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Salon Music for Classical Saxophone

Byron Bellows

JAVIER OVIEDO, saxophone

World Premiere Recordings



“The playing is clean, polished, and sensitive... Oviedo handles his free-blowing set-up very well, and his timbre is attractive.”
Hanudel, American Record Guide [March/April 2015]
“Everything [here] is mellifluous, nicely paced, and well balanced between soloist and orchestra: the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble is a very fine group, and Jean-Pierre Schmitt conducts it with sensitivity and style.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [November 2014]
“[Javier Oviedo] is an excellent artist.”
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare [November/December 2014]
“Having worked with Byron for the last few years, I’ve come to get to know him on a much more personal level than most artists do with composers whose works they perform. His sense of beauty, taste and happiness are all part of his fabric and he is able to convey it in his music. Each melody Byron writes calls upon simple human feelings. Whether it’s to describe a lazy afternoon or the memory of someone lost, Byron can easily tap into that place inside each and every one of us which allows us to lose ourselves in the moment. As a performer, I found it quite easy to find the meaning of each piece because Byron paints such a natural picture for us. We only have to open our ears and listen. I hope I came close to his vision.” [Javier Oviedo]

Asked to write liner notes to accompany my compositions, I hesitate, as I prefer the listener to visualize and create their own impressions, allowing them to experience the music without prejudice. These notes are here for you to peruse if you want a minimal insight into the music on this album.

IN THIS HOUSE - A Scottish hideaway, an eclectic country home, a loving couple, blending into a pastoral community with their myriad cats and dogs, equine, sheep, and more. A grasp of wanting to share this moment with the community, the country, and a more loving world.

J’ATTENDS LE PRINTEMPS - The anticipation of spring daffodils and crocuses after a grueling winter of ice and snow.

SIMONE, C’EST MA FOLIE - Paris! The energy and magic of the city! Simone, advanced with style, colour and abandonment, emerges into the night with elated anticipation!

THE MAGIC CHAIR - Your favorite chair – a magic chair, where your mind travels to distant and imaginary places. “Visit somebody who lives ‘cross the sea, be a red robin who lives in a tree, talk to a flower then fly through the air, back home to the magic chair.” (Lyrics from my album, Egg On My Face.)

THE MERRY GO ROUND - You take the white horse and I will take the blue, Side by side waltzing forever we’ll be true, Riding through places we’ve never seen before, Asking for more and for more!” (Also from Egg On My Face.)

MEIN TRAUER FUR BLUMA - A tribute to a beautiful friend. All that was, comes to an end. Continuing on and accepting sorrow, death can be a beginning for those left behind. Reflecting on a motto shared with many: “Open every door.”

Canadian composer Byron Bellows is based in Toronto. The works featured here reflect his continuing journey, and are a witness to the world to which he escapes. Byron is thrilled to share this beautiful, yet sometimes, enigmatical world with you. Born in Saskatchewan, Bellows has had a lifetime of composing. His two stage musicals Circus Lane and Egg On My Face have been performed in Canada. He is best known for his classical compositions, which have been performed both in Canada and the United States, with six World Premieres in New York, the most recent at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed by Javier Oviedo and the Classical Saxophone Chamber Orchestra under Jean-Pierre Schmitt.

One of the brightest soloists of the classical saxophone world, Javier Oviedo is acclaimed for his lustrous tone, passion, musicianship and formidable technique. Oviedo works tirelessly to present the saxophone as a unique, versatile and exciting classical instrument, and his continuing research has helped introduce the rich tradition of musical composition for the entire saxophone family, from sopranino to bass. He has commissioned and premiered a dozen new works, both in the United States and abroad. He is especially prized for his eclectic programs, which range from transcriptions of music by masters such as Bach and Mozart, music of 20th century masters such as Elliot Carter, Paul Hindemith and John Corigliano, in addition to new pieces written expressly for him. An active soloist, Oviedo has performed to great praise across the United States, having appeared with orchestras in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas. Internationally, he toured China, made his South American debut in Argentina, gave a world premiere in Barcelona and appeared with the Orchestre Lamoureux and L’Orchestre à Cordes d’Ariège in France. In spring 2011, he appeared with the National Orchestra of the Republic of Moldova, and later that year with the Oryol State Philharmonic in Russia. Oviedo made his Alice Tully Hall debut in June 2013 performing a newly-commissioned work, Samsara, by Hélène Rasquier, a student of Maurice Duruflé. Along with the New York performance, Oviedo gave the world premiere in Paris, and will give another with the Chattanooga Orchestra in 2015. Inspired by the success of the piece, Rasquier has composed a new work for him, which will be premiered at Weill Recital Hall, before being toured internationally. Also an accomplished chamber musician, Oviedo has performed in recital on many of New York’s prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and the United Nations. He was an original member of the Elision Saxophone Quartet, based in his native Texas, which celebrates its 25th season in 2014. In New York, he was a founding member of the F.R.E.D. Chamber Players, which explored new or under-performed chamber music, theater pieces, plays and art from centuries old and new. Oviedo is a founding member and president of the Classical Saxophone Project, a natural extension of his research and performances. An important mandate of CSP is continuing education, where he works with young and old to keep classical music, and the saxophone, vital parts of the music world. [ www.classicalsaxproject.org ]

Praised for his precision and elegance at the podium, French-born conductor Jean-Pierre Schmitt was trained in the purest French conducting tradition under the tutelage of his friend and mentor Jean Fournet. In France, he worked with the Conservatory Paris V youth orchestras and the International Orchestra. He has since conducted around the world as an invited guest on several occasions to lead the Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Macedonia, National Orchestra of Moldova and State Philharmonic Orchestra of Oryol in Russia. In the United States, Schmitt has conducted the Classic Chamber Orchestra of Connecticut, New York  Lawyers’ Orchestra, Monte Vista Chamber Orchestra in Texas and Louisiana Chamber Orchestra. He is the founder of The French-American Chamber Orchestra in New York, which performed at New York’s finest venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and United Nations headquarters.

In This House
J’attends le Printemps
Simone - C’est ma Folie
The Magic Chair
The Merry Go Round
Mein Trauer fur Bluma
Lazy Afternoon
Three o’Clock
Good Night

MSR Classics
A French Love Story
Features World Premiere …