Prayer of St. Francis
Donald Sinta Quartet performs Elegy on their debut CD from Concert Artists Guild.
Flex is the highly anticipated release by the virtuosic Capitol Quartet recorded by Scott Burgess of White Pine Music. The disc features my fast, hocketing Run along with the grooving title track by Perry Goldstein and works by John Fitz Rogers, Whitney Ashe and Mark Weiser. This project was created with generous support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
“I have heard a number of works by Gregory Wanamaker, who seems to specialize in high quality music for wind instruments in particular. Run is a fairly brief and very brisk run-like work that does echo Bartok and other composers whose works contain unusual meters and some polytonal harmonies. It is a fascinating work, though, that does not sound academic.”
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition, February 2, 2014
Robert Young is my favorite saxophonist. He can play anything. Especially saxophone. And he can play anything on the saxophone.
Bobby is also a good friend, and an excellent human being. You should buy his debut solo album Hybrid.
Along with definitive recordings of music by David Heinick, Tim Sullivan, Baljinder Sekhon, and Mischa Zupko, Hybrid features a tremendous performance of my …unsettled, unphased… featuring Bobby on tenor saxophone, Tim Sullivan on an extended drum set, bassist John Geggie, and pianist M. Maxwell Howard. I composed this work for Bobby and Tim in 2014.
“The album comes to a close with …unsettled, unphased… by Gregory Wanamaker, a work for tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drum set. Young is again joined by Sullivan on drums, as well as by pianist M. Maxwell Howard and bassist John Geggie. No stranger to the saxophone world, Wanamaker contributes an interesting chamber work that combines Eastern European rhythms with a number of 20th-century harmonic techniques for jazz combo instrumentation. The piece begins in medias res as Young and the ensemble play tight mixed meter grooves that invoke equal parts jazz and Bartók-esque ethnic dance rhythms. This energetic dance section returns frequently in what the composer refers to as a “sonata-rondo hybrid.” In the middle of the work, a floating bass solo is contrasted by the harsh tones of saxophone multiphonic techniques. A vigorous rock-like march decorated with tenor altissimo leads to a final coda version of the dance-groove section. Wanamaker’s …unsettled, unphased… is both a stimulating and fitting conclusion to an album inspired by a melting pot of styles and genres.”
Dr. Christopher Barrick
“By turns frenetic and soulful, the five pieces on this new release plunge a listener sharply into the world of the Akropolis Reed Quintet, a sharp, sleek ensemble out of the University of Michigan. Four of the pieces were commissioned by the group, and they share a fondness for funky rhythms, angular textures and slightly aggressive rhetoric — all of which might make the disc a little wearying in the aggregate if the music weren’t so shapely and smart. Moreover, the lyrical episodes that are scattered throughout — particularly the slow movements of the title work by Gregory Wanamaker, and John Steinmetz’s concluding ‘Sorrow & Celebration,’ which calls for participation from the audience — are pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace. Leading off is the startling, ingenious “Jesus Is Coming” by the Dutch composer known as Jacob TV, which builds densely layered textures from taped samples of two small children and a terrifyingly unhinged New York street preacher. It’s a piece you can’t unhear.”
— Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle, April 24, 2017
Citizens of Nowhere is the new album from saxophonist Jan Berry Baker and clarinetist Kenneth Long. This album features a beautiful performance of my Duo Sonata alongside brand new works by Perry Goldstein, Nikitas Demos, and others. This recording is not to be missed!
Clarikinetics contains Deborah Bish’s recordings of many of my clarinet works including my Sonata for clarinet and piano, clarikinetics, Duo Sonata, and Mid-Winter Waking. Released on MarkCustom Records, this CD features performances by Deborah Bish as a soloist and in collaboration with pianist Valerie Trujillo, saxophonist Patrick Meighan and mezzo-soprano Wanda Brister.
Crosscurrents is a collection of recordings from saxophonist Noah Getz and pianist Jeffrey Chappell for Albany Records. Featuring new works inspired by jazz, blues and world musics, Crosscurrentscontains a very creative interpretation of my Sonata deus sax machina.
PRISM Quartet’s Dedication was released on Innova Records on May 31. Along with my speed metal organum blues, Dedication features 23 short works composed in 2004 in celebration of the Quartet’s 20th anniversary. Music by Tim Berne, William Bolcom, Zack Browning, Robert Capanna, Donnacha Dennehy, Dennis DeSantis, Nick Didkovsky, Jason Eckardt, Roshanne Etezady, Reneé Favand-See, Perry Goldstein, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Matthew Levy, Keith Moore, Greg Osby, Frank J. Oteri, James Primosch, Tim Ries, Adam Silverman, Ken Ueno, Gregory Wanamaker, and Chen Yi.
