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I had a difficult time of finding the correct Tenor Sax solo buy.
I'm looking for something with
  • Limited altissimos
  • Something tecnically difficult, Contest Caprice was a complete joke to me
  • Something that sounds....melodic? Instead of depending highly on the accomp.
  • No Classical Transcriptions, an Original Tenor sax solo
  • Something that I could spend a month-a year to learn and benefit me while doing so
  • Something worthwhile, like Paul Creston's Sonata Op. 19, Concertino de Camera, etc.
  • Nothing too strange, with extended use of altissimos, microtones, etc.; No Lauba or Rascher's Carnival of Venice
  • No Upward Stream by Russel Peck, I'm not going to play that yet.
I've been looking at Eric Nestler's (the guy from UNT) workbook for Saxophone Fundamentals.

I'm KIND of interested in the Sonata's from Pasquale, Stein, and Trigon by Cunningham.

Except the recordings that I have heard on youtube are so horrible playing wise on random kids' renditions, giving me a very narrow viewpoint on the original compositions.

Some other compositions make me curious, but I never read or heard them played, such as:
The Stan Getz Concerto
Ballade in Time and Space by Duckworth
Schmidt's Sonata

Oh yeah, here's another thing, my budget for this is very limited, I could only buy ONE solo at the moment,
I could rarely use a credit card online, so I can't buy music,
and.....I'll edit this later
 

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Walter Hartley's Concertino (For Tenor Saxophone and Band) Duo (for Tenor Saxophone and Piano) or Sonata (For Tenor Saxophone and Piano) should all give you a run for your money. John Worley's "Owl's Head" Sonatina, James diPasquale Sonata, or Ronald Caravan's Soliloquy & Celebration are also good bets. I can't remember which of the Hartley pieces has some altissimo in it, but none of them are altissimo intensive.
 

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Walter Hartley's "Poem" would be worth looking into. Not entirely technical-wise challenging (few tough rhythms) but it is exceedingly difficult to play well and to really sing through. The other pieces Ryan mentioned above are all good choices as well.
 

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Don't forget the Villa Lobos Fantasia-- totally doable for a good high school player and no altissimo. Melodic all the way through. I'm also working on the Piazzolla Histoire Du Tango right now and I think a good high school player could do that. Like the Villa Lobos, it's just written for "Bb saxophone" --people do it with sop or tenor.
 

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Don't forget the Villa Lobos Fantasia-- totally doable for a good high school player and no altissimo. Melodic all the way through. I'm also working on the Piazzolla Histoire Du Tango right now and I think a good high school player could do that. Like the Villa Lobos, it's just written for "Bb saxophone" --people do it with sop or tenor.
This is not a tenor saxophone piece. It's written for soprano, see earlier editions.
 

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Walter Hartley's Concertino (For Tenor Saxophone and Band) Duo (for Tenor Saxophone and Piano) or Sonata (For Tenor Saxophone and Piano) should all give you a run for your money. John Worley's "Owl's Head" Sonatina, James diPasquale Sonata, or Ronald Caravan's Soliloquy & Celebration are also good bets. I can't remember which of the Hartley pieces has some altissimo in it, but none of them are altissimo intensive.
I think the Concertino goes up to a Bb if I'm correct. The dipasquale goes up to a G. The Sonata might be a good bet.
 

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This is not a tenor saxophone piece. It's written for soprano, see earlier editions.
The Villa Lobos is very popular on the tenor, so I assume you mean the Piazzolla? You may be right about that, but I don't know why it wouldn't be appropriate nonetheless for a solid high schooler. It's melodic and fun.
 

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Garland Anderson's "Sonata for Tenor Saxophone" is a nice piece with lots of jazz and modern harmonies (great for someone working on fourths). Duckworth's "Pitt County Excursions" is nice. It does have one movement that explores multiphonics. "Three Songs without Words" by Ben Haim (?-can't remember his exact name off the top of my head) is another great piece that has been adapted for tenor.
 

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The Villa Lobos is very popular on the tenor, so I assume you mean the Piazzolla? You may be right about that, but I don't know why it wouldn't be appropriate nonetheless for a solid high schooler. It's melodic and fun.
Nope. The Piazolla wasn't written for saxophone at all. The Villa-Lobos was written for Mule, who never played tenor, but did play a lot of soprano. There's no reason this would have been written for tenor, and it isn't. Again, check older editions.
 

