The Bytheway Baritone
(Don’t forget that you can consume this in situ or, by clicking on the three vertical dots on the end, use my take-away service)
The written range:
To start at a specific movement just click on its title.
We heard the story of a Pleyel’s commissioning Debussy for their new chromatic harp last week. Here’s another instrumental commission, and one with an even more fascinating history (which you can read about here): Rapsodie pour Orchestre et Saxophone (note the rather odd order).
It’s strange how ‘right’ the Bach g fugue (BWV 578) sounds on four saxes (though it occurs to me that Bach might sound ‘right’ on most instrumental combinations!). I like the vivacity of this performance by an unnamed (what I assume is) Russian group; there’s a slight glitch about one minute in, but it soon clears (see what I mean about the volume of saxes?)
Eugène Bozza (1905-1991) was a pretty prolific French composer. His works include important pieces for both solo sax and quartet. This Andante et Scherzo is a good showpiece for the ensemble: a lyrical Andante is followed by the pyrotechnics of the Scherzo – great fun!
Glazunov’s Alto Saxophone Concerto was written in 1934 while the then mostly forgotten composer was in self-imposed exile in Paris ‘for health reasons’. The work is in one movement and was one of his last compositions.
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