“Consider the controlled violence in a work like Gregory Wanamaker’s speed metal organum blues (which sounds just about like you might expect from the title), the peppy cross rhythms of Jennifer Higdon’s Bop, the humor of Frank J. Oteri’s four-movement Fair and Balanced?, and the lyricism of Adam B. Silverman’s Just a Minute, Chopin, for starters: all of these little works receive committed, precise performances, and there really are few dull moments on the entire 26-item program.”
James Manheim, AllMusic
“From the frantic, florid playing required by Gregory Wanamaker’s speed metal organum blues to the melancholy of Renée Favand-See’s isolation, this set of birthday dedications offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of one of the essential contemporary music groups of our time.”
One Sheet Text, Innova Records website
Eos Sextet, from Phoenix Arizona, recorded Counterpunch as a loud concert opener or closer. Dig their new digital album Eos!
Five New Works for Cello was released March 1, 2009 on the Albany Records label. Orginally an independent release performed and produced by cellist Mathias Wexler, it was recorded at the Crane School of Music in 2002 by John Jungklaus. This disc features my virtuoso cello work Metallicellissimo.
“…Wanamaker’s Metallicellissimo comes out of the energy and virtuosity of heavy metal guitar solos. It makes fearsome demands of its soloist, challenges that only seem to inspire Wexler.”
Colin Clarke, Fanfare, June 11, 2009
The Arizona-based duo Velocity2‘s debut album Flux contains the fifth commercial recording of my Duo Sonata. Clarinetist John Masserini and saxophonist Jonathan Bergeron give a beautifully sensitive reading of the second movement, Elegy. This disc also includes Marcus Maroney’s excellent Chameleon II, and other works.
yes, with a BANG! was commissioned by Christopher Creviston and Arizona State University for the Arizona State University Saxophones.
Timothy McAllister’s new album Glint contains the definitive new recording of my Duo Sonata featuring clarinet virtuoso Robert Spring. It is now available at Amazon and other fine dealers. Glint also contains works by Kati Agocs, Daniel Asia, Caleb Burhans, Roshanne Etezady, Philippe Hurel, Kristin Kuster and Peter Terry.
“Duo Sonata for sax and, its brother, the clarinet (Robert Spring) is by Gregory Wanamaker. The two instruments are Icarus twins. They fill in each others notes, fly in aerobatic formation, encourage contemplation and indulge in jazz-jamming and minimalist caprice in the Blues finale.”
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb-International
“Fellow single-reed dynamo Robert Spring joins in on the action in a pair of awe-inspiring alto saxophone/clarinet duets – Gregory Wanamaker’s Duo Sonata and Etezady’s Glint. These two pieces stretch the upper sonic limits, leave the listener gasping for air with endless circular breathing, and display a blitzkrieg of notes only the most daring of performers would attempt.”
One Sheet Text, Innova Records website
In Transit features the definitive recording of Sonata deus sax machina, and other virtuoso performances by saxophonist Timothy McAllister and pianist Kathryn Goodson. Released on the Innova label, In Transit is currently available in fine stores everywhere.
“Wanamaker’s brief, energetic sonata (commissioned by McAllister) explores different types of motion and energy (moto perpetuo, stasis, and ‘rondo psycho’), themes that run through the entire program.”
American Record Guide Jan/Feb 2007
“Wanamaker takes the sax into uncharted mechanical terrain…”
One Sheet Text, Innova Records website
Inbox is the premiere CD of Ensemble Radieuse. Released in May 2003, Inbox features new music for flute, oboe, and piano including my work Triaria as well as pieces by Scott Robbins, Marc Satterwhite, Joseph Schwantner, Robert Beaser, and others.
The Society for New Music commissioned Carrie Mae Weems and me to create A Story Within A Story in 2011. Music Here and Now features the complete score for this multimedia work conducted by Cynthia Johnson Turner as part of a 2 CD album of music from the Heart of New York.
Music by composers Rob Deemer, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Zhou Tian, Jorge Villavicencio Grossman, ‘Doctuh’ Mike Woods, and Mark Olivieri is also featured.
Robert Spring’s sensational new disc Oncoming Traffic has been released on Summit Records. Featuring Spring’s definitive recording of my Duo Sonatawith saxophonist Timothy McAllister, this long awaited cd also contains works by John Mackey, Roshanne Etezady, and Scott McAllister.
