Gainesville audiences have certainly seen their share of string quartets. And even some woodwind or brass groupings.
But this Tuesday’s concert of four world-renowned saxophonists — each playing a soprano, alto, tenor or baritone saxophone — is a first for the area and kicks Gainesville’s ProMusica concert series up a notch, according to the organization’s vice president, Michael Henry.
"Saxophone quartets have been around for a long time, but this is one of the premier quartets in the world, really," Henry said. "This is kind of breaking new ground for us and for Gainesville audiences, too."
The four members of the quartet — Federico Mondelci (soprano saxophone), Marco Gerboni (alto saxophone), Mario Marzi (tenor saxophone) and Massimo Mazzoni (baritone saxophone) are about to head back to Italy, Henry said. But during their tour, both critics and audiences have been raving about their show.
For their stop in Gainesville at Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium, the group will play selections that span classical and contemporary genres. They will open with Johann Sebastian Bach’s "Preludio e Fuga" and a few selections later play Samuel Barber’s "Adagio," which was originally written for strings.
"They’re doing a selection of (Leonard) Bernstein, some selections from ‘West Side Story,’" Henry said. "They’re ending the concert with some film music."
The final piece for Tuesday’s performance is "Passerella," written by Nino Rota for the film "8«." Rota also composed the music for "The Godfather," among other Hollywood productions.
"This concert is going to run the gamut, and evidently the crowds love them," Henry said. "I’m excited about it not only because of the type of music they’re going to present, but it’s also breaking new ground for our audiences."
Plus, the saxophone is just a cool instrument.
"It’s hard not to be cool if you’re a saxophonist, but if you’re a member of the most famous saxophone quartet in the world, you must be extra cool," Henry added.