Classical CD Reviews
Serenade = Music for Saxophone & Piano by M. ZACHARY JOHNSON: Adagio; Solitude; Serenade; Scherzo; Grand Sonata for alto sax & piano – Brian Horner, saxophone/Elizabeth Avery, piano – Sound Artist Records
Published on March 10, 2009
M. Zachary Johnson’s music is strongly in the Romantic style, but also has more of a 21st-century feeling to it than some thoroughly tonal composers. He has written extensively for both small and large ensembles, and has a symphonic group in NYC which performs his larger works. The scene in Cyrano de Bergerac when Cyrano is serenading Roxanne was the inspiration for this collection of pieces for solo sax and sax and piano. A romantic yet modern tone is felt in all the works on the program.
The wide-range, yet warm and vibrant tone of Horner demonstrates what a fine sound the saxophone can produce in classical chamber music. Both Horner and Johnson are associated with Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, and Horner is also owner of the Sound Artist Support record label which supports independent artists and musicians.
– John Sunier