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There's a saxophone player/teacher over in Texas, Jose (Angel may be able to give his full name as he knows him better than I) who has done some excellent arrangements for full saxophone choir. Last summer at Wild Acres we played two of his arrangements, one was Grainger's Children's March which was scored for I think Soprano down to Bass; then we played Vaughn William's Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallas which was scored sopranino down to bass.. This piece was actually for solo sax quartet and ensemble. He's definitely done some good work!
 

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I like for sax choir

Devils Rag
The Planets (have played Mercury and Jupiter)
Mysorsky Exhibition - I forget the exact title, but it is really good.
 

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Gotta put in my vote for the Sextour my Kastner. It was the first work written specifically for saxophone I believe, including all solo and chamber works. Its a pretty interesting piece, at the time only the bass sax had been invented, but it was scored for 2 basses, 1 bari, 1 alto, and 2 soprano's. Talk about vision. Rascher later rescored it for a more attainable group of sax's.

Considering its the first work written for saxophone, and the fact that Kastner was a close friend of Adolphe Sax (I believe one of his operas or something like that premiered the saxophone, with Adolphe as the soloist), it gives us the closest possible idea as to what Sax was thinking when he invented the saxophone. Historically significant, and a good piece at that! Gotta love chords by a well balanced sax ensemble (Rascher Orchestra recording).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
mkemp said:
...at the time only the bass sax had been invented...
I think those liner notes say that only the bass sax had been employed in performances at that time, but I think the other instruments were probably in existence. I'll have to dig out that CD again.

I like the idea of doing Kastner's Sextour, too. That's actually one of the only pieces I've pretty much decided upon - for the historic aspects you mention, and just because it's kinda pretty. I also remember liking the Hartley from that CD.

I'm intrigued by the Wirth, just because I almost always agree with Alan, which makes me think I'll like it. All of the other transcriptions you guys mentioned sound intriguing as well, but I'd like to find some more original works.... Hmmmmm....
 

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Any of you guys heard or played in the "Sinfonietta for Saxophone Ensemble" by Dr. Ronald Caravan? I comissioned it and premiered it in '95 with my high school saxophone ensemble. I think (perhaps I'm biased) that it's a really good work!

I also like Caravan's:
Declamation: A rhetorical fanfare
Jubilate

Wirth's "Portals"
Frackenphol did a reall nice arrangement of "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
Taggart's "Two Sad Songs"
Sousa's untitled original one step

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alan - thanks for taking the time to send -- you're the best...

Now that I have my CD in hand, I realize that the Wirth is on the same CD -- I do really like it.

Of course, I don't want the theme of the concert to be "We're covering all the tunes from that Rascher Ensemble album..."
 

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I just don't get out that much, you know...

I will say that the Karlins (octet?) piece I heard in Chicago at a NASA biennial was b-o-r-i-n-g beyond words, but then I've never clicked with any of his pieces.
 

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Prodigal-

As Bezozzi mentioned, Jose Oliver Riojas is a school band director in Texas who has a great talent for arranging. That Vaughan Williams stuff we did was difficult but expertly worked out and sounded absolutely beautiful with just a few days of rehearsal. It also helps that we had our very own SaxHotshot527 as the ninja sopranino player in the ensemble. Dude was playing notes so high, we couldn't hear them, but his eyes were crossed, face beet-red, and our ears were bleeding.

Of course that could have been the beer, too.

I'm not a big fan of literature for saxophone orchestra in general, but you NEED to hear the London Saxophonic's CD "Eye for a Difference" which consists of pieces from Michael Nyman film scores arranged for large saxo ensemble. Players include our own Dave Roach (who sounds spectacular on soprano and tenor on that disc), Simon Haram, Christian Forshaw, Andy Findon, and more. This is one of my favorite saxophone CDs, and I've been listening to it frequently for years now. It is rockin' amazing.

Edited to add that Rascher stuff makes up only part of the existing literature for saxo ensemble. Londeix commissioned quite a bit of original compositions and some arrangements for his own Ensemble International de Saxophones. I believe the CDs are available directly from him. Also, Serge Bichon conducts his own saxophone ensemble at the Conservatoire in Lyon, and they have released 2 CDs worth of material. Again, I'm not terribly excited by anything on those CDs except for the accomplished playing of the young students involved.

Angel
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ahhhhhhh yes....

That's the fellow that did "The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and Her Lover's ExBoyfriend's Second Cousin"!

(I kid - I kid!!)

I really liked that soundtrack. I'll check out that CD -- great suggestion...
 

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Music in that movie is good, I think. Drowning By Numbers, Draughtsman's Contract, and Carrington film scores are outstanding. While you're at it, grab the "Essential Michael Nyman Band" CD on the Argo label. You should be able to get it used on Amazon.com for just a few bucks.

Angel
 

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There is a great piece by Elwood Derr (of I Never Saw Another Butterfly fame)called Passacaglia: In rememerance of Carl Orff (he was a student of Orff). It is for double sax quartet. By far my favorite sax ensemble piece. Have you played this prodigal???
 

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No mention yet of Caravan's arrangement of Pictures At An Exhibition? I'm a little surprised...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Michigansax said:
There is a great piece by Elwood Derr (of I Never Saw Another Butterfly fame)called Passacaglia: In rememerance of Carl Orff (he was a student of Orff). It is for double sax quartet. By far my favorite sax ensemble piece. Have you played this prodigal???
I believe that was composed after I left - '96 or so? Don't suppose you know of a recording? Perhaps I could double all of the parts?. ..

hmmm. . . .

The Mussorgsky was actually mentioned, JMax - Caravan just wasn't credited. Sounds like I should track that down too, eh?
 

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J.Max said:
No mention yet of Caravan's arrangement of Pictures At An Exhibition? I'm a little surprised...

See post #4

I forgot the exact title and who arranged it.

That is a really cool piece though. The best part is the soprano on Ballad of the Unhatched Chickens. Our soprano player hated it.
 

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Martinman said:
See post #4

I forgot the exact title and who arranged it.

That is a really cool piece though. The best part is the soprano on Ballad of the Unhatched Chickens. Our soprano player hated it.

It requires a sopranino and bass saxophone. The school sopranino at IU had a custom made Rousseau sopranino mouthpiece for it, and the guy playing it STILL had a rough time. That part sucks.
 
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