The reedy consonance of four saxophones will be supplemented by two guest musical voices of a more delicate and ethereal nature on Thursday, as the Amherst Saxophone Quartet welcomes flutist Rhonda Schwartz and harpist Beth Anne Breneman for the first of three concerts called "Sax, Harp & Flute." Thursday's opener will be at 8:30 p.m. in the Calumet Arts Cafe, followed by a 7 p.m. repeat on Sunday in the Nichols School's Boocock Library and an 8 p.m. wrap-up on Monday in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo's North Campus. The guest artists will join the quartet in the first performance of what tenor saxophonist Steve Rosenthal describes as a "sort of collective transcription" of Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, K 299. "It's odd," he added, "in playing this work we are obviously still a quartet, but we seem to have adopted a more orchestral sonority and balance." These three concerts will conclude the ensemble's 17th season, and will also include a performance of the longest work on their highly acclaimed "Bach on Sax" CD, the Bach Overture No. 6 in G minor, BWV-1070, as transcribed by Harry Fackelman. In addition there will be a reprise of the 1987 "Petite Suite" by Ira Kraemer, written for and dedicated to the ASQ, the first complete performance of Buffalo composer-clarinetist Allen Sigel's "Homage to Gershwin," plus the usual signature assortment of jazz and rags, this time including a brand-new rag just written by the quartet's alto, Russ Carere.
-- Herman Trotter