation and Dance Edward Everett Gates TTF Saxophone Quartet | Paul Cohen, soprano; Jordan Smith, alto; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; Bryan McNamara, baritone 3:39

Tracks 1, 2, 18-23
Recorded July 2022 at Sound Imagination Studio in Clark NJ
Recording Engineer Ed Kessel

Tracks 3-17
Recorded August 2022 & July 2023 at Trading 8s Studio in Maywood NJ
Recording Engineer Chris Sulit

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

VP of A&R Brandon MacNeil
A&R Jeff LeRoy

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Morgan Hauber
Publicity Chelsea Kornago

Artist Information

Paul Cohen

Saxophonist

Paul Cohen is a sought-after saxophonist for orchestral and chamber concerts and solo recitals. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Richmond Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Charleston Symphony, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi. His many solo orchestra performances include works by Debussy, Creston, Ibert, Glazunov, Martin, Loeffler, Husa, Dahl, Still, Villa-Lobos, Tomasi, and Cowell. He has also performed with a broad range of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera (NYC), American Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Oregon Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Group for Contemporary Music, Greenwich Symphony, and New York Solisti.

Jordan Smith

alto saxophone

With reviews praising his “liquid tone,” saxophonist Jordan P. Smith has concertized throughout the United States and Europe as soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. As an orchestral member, he has performed with the New World Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Monmouth Symphony, Bravura Philharmonic, and the Sifodec Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Spano, H. Robert Reynolds, and Eugene Corporon. As a strong proponent of new music, Smith has premiered over 30 works by composers from around the world.

Smith is the director of the Saxophone Program of Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey (YOCJ), the only program of its kind in the United States. At YOCJ, an average of 40 talented saxophonists each year in grades 6-12 perform in a saxophone orchestra setting consisting of sopranino through bass saxophone.

Smith has been featured in publications including the Saxophone Symposium and Saxophone Journal for his research on Jules Massenet and Sergei Prokofiev. In recent years, he has been published in TEMPO Magazine.

Smith is currently Adjunct Professor at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City NJ where he teaches music history. He currently maintains a private teaching studio in Hightstown NJ.

He earned his D.M.A. from Rutgers University, M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music, and a B.M. from The College of New Jersey. He studied principally with Paul Cohen, and has completed additional studies with John Sampen, Ken Radnofsky, Jean-Michel Goury, and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet. He can be heard on Navona, Ravello, Blue Griffin, and Carrier Records.

Daniel Kochersberger

tenor saxophone

Daniel Kochersberger, originally of Canandaigua NY, is a saxophonist actively participating in the NYC contemporary music scene. Kochersberger is a founding member of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, the Epoch Saxophone Duo, and is the saxophonist for the New York-based ensemble Contemporaneous (www.contemporaneous.org). He has performed and recorded with artists such as David Byrne, Rinde Eckert, and Jherek Bischoff in new music venues including Times Square, Lincoln Center, (le) poisson rouge, the Flea Theater, NYU’s Skirball Center, National Sawdust, and Roulette.

In addition to orchestral appearances with the New World Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Mansfield Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, Kochersberger has performed as a soloist and chamber player with Beth Morrison Productions, Experiments in Opera, Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra, and the Brooklyn College Wind Ensemble.

Kochersberger is a senior faculty member at Cornerstone Music Studios in Millstone NJ, and has a thriving saxophone studio based in Central New Jersey.

Bryan McNamara

baritone saxophone

Bryan McNamara began his music-making career at age 6 in his upstate New York church handbell choir. The saxophone came next at age 10. 22 years later, he is a versatile and happily busy musician, educator, and arts administrator. Macnamara performs with Singularity, the saxophone quartet he co-founded in 2013. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Charles Wuorinen wrote that Singularity “brought a wonderful life and spirit” to his work in their 2015 Carnegie Hall debut.

His saxophone teachers include Wildy Zumwalt, Patrick Meighan, Carina Rascher, and Laura FitzGerald. Macnamara’s performances include Philip Venables’ opera 4.48 Psychosis with Contemporaneous at the 2019 Prototype Festival, the October 2018 world premiere of David Lang’s Mile Long Opera on the High Line in New York City and the U.S. premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain with New York City Opera. Macnamara has performed as a saxophonist on The Princeton Festival’s production of Nixon in China with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson, Princeton Symphony Orchestra with Rossen Milanov, Lucas Richman, and John Devlin, and in a co-presentation by the New World Symphony and Miami City Ballet.

Macnamara enjoys his position as Instrumental Music Teacher at Haddon Township High School, where he leads the concert, marching, and jazz bands, conducts the pit orchestra, and teaches courses in guitar, music technology, and video production.

Notes

The 21st century saxophone quartet enjoys an abundance of brilliant, complex, and demanding music requiring the highest level of technical preparation and musical awareness. Younger and emerging quartets often struggle with this music, resulting in performances focused on individual part preparation and ensemble coordination, but lacking musical understanding. While players are left with the pride of technical accomplishment, they miss the deeper musical experience.