“Gregory Wanamaker’s Duo Sonata was, for me, another high point. This is another amazing piece for clarinet and saxophone and another attention getting performance by Spring and McAllister. The Wanamaker exists in four movements, each of which explores the range, color and expressive qualities of the clarinet and saxophone separately and almost as one unified timbre. The Elegy (second movement) is a very poignant departure in tone from almost everything else on this album, having been written in response to the 9-11 tragedy. A very compelling work.”
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition
Elysian Quartet’s debut album, Red, opens with a spirited performance of my speed metal organum blues, and features music by Joel Love, Marc Mellits, Guillermo Lago, Thierry Escaich, and Antonio Vivaldi.
Details to come!
Brandon Jinwoo Choi and Hyun Ji Oh recorded my Sonata deus sax machina for their new Oikos Records release Saxophone Sonatas. Soon to be available NOW on Amazon and iTunes, the physical copy of the CD is available through his website, and the album is also available for download here.
This is the third commercial recording of my deus sax machina – and it’s a good one! The disc also features a beautiful transcription of Ravel’s Sonatine, and the great saxophone sonatas by Paul Creston and William Albright. Be sure to check it out!
Blue Griffin Records
This duo, formed in 2005, has begun building a repertoire ranging from baroque and classical transcriptions to contemporary concert literature. Three Reeds has performed in a variety of venues throughout the country, from collegiate recitals, to conferences, to wedding ceremonies. In 2011, the Three Reeds Duo was awarded the Donald Derby Professorship at Northwestern State University, where they are both professors on their respective instruments. Through this grant, Three Reeds commissioned four new works for oboe/saxophone duo and premiered these works at the 2012 NASA Conference in Arizona and the World Saxophone Congress in Scotland. In 2015, Three Reeds Duo was the winner of the Alford Professorship at Northwestern State University allowing them to record their debut CD, signals cross. To their knowledge, this is the first CD ever recorded of oboe/saxophone duos.
Iridium Quartet’s second release, Skylines, closes with the debut recording of the saxophone quartet version of my Elegy, and features music by Peter Lieuwen, Steve Daniel, Carl Schimmel, and David Rakowski.
The Iridium Quartet has been called a “superb group” by Fanfare Magazine and praised by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass as giving “a stunning performance … with elegance and grace.” Composers and audiences have commented “displaying an impressive balance of intense control and abandon with tremendous precision.” The quartet draws upon a rich history of over ten years of collaboration between saxophonists Paul Nolen, Marcos Colón, Paul Forsyth, and Eric Lau.
Thrash is the debut album by the Creviston-Fader Duo. Featuring my Three Episodes, this disc features music for saxophone and electric guitar by Whitney Ashe, Dorothy Chang, David Claman, Brian Coughlin, Michael Djupstrom, John Anthony Lennon and a blistering performance of the title track by Eric Schwartz. Engineered by Scott Burgess for White Pine Music, this project was created with generous support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
“On the quieter side, Three Episodes by Greg Wanamaker has a playful, jazzy feel to it that I admired, as do a lot of Wanamaker’s works…”
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition, February 20, 2014
1. DES ONDES ET LES TEMPS
Casey Grev, Tenor Saxophone
2. …UNSETTLED, UNPHASED…
Robert Young, Tenor Saxophone – M. Maxwell Howard, Piano – John Geggie, Double Bass – Tim Sullivan, Drumset & Percussion
Akropolis Reed Quintet
Tim Gocklin, Oboe – Kari Landry, Clarinet – Matt Landry, Alto Saxophone – Ryan Reynolds, Bassoon – Andrew Koeppe – Bass Clarinet
4. RAGAHORO BREAKDOWN
Jackie Glazier, Clarinet – Don-Paul Kahl, Alto Saxophone
OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS
5. I. Luminant Shadows
6. II. Flickering Beams, Perpetual Wind
Stephen Page, Alto Saxophone – Liz Ames, Piano
7. OUT OF MIND, INTO BODY
John Friedrichs, Bass Clarinet
Sam Detweiler, Soprano Saxophone – Curren Myers, Alto Saxophone – Fangyi Niu, Alto Saxophone – Grace Chen, Tenor Saxophone – Andrew Lammly, Tenor Saxophone – Justin Rollefson, Baritone Saxophone
9. DES ONDES ET LES TEMPS (REMIX)
Casey Grev, Tenor Saxophone