Ebonit Saxophone Quartet

The Last Words of Christ
Ebonit Saxophone Quartet: 'Our debut CD is a combination of the "Seven Last Words" by Haydn with XXcentury music. The piece by Haydn is the basis of the whole program and the special and unique thing is that we replaced some of the movements with pieces by Reger, Webern, Sibelius and Shostakovich. Those pieces are fitting in the tonal and dramatic dramatic progression of the whole Seven Last Words. In the original oratorio version there is a short text which is read before every piece/track. We chose for the putting this text in the recording is, to set the mood for every movement of the piece and to give sort of guideline throughout the entire piece. The listener after litening to the text read by Claron will get sort of information, introduction and we suppose that is going to listen to it in a different way. We "invite" a listener to reflect of certain values like love, pain, suffering, which are part of everyones life and are the main thematic of the Seven Last Words. All the pieces except Webern are arranged by members of the quartet which is a very special aspect. Those are arrangements done specially for our formation, adjusted for us. (First we arrange the score and then while working on it together we adapt things which fit for us) Played on the saxophone quartet pieces which are mainly for string quartet gives a new, fresh, innovative way of listening to it.'

The choral texts form the foundations and framework of this special cycle that has been assembled by the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet. Singer and voice artist Claron McFadden takes on the ‘role’ of the Bishop and the four saxophones provide musical meditations on the spoken word. The music being performed includes three movements from Haydn’s cycle and four compositions from much later dates: Nachtlied (1914) by Max Reger, Langsamer Satz (1905) by Anton Webern, the third movement of Voces Intimae (1909) by Jean Sibelius and the third movement of the Seventh String Quartet (1960) by Dmitri Shostakovich. Haydn concluded the cycle with the horrifying Il terremoto (the Earthquake) but in this cycle we hear the agitated music of Shostakovich. The pieces by Reger, Webern and Sibelius are permeated respectively by feelings of contemplation, yearning and intense grief; moods that comprehensively encapsulate the impact of the words from the Cross.

Challenge Classics
Catalog number
CC 72701
Release date
3 February 2016