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There are plenty of other pieces for tenor that are melodic and fun, and high school appropriate. The Villa-Lobos in my opinion is going to be too difficult for a high schooler, not just technically, but musically.
 

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The Villa-Lobos was written for Mule, who never played tenor, but did play a lot of soprano. There's no reason this would have been written for tenor, and it isn't...
Nevertheless, it is commonly played on tenor. I performed it while in college on sop but my professor informed me that it is done on tenor as well.
 

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Nope. The Piazolla wasn't written for saxophone at all. The Villa-Lobos was written for Mule, who never played tenor, but did play a lot of soprano. There's no reason this would have been written for tenor, and it isn't. Again, check older editions.
It was premiered by saxophonist Waldemar Szpilman on tenor because he did not own a soprano at the time. I believe this is why the "for soprano or tenor" option was placed.

Here's a good site with a little information on the matter...
http://www.garykeller.net/html/Villa-Lobosnotes.htm
 

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I realize it's commonly played on tenor; that isn't really a reason to accept it as OK, though. It's really meant to be a soprano saxophone work, and in my opinion would keep it as such.
 

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I realize it's commonly played on tenor; that isn't really a reason to accept it as OK, though. It's really meant to be a soprano saxophone work, and in my opinion would keep it as such.
Wow, there are a lot of world class players that would disagree on that. My Schirber's edition says tenor or soprano. My only point is that it's a nice piece on tenor. I won a concerto competition on it and it served me well for scholarships-- I'm glad I worked it up as a high schooler. Just because the composer's first edition may not have been intended for tenor, performance practice on this piece has invited both soprano and tenor as options. We're talking about a high schooler's lit development, not a doctoral lecture recital. But, if you don't like it, I got it.
 

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I realize it's commonly played on tenor; that isn't really a reason to accept it as OK, though. It's really meant to be a soprano saxophone work, and in my opinion would keep it as such.
How is it being premiered on tenor not a reason to accept it being also in the tenor repertoire?

Heitor Villa-Lobos accepted this when he allowed the premiere to be performed on tenor. He could have just as easily said "Well, I'll wait a little until someone with a soprano saxophone can premiere my piece." But he didn't, he approached Waldemar Szpilman to premiere Fantasia and now fast-forward to now, we have people disagreeing with how it should be played with some reasoning "it was composed for this specific instrument" (in general, not directed specifically towards you).

It simply comes down to personal opinion. I mean no disrespect to you and I realize you are an accomplished teacher and performer, but who are you to decide that that is not really a reason to accept it as OK? (again, no disrespect whatsoever)

I will say I do highly prefer the piece to be played on soprano rather than tenor but I believe playing the piece on soprano or tenor is acceptable.
 

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What I didn't accept as a quality reason for wanting to play it on tenor is that "everyone's doing it".

You're right, it does come down to personal opinion, which is precisely why I don't have accept performing this on tenor. The composer envisioned this on soprano, it was dedicated to mule, and it sounds infinitely better on soprano. I'll stick with Villa-Lobos' original intentions.


For the OP, though, this piece is way too difficult, if the pieces he is considering are works like the Schmidt, then how will he make it through the Villa-Lobos anyway? It's not about it being doable, but about him being able to perform it musically and at a high level. Garland Anderson Sonata could be good, or the Demerssemen Andante et Bolero. Pit County Excursions is fun, but might be too out there for a high school student.
 

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I'll bet the poster didn't know it would get this intense! Sorry for stoking the flames :)
 

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What I didn't accept as a quality reason for wanting to play it on tenor is that "everyone's doing it".

Ah, I see. Alright then, now that we are all on the same page...

I would have to agree that this may be too difficult for the OP right now. I standby the pieces already mentioned earlier, and the Anderson Sonata is a great choice as well.
 

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I don't normally like to get involved in such debates, but I'd like to point out that there are a lot of pieces played by saxophonists that were not intended for the saxophone, mainly because they were written before the saxophone was even invented. I feel it's important to study some of these works, like the Bach Sonatas, because the quality of some of these compositions is much better than much of what was actually written for the saxophone. Pictures at an Exhibition was originally written for piano. Does that mean we should shun the wonderful symphonic arrangement of it? I hope not.
 
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