SAX - Contemporary Concertos for Saxophone
After the invention of the saxophone about 180 years ago, it has been hugely successful in certain musical styles, but never really established itself in the symphony orchestra. It’s still seen as a newcomer, and relatively few solo works have been written for it – at least until recently.
Marcus Weiss, one of the most successful classical saxophonists, chose four very characteristic concertante pieces from recent decades that demonstrate a wide range of possibilities for the instrument. All four pieces were premiered by him and three of them are dedicated to him.
The compositions represent various directions within New Music with very distinct individual characters each. “The pieces also show that we saxophone soloists always play the full range of instruments, from the lowest to the highest, from baritone to soprano. Every instrument is able to show its particular qualities in these works.” (Marcus Weiss)
When Adolphe Sax applied for patents for his new instrument in Paris in 1846, he submitted drawings of the baritone saxophone. Georg Friedrich Haas’s work is therefore the centerpiece of this recording – the baritone with its physical power, with multiphonics that are juxtaposed with the orchestra, but also with a singing parlando.
The youngest piece of this album, Peter Eötvös’s very virtuosic “Focus”, and the work by Johannes Maria Staud use both tenor and alto sax, while the soprano is exactly the right choice for Vykintas Baltakas’ crystalline music.
Peter Eötvös: Focus. Concerto for saxophone and orchestra
Georg Friedrich Haas: Konzert for baritone saxophone and orchestera
Vykintas Baltakas: Saxordionphonics for soprano saxophone, accordion and chamber orchestra
Johannes Maria Staud: Violent Incidents (Hommage à Bruce Nauman) for saxophone, wind instruments and percussion