Emerging saxophone quartets need a body of excellent works that will allow nuanced technical development combined with artistic fulfillment. It is part of their growth to evolve into musicians and not just technicians; to embrace the totality of a musically complete performance.

The compositions on this album are especially suited to this goal. They work well in any performance setting but are less technical, with musical ideas more quickly and easily grasped. The satisfaction and awareness of a complete musical experience are as important as learning the complexities of more technical works. It is just as important to the player’s performing aesthetic as any technical accomplishment.

Enjoy these wonderful saxophone quartets!

Clarence Barber’s works for saxophone are diversified in their settings and musical language. Two Bagatelles was written for saxophonist David Schwartz, as was his first quartet, Vignettes. His other works for saxophone include Kiribilli for solo alto saxophone, Lincolnshire Whimsy for saxophone ensemble (SSAAATTBBs), Vestiges of Sorrow for alto saxophone, tuba and percussion, and New York Concerto, a four movement concerto for alto saxophone and wind ensemble.

Barber taught public school in Ohio for 31 years, including 21 years with the Midview Local Schools. A graduate of Kent State University, Barber studied composition with Walter Watson and Ralph Turek and percussion with Larry Snider, Michael Rosen, and James Adkins. Currently the band editor for LudwigMasters Publications and Southern Music, he has served on the adjunct faculty at the Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music and Lorain County Community College. His compositions have been played around the world, including many written for his students at Midview and for members of the United States Air Force and Army Bands, and members of the Cleveland Orchestra. As a percussionist, he has been a member of the Akron and Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestras, the Blossom Festival Band, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Virginia Grand Military Band, Strongsville Community Band, and the Patriot Symphonic Band.

Lawson Lunde was a Chicago based composer and pianist whose numerous compositions for saxophone are noted for their lyricism and rhythmic energy. As a pianist he appeared at the age of 14 with the Chicago Symphony and he later studied composition with Vittorio Rieti and Robert Delaney. His published works for saxophone include a saxophone quartet, sonatas for alto, soprano, and tenor, plus works for unaccompanied alto, a chamber duet for cello and alto saxophone, and a duo for alto and tenor.

Lunde wrote that the Suite for Saxophone Quartet was “composed for a quartet which had been assembled by Dr. Cecil Leeson at Northwestern University. It was the first of a number of saxophone compositions of mine. Dr. Leeson was very enthusiastic about it and urged me to continue to write saxophone music. The first ideas that I had for the entire suite were very modal in nature and the end result was a work which is, for me, uncharacteristically modal.”

Everett Gates was on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music where he taught theory and composition for many years. His works for saxophone are noted for their rhythmic vitality and distinctive American harmonies and melodies. His two well-known works for saxophone, Declamation and Dance for SATB quartet (1961) and Incantation and Ritual (1963) for solo soprano saxophone were written for Sigurd and Karina Rascher while they were affiliated with Eastman.

Foursome is an earlier quartet from 1957, also dedicated to Sigurd Rascher, probably when they met at Oklahoma University for the filming of Rascher’s educational film, The Saxophone. Foursome, scored for AATB quartet, is a delightful, whimsical work, steeped in Americana while geared to younger players.

Richard Lane was a native of Paterson NJ and graduated from the Eastman School of Music where he studied composition with Louis Mennini, Wayne Barlow, and Bernard Rogers. He is the recipient of both the Eastman School Recording and Publication Award and a Ford Foundation Grant. His works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Australia, as well as in Mexico and the Soviet Union.

Lane’s compositions include chamber, choral, and band works in addition to piano solos and concertos and works for voice and piano. In addition to his Quartet, his published works for saxophone include a Suite for Alto Saxophone (recorded on the CD American Landscapes by Paul Cohen), Executive Suite for trumpet and alto saxophone, as well as Tarantella for soprano saxophone and wind ensemble. He has been recorded on the Mercury, Brass Unlimited, and Music Minus One labels.

The Quartet for Saxophones is in five stylistically contrasting movements. The first movement, “Prelude,” is a joyous march-like fanfare. The second movement features a waltz that highlights the lyricism of the soprano saxophone. This is followed by “Fugue-Like,” which is a modern exploration of a centuries-old musical construction popularized by Bach. The fourth movement, “Lament,” is the most emotionally expressive music of the quartet, featuring an expansive alto saxophone solo. The final movement repeats the first movement, bringing the listener full circle.

During the Renaissance (1450-1600), there emerged an increased number of works for consorts, or ensembles, of instruments. While vocal works were still dominant at the time, these instrumental works were the beginning of a continued development towards our modern instrumental ensembles.

The saxophone quartet, with its expansive dynamic range and wide palette of instrumental colors, has proven to be a whole consort unto itself. Quartet performances of Renaissance songs and dances have a vitality, beauty, and haunting character that reveals the music of the Renaissance in a stunning fashion. The Renaissance Book, arranged by Paul Cohen in 1979, captures the spirit of this music through six brief pieces from the period. The Renaissance Book will take the listener through dances, hunting tunes, and songs of love and revelry. Published by Galaxy Music in 1979, Cohen created a 2nd Renaissance book that was published by To the Fore Publishers.