From the New Century Saxophone Quartet's Latest
Release: Fall 2014
O Northern Star
O Northern Star is an original composition of the New Century
Saxophone Quartet's tenor saxophonist, Stephen Pollock. It is
inspired by folk music he heard as a youngster, as well as by his
habit, whenever traveling, to locate Polaris, the North Star, in the
evening sky. The work was premiered at the Wildacres Retreat in the
mountains of North Carolina in 2001. This video was shot on the
grounds of Wildacres.
Veracruz was commissioned by the New Century Saxophone Quartet
in 2010 as part of their folk music project. The arranger, Jose
Riojas, writes: "The piece is a collage of Mexican folk songs
originally from the state of Veracruz called Son Jarochos (one of my
favorite types of songs), many of which have been set and made
popular through the Mariachi idiom. I’ve had contact with this music
my entire life: from my parents and grandparents singing the songs
around the house all the way to eventually performing much of this
music myself. In setting this for saxophone quartet, I did not
intend to simply use the material or create something new from the
existing folk material, but to create an honest and stylistically
authentic setting of the original songs as I have come to know them.
I hope the result to be a virtuosic and rhythmic showcase for
saxophone quartet that can bring the listener close to this style of
folk music. The songs woven together throughout the piece include El
Balaju, Veracruz, La Bamba, Le Canto Mi Veracruz, El Cascabel, and
Robert Burns My Wife's a Wee Winsome Thing
You knew Robert Burns was a poet. But did you know he was
also a composer? Several of these tunes of his are set for saxophone
quartet by Paul Harvey.
Stephen Pollock O Northern Star
This work by the New Century's tenor saxophonist was inspired by
the amazing night sky in Alaska, where he spent much of his youth.
Jacob ter Veldhuis:
Heartbreakers (1999, rev. 2004): Promo Heartbreakers is multimedia work, here arranged for New Century
by the composer, samples material from American talk shows against a
jazz-inspired score. It is at once moving and controversial.
J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue (1750)
Contapunctus VII [2:13]; Contrapunctus XI [5:43]