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I heard him play the Glazunov a few months ago with the NY Phil. I was very pleasantly surprised by how good of a job he did. He did in fact improvise his own cadenza, and it was fabulous. While it wasn't the best Glaz I've ever heard, it was by no means the worst.
 

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I heard it a couple of years ago. He's much better than he used to be at classical!
I heard Bran with the Navy Band at their Symposium and was very impressed. If he keeps pushing this repertoire, he will raise the bar on expressiveness for everybody.

Then again - because I like to end on a downbeat, it keeps things lively - when he played with the NYPhil in Central Park last summer, they got only 1/3 of their usual attendance. At a free concert series. Somebody was staying away. But who?
 

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Not that Branford's a bad classical player, but every time I hear that he's going to play a concerto I think about all of the unknown players who can play it far better than he. He's just chosen to play so they can sell tickets which in effect does a disservice to the classical saxophone community. Would the NY Phil hire an average pianist to play a Shostakovitch concerto just to sell tickets? I think not.
 

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Ideally, he might open the door for those players. I hope he does - that would be a service the classical community - and that the orchestra world doesn't just shut the door right after him, which would be the real disservice.

It's too bad a big name draw has to take precedence over a lesser-known virtuoso. But is it really so surprising? It surely happens even with pianists, altho the talent gap may be smaller. (Then again, do you really think Bran is "average"?)
 

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I think he's average in the realm of players who should be playing with the NY Phil. It isn't surprising that he gets the gig, but I just had to say my bit.
 

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I heard him play it with Chicago a few years back. He missed his entrance. The rest of it was alright, though.

I can't really see how any of it could be alright if he missed his entrance...I mean, it's not really a difficult entrance. Musically it is, but not counting-wise.
 

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I can't really see how any of it could be alright if he missed his entrance...I mean, it's not really a difficult entrance. Musically it is, but not counting-wise.
Delangle missed his entrance while performing the Decruck at the NASA conference in Athens, GA. His reed didn't respond - he adjusted it, then gave an outstanding performance.

Strange things happen on stage. I have no doubt a performer as experienced as Branford could recover quickly and finish strong.
 

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Maybe what we can learn from this is that Branford is getting better, but suffers from inconsistency?

BTW, on that same concert he did the Schulhoff. And THAT, my friends, was hands-down the best Hot Sonata I've ever heard.
 

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I appreciate the fact that Branford is attempting to improve himself as a musician. What I don't appreciate is that his fame from a different talent altogether got him some serious classical gigs. It's no better than athletes trying to crossover and getting chances in the big leagues just because they're good at something almost entirely unrelated while other, lesser known and fantastically talented athletes (musicians) just don't get the break.

Then again, if the orchestra and player are doing Glazunov, then I guess everyone loses. :p
 

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Playing high quality jazz on a saxophone and playing high quality concert music on a saxophone are "almost entirely unrelated"?

It's not like going from football to baseball. It's more like going from bicycle racing to bicycle touring. Much different, yes. But not a whole new world.
 

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Not that Branford's a bad classical player, but every time I hear that he's going to play a concerto I think about all of the unknown players who can play it far better than he.
That's life. Fame is self-perpetuating. You get famous, get a great agent, and you have it made for life, even if you go down in your ability.


Maybe what we can learn from this is that Branford is getting better, but suffers from inconsistency?
Another example of why recordings are better than live music.
 
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