Wolfe recital blends classical and jazz



Yemi Falodun | Staff Writer

Saxophonist George Wolfe and company will play their brass off in “The Angelic Soprano Saxophone,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. This is the 13th year Ball State saxophonists will perform at Chautauqua.

“We’re presenting a new aspect of the saxophone from a classical point of view,” said Wolfe, a Ball State professor who will be accompanied by some of his students.

The program opens with the late Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s “Tango Etude No. 3.” It also includes “Canonic Sonata No. 4” and “Sonate,” by Georg Philipp Telemann, and David Stern’s “Lyrical Concerto for Soprano saxophone and Chamber Orchestra,” which was written for and dedicated to Wolfe. All those pieces will be interpreted by the Ball State saxophonists, led by Wolfe.

“It’s like if you read a line from a script, you can bring out different shades by how you say it and where you place the emphasis,” Wolfe said about the pieces, which also include “Soleluna,” composed by pianist and fellow Ball State faculty member Jim Rhinehart.

“I wanted to write something that was fun and challenging,” Rhinehart said about the piece, created for saxophonist and graduate assistant Amanda Fratangeli.

“This is also unique because it uses both alto and soprano saxophone,” Wolfe said.

Rhinehart uses samba and bossa nova styles throughout the piece, which also includes a signature element of jazz — improvisation.

“The piece is more Latin-oriented with a fast bass line and accents where you wouldn’t expect them,” he said.

Alongside seasoned performers Wolfe and Rhinehart, 19-year-old saxophonist Cecily Terhune will be making her first trip to Chautauqua.

“My grandma told me about it. And I heard people tell me it’s just a beautiful place,” she said.

The Chautauqua Bookstore has scheduled a book signing for George Wolfe’s The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.