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.

Adolphe Sax

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).