A Journey in Music

Elliott Bark, Perry Goldstein, Christian Lauba, Jean Matitia, Arodi Martínez Serrano, Lan-In Winnie Yang

SCOTT LITROFF, saxophone

World Premiere Recordings



"The mission of SaxSpectrum 3: New Music for Saxophone is stated at the outset of the liner notes: 'SaxSpectrum 3, a continuation of the SaxSpectrum series, is a collection of new and stylistically diverse music for saxophone. All compositions were commissioned, written for, or written by Glen Gillis to promote the saxophone and the work of Canadian composers.'... Throughout, Glen Gillis is the brilliant, unifying force. His playing exemplifies the concept of a virtuoso: an artist who is able to surmount every technical, stylistic, and expressive challenge, and by doing so, make great music. Gillis’s facility in rapid passages, his beautiful, singing tone, and convincing embrace of the multitude of musical styles are of the highest level. Gillis’s collaborators are impressive as well. Special kudos are due to trumpeter Richard Gillis for his stylish playing and warm tone. There is fine recorded sound. The liner notes are succinct and informative. This is a marvelous release."
Ken Meltzer, Fanfare [September/October 2022]
"If your curiosity is piqued by [this album's concept], such a varied program will have immediate appeal. To this can be added Litroff’s fluid technique and obvious joy in performing, ably aided by French pianist Matthieu Cognet... There’s no doubting Ltiroff’s abilities and his generosity in commissioning new works for his instrument. Four stars: a unique, imaginative program."
Huntley Dent, Fanfare [May/June 2022]
"Imagine landing in Oaxaca, where a rhapsodic alto saxophonist and sultry pianist serenade you with an expansive, loosely knit, multi-thematic waltz. You’ve just heard Arrullo Caprichoso by the prolific Mexican saxophonist and composer Arodi Martinéz Serrano, and the piece immediately takes effect, as if you’ve imbibed a musical margarita... [In Elliott Bark’s Three Places in South Korea] I hear engaging, accessible, and brilliantly performed character pieces... The two sections of Goldstein’s Heaven are respectively based on a Spiritual and a prison song. I’m impressed by how these two fastidious classical artists idiomatically convey the music’s blues-based characteristics, without a trace of stiffness... The musicians toss off the concluding Crazy Rag with dazzling finesse and nonchalance. In sum, an intelligently curated, impeccably executed, and largely appealing program that ought to attract more than just classical saxophone fans. I’ve already booked front row seats for whatever musical adventures Litroff and Cognet plan next."
'10/10' Jed Distler, Classics Today [May 2022]
"Litroff and Cognet are both virtuoso musicians who have teamed up to create an over the top recording that deserves a special place in anyone’s music collection that has the power indeed to make your day."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [December 2021]
American saxophonist Scott Litroff (b.1985) is recognized for expertise and versatility as a performer and educator in both classical and jazz disciplines. Litroff’s solo debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall has been followed by performances at venues including Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, the DiMenna Center, Yoshi’s Club San Francisco, Seattle’s Jazz Alley, and internationally at venues in Mexico, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Japan. He has performed alongside some of the world’s finest musicians, including Koh Mr. Saxman, Ray Anderson, Bakithi Kumalo, Steve Salerno, Nellie McKay and Martin Loyato, and has performed under notable conductors, including George Manahan, Rosen Milanov, Joseph Colaneri, Hana Kim, and David Hayes. Litroff is sought internationally as a guest artist and clinician, having appeared in the United States, Mexico, Thailand, Japan and China. Enjoying collaborations with composers, Litroff encourages the creation of new compositions for saxophone that take advantage of the instrument’s lyrical, tonal and stylistic flexibility. Through  commissions and other works composed for him, Litroff has premiered more than 15 compositions from leading composers, including David Loeb, Sidney Boquiren, David Campbell, Karl Hinze, Dawn Chambers and the composers featured on these recordings. Litroff has received numerous teaching, research and pedagogical awards and honors. He is the recipient of the prestigious Samuel Baron Prize, Ackerman Prize in Music and Bob Meyers Award for Excellence in Jazz. He has won several concerto competitions, including First Prize in the Stony Brook University Graduate Concerto Competition and Mannes Concerto Competition, and won the Stony Brook Undergraduate Concerto Competition, notably the first saxophonist to have done so. He is also a recipient of the PSC-CUNY Research Award and the Adelphi University Adjunct Faculty Development Grant. An official artist endorser for P. Mauriat Saxophones, Chedeville Mouthpieces, Legere Reeds and Silverstein Ligatures, he uses this equipment exclusively in all his professional engagements. Litroff earned a Bachelor’s and Doctorate degree in music from Stony Brook University, and a Master’s degree in saxophone performance from the Mannes School of Music. His teachers included Allen Won, Christopher Creviston and Ray Anderson. Litroff is currently Assistant Professor of Jazz at Queensborough Community College and Adjunct Professor of Music at Adelphi University.
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French pianist Matthieu Cognet is an active soloist and sought after chamber player who performs extensively in the United States and Europe. He has appeared in major venues and festivals, including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Cultural Institute of Chicago, Rushmore Music Festival, Festival Memphis in May, Saint Georges Music Festival in Guadeloupe, and the Prades and Pianissimes Festivals in France. Cognet is a laureate of the Concours Musical de France, the Bloomington Travel Grant, Stony Brook Concerto, New York Forte and Entraide Française Competitions. He has been a soloist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook University Orchestra, Indiana University Orchestra and Paris Sorbonne Orchestra. Cognet’s recital and chamber music performances have been broadcast on Radio France, Italian RAI and WFMT in Chicago. He is also Artistic Director of the French-American Piano Society. As a recording artist, he has released “Debut Recital” and “Mit Humor” on the Odradek label. Cognet released in 2015 a fine solo piano transcription of Ravel’s La Valse (Lauren Keiser/Hal Leonard Publications). Currently a staff pianist at The Juilliard School, Cognet received degrees from the Paris and Brussels Conservatories, Sorbonne University and Indiana University. He graduated with a Doctoral degree from Stony Brook University under the guidance of Gilbert Kalish. For this recording, Matthieu Cognet plays a Fazioli Pianoforte F308.
Alto Saxophone
P. Mauriat Master97A Gold-Plated Alto Saxophone
Chedeville RC 3 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
Legere American Cut 3.75 Reeds
Silverstein Works CRYO4 Gold ligature
Soprano Saxophone
P. Mauriat System 76 2nd Edition Gold Lacquer Soprano Saxophone
Chedeville RC 3 Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
Legere Signature Series 3.25 Reeds
Silverstein Works HEXA Gold ligature
Arodi Martínez Serrano (b.1977)
ARRULLO CAPRICHOSO por saxofón alto y piano (2019)

Christian Lauba (b.1952)
JUST A SONG (2019)

Elliott Bark (b.1980)
THREE PLACES IN SOUTH KOREA for alto saxophone and piano (2020)
I. Pyeongchang (the city that held the 2018 Winter Olympics)
II. Busan (my hometown, the harbor-city with sweet memories)
III. Seoul (the capital of South Korea - busy, crowded and yet romantic)

Perry Goldstein (b.1952)
HEAVEN for alto saxophone and piano (2007)
I. Heaven
II. Long John

Lan-In Winnie Yang (b.1980)
GARDEN BY THE STREAM for alto saxophone and piano (2019)

Jean Matitia (b.1952)
CRAZY RAG pour saxophone soprano et piano (2008)
Recorded 12-14 January 2021 at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Garden City, New York. Produced, engineered, edited and mastered by Robert Anderson. Assistant engineer: Scott Kopstein.

MSR Classics