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Discussion Starter #1
I am in an amateur saxophone quartet that performs to audiences that generally lack a knowledge of classical saxophone or of saxophone music in general. I would like to hear of suggestions for fairly modern substantial saxophone quartet music that is not extremely difficult to perform and which appeals to this kind of audience.

Two examples of what the quartet has recently played: (1) Eric Ewazen's "Rhapsody for Saxophone Quartet," and David Kechley's "Stepping Out." The audience especially likes the second movement of the Kechley, "Midnight Reflections."

BTW, last Friday I heard the Eastman School of Music's sax quartet, ViM, perform at the Terrace Theater in the Kennedy Center. They performed a Maslanka piece and a transcription of Dvorak's "American" string quartet -- all without sheet music! Good performance, hall filled, and a standing ovation at the end.
 

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It's hard to judge what you mean by not extremely difficult? Firstly I'll suggest the Glass Quartet, however, while this isn't difficult in notes or rhythm, it has other difficulties i.e stamina. The 1st movt of the glass is always a crowd pleaser. So is the 1st movt of Nyman's Songs for Tony. There is also a great work by Australian composer Paul Stanhope, his saxophone quartet subtitled "Ockham's Razor" is a definate crowd favourite.
Also any Piazzolla arrangements (Histoire de tango), or arrangements of string quartet's (Barber Adagio) are enjoyed by the masses.
 

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more 4tet music

+1 on the Barber Adagio arrangement. also there's a sax quartet arrangement for Faure's Pavane. not sure who the arranger is, but it's very nice and will also appeal to the masses.
 

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I think the Quattuor of Pierre-Max Dubois is a relatively easy piece to play, if you're some "vintage" saxophone music...
 

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He did write one, I think it was quartet and orchestra, though I may be wrong on that. It isn't a very popular piece.
 

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yeah that william price piece is pretty cool. i was alto in the quartet that premiered it. i wonder if that's us on that recording? hrrmmmm
 

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A.Smith said:
Creston for quartet?
Yep, Creston wrote a Suite for saxophone quartet, recorded by the Amherst Saxophone Quartet on an old Mark Custom label LP. I just got the LP cheap on eBay (also includes the quartet by Alec Wilder and other stuff), haven't listened to it yet...

Angel
 

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Angel said:
Yep, Creston wrote a Suite for saxophone quartet, recorded by the Amherst Saxophone Quartet on an old Mark Custom label LP. I just got the LP cheap on eBay (also includes the quartet by Alec Wilder and other stuff), haven't listened to it yet...

Angel
I've only seen the piece listed on websites before, and have never heard a recording of it before. When you get the chance can you tell us how it is? I wonder why it is such an unpopular piece...
 

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We have a sax quartet at school, going for 2 years now. We've had a variety of fantastic music given to us by our director, who is a senior lecturer at the uni.

So far we've played
- Gershwins Three Preludes for piano SATB
- Scherzo - Warren Barker SATB
- American in Paris - Gershiwin SATB
- Divertissiment - Warren Barker SATB
- Andante Et Scherzo - Eugene Bozza SATB
- The Pink Panther - Mancini (AATB)

Excellent pieces, though I am really wanting to do the glass concerto!
 

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That Maslanka quartet -- "Mountain Roads" -- is my favorite of the things he's contributed to our rep.

Y'know what else is kinda fun and not played much? "Three Rags for Saxophone Quartet" by Charles Ruggiero. One of the sax quartets from Mich State (Forger students: Seino, Kalyn, Foerch and Noffsinger) had it on their program when they won Fischoff. It's a fun piece. A fairly easy crossover work is the "Modern Art Suite" by Rusty Dedrick(?).

Also, maybe try the Torke "July". That piece grooves.
 

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Don't know what you're looking for but some pieces I loved in high school, in the beginning stages were Mississippi Rag-AATB, and Sailor's Hornpipe...looooved that song, very good flow, need an excellent first alto though, the alto1 plays above the grade of the rest of the parts. Ragtime pieces are usually fun with quartets, as well as old Bach stuff if you want "pretty" pieces that are easier to play...
 

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"Drastic Measures" by Russel Peck. Probably in the medium-difficult range, with high Gs on soprano and tough counting. But, loads of fun to play and listen to. Same with the Phil Woods quartet. Also, a great crowd-pleaser would be a patriotic tune arranged jazzy-style. Don't know any specifics, but they shouldn't be too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Now seeking advice for some quartet music that has been recommended to me:

(1) G. Bumcke, "Three Quartets for 4 saxophones, Op. 45" and "Two Quartets for 4 saxophones, Op. 23." Questions: are these interesting music? And, what are the four saxophones (SATB)?

(2) Philip Glass Saxophone Quartet. Question: how much altissimo is required to play this quartet?
 

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The glass, to my knowledge, only has a little altissimo in the alto and bari parts. I want to say both have it in mvt. 2. My copy of it is in my apartment and I'm at home, so I'm not able to really check it out... I'm sure someone else can verify.
 

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There's a G in the soprano part for the second movement. There are some Gs in the fourth movement for bari, but I forgot if there are any else for any of the other movements or parts
 
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