As a sax and piano duo, we revel in the fact that our lives are filled with exciting contemporary pieces that stretch our definitions and our capabilities. In this collection, however, we've indulged ourselves in precisely the opposite. We simply wanted to offer recordings of some of our favorite, more romantic compositions. Only two of these works were originally conceived with performance on a saxophone in mind, though we hope you'll agree that the saxophone's voice sings each of them beautifully.
"Christopher Creviston is one of the world’s top saxophone artists ..."
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition, March 2012
"...the most engrossing recordings of the Albright and Muczynski sonatas that I now know ... I am coming late to this fine pair of artists. If you already knew about them, forgive the belated gush. If you are uninitiated, as I was, waste no further time in rectifying that.
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine, Sept/Oct 2012
"Creviston has the personality and fingers of a first-rate soloist ... He phrases with great color and sincerity—his pianissimo extreme is especially good—and he has the ability to keep up with any flurry of notes on the page... The programming is a good blend of the standard and the new..."
American Record Guide
"Any saxophonist who wants to have a solo classical career still has to keep one foot in the jazz world, which this virtuoso does with aplomb..."
The New Yorker Magazine
"...a superlative alto and soprano saxophonist..."
Peter Leavy, Cabaret Scenes
Indoors, NSO's Labor Of Love
“…the Saxophone Fantasia by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Saxophonist Christopher Creviston trod lightly on this rhapsodic piece, allowing it to shine and glimmer as it should.”
Don Maclean, Washington Post
REGARDING THE "SNELL SESSIONS" CD
released on Albany Records in 2011
"Remarkable ... Sensitive, transparent, powerful music making that causes one to hold their breath often ... Bravo ... this needs to be heard ..."
"Fabulous and spectacular work ... A great and varied program that displays tremendous artistry..."
"Christopher and Hannah give a highly imaginative and expressive performance of my Fantaisie. They totally understand all the musical intentions hidden behind the notes."
"...the recording of Mantis--the whole disc sounds great, and the Albright performance is especially powerful..."
REGARDING THE "COLUMBIA SESSIONS" CD
released on Albany Records in 2011
******************** RONALD E. GRAMES, FANFARE MAGAZINE, SEPT/OCT 2012 ********************
"With so many fine saxophonists out there recording for labels big, small, and custom, it is hard not to become blasé about yet another. I predict, however, that this recital by Christopher Creviston will reinvigorate even the most jaded of collectors ... an amazing technical display, playing figures and runs in the highest range of his instrument (and above: pianissimo altissimo!) where others are happy to simply produce an unpinched tone. Throughout the recital, he performs music posing a multitude of challenges, all with the same apparent ease, and with uncommon refinement and imagination as well. Creviston uses his wide range of tone qualities--from ultra-smooth to slightly tart and reedy--as a foil to his subtle, perceptive phrasing and flawless control of vibrato. He is matched in matters of virtuosity and style by his equally impressive and expressive duo partner Hannah Gruber.
The program is an appealing combination of the familiar and the new ... As for new works: the two contrasting Preludes for Alto Saxophone and Piano by Vancouver-based composer Dorothy Chang were written for Creviston in 1993 ... "Prestissimo" demands bursts of digital facility from both of the partners and ability to follow a constantly shifting pulse. The second prelude concludes with a glissando up to an altissimo concert b7, something one must hear to believe ...
Okay, one complaint: there could have been 20 more minutes of this aural pleasure. But then, that can be found in this duo's release from summer 2011, The Snell Sessions. That CD is too short as well, but still manages to offer the most engrossing recordings of the Albright and Muczynski sonatas that I now know ... I am coming late to this fine pair of artists. If you already knew about them, forgive the belated gush. If you are uninitiated, as I was, waste no further time in rectifying that...."
******************** DANIEL COOMBS, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, MARCH 2012 ********************
"Excellent saxophone playing and a very creative program!
Christopher Creviston is one of the world's top saxophone artists with a performance resume that ranges from the Apollo Theatre in Harlem to Carnegie Hall. He is an incredibly versatile player with experience in both the worlds of classical repertory as well as many jazz and pop concerts. Hannah Gruber ... has done everything from classical piano concertos to international saxophone festivals. In fact, the saxophone repertory seems to be one of her specialties as she has worked with many of the most prominent saxophonists all over the world.
This disc showcases both of these amazing artists quite well and is, quite simply, one of the most impressive solo saxophone recital recordings I have ever heard ... Albany also has their first solo "tour" album, the "Snell Sessions." The program here is not just exceptionally well played; it is very interesting and great fun to listen to.
I have always loved the Poulenc Flute Sonata with its idiomatic lilting phrases and vacillations between the melancholic and the buoyant and long lines built of quick, wispy passages. The best thing I can say is how impressive Creviston's soprano saxophone playing is! It is practically flute-like in its tone and balance. The soprano saxophone is an instrument that can sound shrill and cutting in the altissimo register but the playing here is warm, beautiful and so well adjusted to this music; it almost seems like it was intended for soprano saxophone, not flute. Another prime example is the Fantasia by Villa-Lobos. A lot of Villa-Lobos has a perky, syncopated and quasi-Latin feel to it. The soprano sax Fantasia is actually one his better known solo works and the saxophone and piano version gets performed more often than the original orchestration. Here too, this piece is crafted to show off the very unusual timbre of the instrument, but treacherous moments abound. Christopher Creviston has a very pure balanced sound even "way up there" and a facile technique that shows this work for the masterwork that it is.
Claude Delvincourt is a new name for me ... The music is charming and seems quite "French" with touches of Milhaud and Ravel. There are jazz-inflected sections and airy exotic sounds evocative of the world cultures that created the tasty morsels by which the movements are named. This is a nice work and stands out from all else on the program for its uniqueness and somewhat rarity.
Dorothy Chang wrote her Two Preludes for Creviston ... an aggressive and energy filled work with some actively syncopated passages and propulsive "nervousness" that carries it forth, giving both players a lot of opportunity to excel ...
This terrific disc concludes with the Concert Suite by William Bolcom, one of my favorite composers and former student of Milhaud. As Bolcom acknowledges, there are plenty of upper register notes in this piece to take advantage of the skills of the well known sax virtuoso Donald Sinta, for whom it was written. Creviston's performance and this piece, itself, are plenty impressive for that fact, indeed. However, like much of Bolcom's music, there is a crossover feel to the work, relying on jazz motives and some pop culture ...
This really is one of the most fun and most impressive solo classical saxophone discs I have encountered. Saxophone really is one of those instruments that many, many people play well and a select few are truly impressive - like Christopher Creviston..."