Saxophone Quartet Book
|Instumentation||Chamber Ensemble/ Saxophone Ensemble/ Woodwind Ensemble|
The Vaclav Nelhybel Edition
The SAXOPHONE QUARTET BOOK is a collection of short pieces which can be used as training material or as a source from which a certain number of movements can be chosen for performance, as a suite in concert.
The primary concern is musicianship: the players’ read from the full score in order to become aware of the relation of all four lines, thus developing a sense of ensemble hearing.
The tempo indications are meant as a point of reference: fast pieces can be tried faster, slow ones slower, according to the technical ability of the group.
If more than four players are available – for instance, two quartets – the first quartet plays the opening phrase then, in a logical spot, the second quartet takes over and, again, in an appropriate moment, both quartets play together.
First published in 1968, the SAXOPHONE QUARTET BOOK is a collection of 42 short pieces. They are generally arranged from easier pieces to more advanced ones, from shorter to longer, but the alignment is not rigid. One can feel free to permute them when selecting some for performance. It is the style of Nelhybel to share themes and motifs amongst all players in the ensemble, building a piece like an architectural structure in marble. In many cases, there is no classification as melody, counter-melody, harmony, and bass. One can enjoy from antique to contemporary pieces in which the world of Nelhybel is condensed even in a plain manner. It is no exaggeration to say that this book is a microcosm of Nelhybel’s art, comparable to Béla Bartók’s piano collection, “Mikrokosmos”.
The score is well notated with clearing marking of accent, tenuto, and staccato. All in all, clear pronunciation is required (the tenuto mark also needs a deep attack). However, it is not a favorable attitude to seek excessively stimulating expressions. Many courtesy accidentals (mostly with parentheses) are adopted, not only where the accidental appeared previously is canceled, but also for clarity where another accidental pitch appears in the other parts previously or at the same instant, and where there is an augmented or diminished pitch in the line.
The original publication was a four-stave full score form, which meant that each player read from a complete score. In this publication, we have prepared individual parts, but ehs score is also carefully edited so that each player does not have to turn the page in a piece. Paying regard to Nelhybel’s advice, we recommend players practice and perform with the score.