Heritage Suite for Soprano Saxophone and Piano

Perhaps no one has dedicated himself to advancing the work of American composers as has John Duffy. And yet somehow he still managed to compose some 300-plus works of his own. (Rumor has it he hasn’t slept since 1974.) But seriously, when the Virginia Arts Festival asked Duffy to head a Composers Institute in 2004, they couldn’t have found a better mentor to the young artists who came to study. He was back in 2005 as the composer-in-residence and that led to the recording of this CD featuring his many musical colleagues at the Festival. Heritage Suite, a violin and piano score derived from Duffy’s soundtrack for the PBS series, Heritage: Civilization and the Jews, is here presented in a transcription by saxophonist Carrie Koffman for soprano saxophone and piano. Soprano sax is no mainstay of the Jewish traditional music scene, but in this case it clearly captures the character and emotional power of the subject matter at hand.

—MS