In a Pro Musicis-sponsored recital at UCLA on Saturday, Laura Hunter proved to be an ingratiating spokeswoman for the saxophone as a solo classical voice.
In her local debut, the Michigan native displayed a relaxed stage presence and an easy command of the instrument as she alternated soprano and alto sax in a varied program of standard fare (e.g., Ibert’s Concertino da Camera), pieces dedicated to her (William Bolcom’s “Lilith” and Laura Karpman’s Capriccio) and transcriptions (oboe sonatas by Poulenc and Platti plus Ravel’s “Piece en Forme de Habanera”).
Bolcom’s occasionally witty, if meandering, suite, heard in its West Coast premiere, used an excess of virtuosic gimmickry and was overshadowed by Karpman’s compact, quasi-serial piece.
Joaquin Nin’s moody “Chant de Veilleur” proved a winning entry, enhanced by the expressive singing of soprano Lynn Griebling Moores. Throughout, pianist Brian Connelly was an exuberant, supportive partner.