The newest item, receiving its world premiere, was "of ages manifest," a riveting score for unaccompanied alto saxophone [by Michael Hersch]. In seven movements, the piece exploits what seems to be every conceivable, or inconceivable, sonic property of the instrument. The myriad sounds encompass breathy whispers from the threshold of audibility, as well as horn-like wails, with many a finely shaded gradation in between. Melodic lines leap wildly one moment, center on long, slow crescendos the next (the latter starts to sound a little too like an etude in the fifth movement). Aggressive, almost martial rhythms (the fourth movement) are balanced by episodes of mournful song (the sixth). Some of the wildest movements seem to rush toward a cliff and emit one last, primal yell that is eventually answered by just two or three soft notes, like a faint echo, or a message trying to make its way from another galaxy.
Out of all of this emerges a riveting kind of sound-poem that the soloist, GARY LOUIE, communicated with stunning technical brilliance and expressive power.


"Seldom do you hear a performer who does everything technically and stylistically to spectacular effect, making a sonic statement that propels one into the music itself. That's what Gary Louie did when he joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for Glazunov's Alto Saxophone Concerto and Milhaud's Scaramouche. His legato, jet-speed articulation and multidimensional color-scape stunned listeners into disbelief."

"The repertoire provides Gary Louie with many opportunities to explore the expressive range of the instrument he plays so superbly. Only two of the five pieces were written specifically for saxophone. The others are arrangements that couldn’t sound more natural or apt in Louieʼs rapt performances. Louie leaves the listener unaware of any obstacle."

"Louie boasts skillful phrasing, a wide dynamic range, admirable control in all registers, nimble technique, and the right touch of vibrato. Overall, his sound meshes very well with strings, and musicians and non-musicians alike should find his interpretations convincing."

"Gary Louie, the noted saxophonist with the disarmingly understated virtuosity, had the spotlight in Milhaudʼs saucy Scaramouche. With remarkable dexterity and a finely polished tone, Louie also excelled as soloist in Glazunovʼs Saxophone Concerto."

"Another departure from the concert norm was the solo appearance of saxophonist Gary Louie, a master of the instrument with a sweet tone and fluid technique that always revealed the expressive innards of the music at hand."
- THE PLAIN DEALER (Cleveland)

"Louie plays his instrument with a high, sweet, tremulous, near- vocal quality that has absolutely nothing to do with the squalling, visceral use of the sax we find in much American jazz. His recital at the Terrace Theater was an inspired artistic event."

"Gary Louie is a saxophonist with a fluent, supple technique and a lively interpretive imagination. Phrases were shaped carefully and compellingly, with a beautifully regulated vibrato and a firm command of the instrument's coloristic range."

"Without a doubt, Louie is an astonishing player, one who draws a wealth of varied tone colors and shadings from his alto saxophone much the way Richard Stoltzman and Heinz Holliger do on clarinet and oboe."

"Gary Louie is a top-class man in his trade, which is playing classical music on the alto saxophone. That was what was to be demonstrated by the recital he gave at Jordan Hall, and demonstrated it was."

The American soloist Gary Louie was highly convincing and a real highlight of the evening. He presented the saxophone as a breathtaking, restless and a little bit demonic instrument as well as - in the second movement - a blooming Bel Canto voice. Louie got the utmost out of the 20-minute Creston concerto, and earned a large ovation."