Butler has a terrific symphony (and I’m not saying that just because I built their website). Every performance I attend, I leave thoroughly pleased and impressed.
One thing they do exceptionally well is identify terrific soloists to join them. Tonight, their guests were the Capitol Quartet, a group of saxophonists from Washington, D.C., who cover everything from traditional classical music to swinging jazz to modern classical, and probably more.
The Butler Symphony performed with the Capitol Quartet on several numbers, including a memorable Philip Glass concerto. They also delivered a couple of "a capella" tunes (as they called them), with the quartet playing without orchestral backing.
The video above is from a Capitol Quartet performance from last year. The song is "Fugue Well-Tampered," the core elements of which you may recognize from grade school music class as coming from Bach’s "Well-Tempered Clavier." This arrangement takes them in a fugue for four saxophones, which is in itself lovely. Then they bring in a jazzier flavor, and the tampering becomes sublime.
The video doesn’t much capture the quartet’s charm and performance style. They’re terrific. Seek them out.
The Butler Symphony’s season is over, but next season should be extra special, since it’ll be their sixtieth season.