Three Davids – Four Incredible Works

David Salleras Quintana was born in Figueres in the Girona Province of Spain in 1980. During his studies as a saxophonist, he was given the Honour Award of the Liceu Conservatory, the 1st Award by unanimous vote in the class of Jean-Yves Fourmeau (Paris) and has been distinguished with a number of national and international awards. Salleras’ career has been characterized as a composer for saxophone.

He is a passionate fan of popular and contemporary music, and he creates different shows based on improvisation, dance and video-art, and has been invited to numerous festivals and concerts in Spain, Greece, France, South Africa, Brasil, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Hungary. He is currently a member of the Folkincats group and a teacher at the Girona Conservatory. David Salleras plays saxophones by Selmer and Vandoren mouthpieces. His works are published by Edition Dinsic (Barcelona) and Edition Billaudot (Paris).

L’últim sospir (The last breath) is a work which reflects extremely well the music of David Salleras. An accomplishment of themes which appear and disappear with intensity, virtuosity and exaggeration; melodies which are a counterpoint to each other, rhythmical combinations of deep popular roots, and without forgetting a constant counterpoint between the different voices of the quartet. Playing this can only be done viscerally, passionately and with a frenetic dynamism. Music for saxophone needs works of this nature. –Albert Julià, Concert musician and teacher at the Higher Liceu Conservatory

Soñando una nana (Dreaming a lullaby) was inspired by the Lullaby of Falla, with this piece David Salleras takes us to the world of dreams. With a disturbing and intense harmonious melody, dreaming a lullaby travels around the different nocturnal states, creating a unique atmosphere of magic. –Narcís Argemí, Saxophonist and teacher at the Conservatory of Terrassa

Tango pour une princesse désespérée (Tango for a desperate princess) is an extraordinary composition characterized by a strong melodic rhythmic tension, almost desperate, representing in its interior a movement of uneasiness: who plays it transforms contradictory feelings into music, and who listens to it feels constant sentimental unrest. All of this is thanks to the skill of the composer in knowing how to stress all the compositional elements, which make this work unique within its genre. –Vittorio Quinquennalle, Italian saxophonist and international concert musician

Il momento perduto (The time lost) | Forming part of the Egara Saxophone Quartet has allowed me to get to know and follow close at hand the work of David Salleras. His style is precise, clear, and harmonically developed. With influences from Spanish and Latin-American music, he has consolidated an easily recognizable style. In Il momento perduto, he shows the subtleness and expressiveness of this style in a slow andante of great melodic inspiration and strong rhythm, which leaves the listener with their five senses expectant until the piece ends with a final resonance. –Enric Masriera, Saxophonist and teacher at the Municipal School of Girona.

David Werfelmann was born in Portland, Oregon and is an award-winning American composer of instrumental, vocal, and electronic music whose works are widely performed and recorded by ensembles and soloists throughout the US, including, among many other professional and academic ensembles, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. His music is heard frequently at conferences and festivals, such as the NOW HEAR Festival, several North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, the Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States convention, the CSU Fullerton New Music Festival, the Berkeley Arts Festival, and the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. Musicians including Kim Reese, Sara Kind, Andrew Harrison, Alex Sellers, Rafael Liebich, the Madera Quartet, the HOCKET piano duo, and the Hear Now Ensemble have commissioned works by David and frequently perform his music on solo and chamber concerts. David has received music degrees from USC (DMA), Indiana University (MM), and Lawrence University (BM) and is also an active percussionist and committed educator.

Hypercolor is a work in three movements that draws from a number of influences. One may immediately notice the presence of Reich, Adams, and other post-minimalist American composers—especially in the first movement. Quickly repeated rhythmic patterns that advance through slowly changing harmonic fields provide the backdrop over which each member of the quartet plays melodies and grooves.

With its slow and solemn character, the second movement allows the listener to breath as the quartet swells and fades in pensive, organ-like tones. Though undulating rhythms are present throughout, they are always at the service of a tender melody or ethereal chorale. Dynamic and emotional extremes challenge the quartet, beginning and ending with a ghostly hum and passionately singing at the movement’s peak.

The final movement of this work returns once again to the minimalist sensibilities of the first. The quartet is more fragmented here, favoring counterpoint and texture over uniformity and line. Melodies emerge from each instrument, though often in tandem with another and in close imitation or overlap, creating a tightly-woven musical fabric. The quick, lilting rhythms suggest a dance, but more in the way light dances across the surface of water, or the way leaves seem to dance as they fall from the tree.

I want to thank the Barkada Quartet for their masterful performance of this work and for their passionate support of new music. Their artistry is truly inspiring. —David Werfelmann

David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did masters and doctoral study in composition at Michigan State University where his principal teacher was H. Owen Reed. Maslanka’s music for winds has become especially well known. His chamber music includes four wind quintets, five saxophone quartets, and many works for solo instruments and piano. David Maslanka’s compositions are published by Maslanka Press, Carl Fischer, Kjos Music, Marimba Productions, and OU Percussion Press. They have been recorded on numerous labels, including Naxos, Klavier, and several international labels. He has served on the faculties of the SUNY at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, NYU, and Kingsborough Community College of the CUNY, and since 1990 has been a freelance composer. He now lines in Missoula, Montana. David Maslanka is a member of ASCAP.

Recitation Book | A recitation book is a collection of writings, often of a sacred nature, used for readings by a community. The music of this piece draws on old sources for each movement—Bach Chorales, a Gesualdo madrigal, Gregorian Chant. A number of old variation techniques are employed throughout the piece. Recitation Book was composed for, premiered, and first recorded by, the Masato Kumoi Saxophone Quartet of Tokyo, Japan. –David Maslanka

Chris, Justin, Martí, and Steven would like to thank:

Our families….whose undying support and personal influences allowed the four of to come together in perfect cultural and musical harmony.

Every one of our teachers & mentors….there are too many names to name, but needless to say, our musical voice was shaped by your hands.

Members of the Indiana University saxophone studios….Barkada Quartet became what it is today through the support and guidance of our peers, and we will never forget this.

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association….we will always view each and every member of this organization’s staff, board of directors, national advisory council, and financial support team as the impetus for the great journey that became Aventura. We will never forget Mother’s Day…Sunday, May 13th, 2012.

Adam Beck, Dana Booher, Jim DeVaughn, and Joel Jackson….we may have played the notes, but these four individual’s friendship & expertise are the sole reason this project looks and sounds the way it does.

Immanuel Presbyterian Church….Brian Wilhour and the rest of this community’s staff opened their doors to our music, and without them, this project never would have happened.

This project would not have been possible without the generous support of:

Randy Still, Bruno Yoshioka, Pres & Vanessa Lawhon, William Gillespie, Marino & Nancy Galluzzo, Still Transfer Company, Inc., Yoshi & Rebecca Nagaishi, Kaye Allen, Pam O’Rourke, Christina Brisbin, Jeff & Tina Budge, Nathan Budge, Mary Lou Gregory, Kathleen Maxwell & Mostly Saxes, Kevin Arbogast, Kristina La Marca, Randy & Nancy Griffis, Gene & Mary Sue Still, Xavier Gimeno, Adrià Lapiedra Prats, Tom & Donna Dietrick, Adam Arango, Kenari Quartet (Kyle Baldwin, Steven Banks, Corey Dundee, & Bob Eason), Bonnir Riddle, & John Urban.