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Having picked up sax after over 25 years on shelf, and having just bought a new tenor, I am a beginner, compared to those posting their playing here, not likely to present my efforts in public any time soon.
However, Here are a couple of items which may be interesting to others looking for new classical studies or pieces - perhaps these may be of interest to those of you who teach saxophone.
1. Had been playing from Klose, 25 daily exercises, no. 5: as a former violin student, I realized that this was taken from Kreutzer's famous "42 studies or caprices", known to all serious violin students, at least in the old days. I brought in my old Schirmer edition, and my teacher transferred the assignment to the original - Kreutzer's caprice # 2 (which, as I recall, received some play on early Television by ? Jack Benny or another comedian, with violin). #2 puts the sax to work on articulation, with some nice octave jumps (I had a difficult time with these on my soprano and alto, while my new YTS 575 jumps more easily to bring out the low notes.)
The rest of the caprices are very musical for studies. For the most part, they can be played within the sax range, with a few notes below and above, while some will be quite challenging, with jumps hard for sax but achieved on violin by bowing from one string to another. #2 is one of the easier ones for saxophone. A few of the caprices are involve chords bridging two violin strings - but still are adaptable. If this sounds interesting, ask a violinist friend whether you could look these over; they should be easily available on amazon.com, with about 70 pages of sheet music for about $10.
2. The second item I picked out from a stack of old music I had collected, without serious piano study: J.S. Bach's Notenbuch der Anna Magdalena Bach (this is the title of the Edition Peters).
This is an exquisite set of variations (20 studies) composed by Bach for his wife. I have sight-read through a couple of times, concentrating on the ones with easier tempi. They range from joyful and celebratory to mournfully haunting music. A few of the studies are complex rhythmically - these I skimmed through without trying at first to be precise: what comes through is the underlying melody and style. The easier pieces give momentum for sight reading, while repetition and concentration will bring out the more difficult ones in time (double entendre!)
Oddly, I was on a roll, playing tenor (while my wife may be gaining the sense of becoming a saxophone widow, with me immersed in music, desirous of no interruption as I progressed through the 20 studies) - when my wife came to report the death of a person of note whom we had encountered years ago ... my eyes already damp from the beauty of the music, I blew up a storm, in the latter studies, with their culminating passion, leading to the menuet finale, which I played as I had before in a brooding tone - meanwhile my sound was getting quite foggy, and probably uneffective for anyone listening except myself. ... looking forward to the next time through!
Back to the recommendation: this will be familiar music to most classical listeners - while challenging the performer, which adds the pleasure of interpretation while producing oneself music one has enjoyed listening to before.
 

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Nice suggestions, I never knew the Klose book stole from other sources.
Now that I'm done with my saxophone degree, I've been working up some non-saxophone pieces on my sax. Few classical composers look to the saxophone as a viable voice of transcendent beauty...therefore, we are forced to steal from the violin, flute, cello, clarinet, etc. These non-sax pieces are a challenge for their different interval/note sequences that are avoided in sax lit because they do not lay well on the horn. Bring on the challenge. Also, there are few saxophone pieces that treat the altissimo as a normal extension of range. I'm improving a lot on my upper register by working through flute music.
 

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The Bach two part inventions are great as duo pieces. I've also just written out some of Bartok's Mikrocosmos pieces as duos for a clarinet student of mine to play with her brother who is a violinist. They would work well on saxophone, too.
Many saxophonists have played the Bach Cello suites as (often fairly difficult) studies. I play them from the original Cello part on baritone and take the low C's (I don't have a low A) up an octave.
 

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jsusax said:
I think the Ferling book was originally for oboe
Correct. A lot of classical Etude books are originally for oboe. We could probably fit ten pages with pieces originally written for other instruments but have been transcribed for saxophone. I personally play a lot of Bach flute pieces...
 

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J.Max said:
I personally play a lot of Bach flute pieces...
Any in particular? I'm also looking to axpand my literature range and find it's great to keep up my sightreading.
 

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jsusax said:
I think the Ferling book was originally for oboe
For those of you who play clarinet, check out the Rose 40 studies for clarinet. Many of them are identical to the Ferling etudes, just in a more clarinet-friendly key or register. I also found a few of the Rose studies in trumpet books that my friends play. Who knows where they originally came from, but what's certain is that etude theft was once common practice.

Students at conservatories were once encouraged to write their own etudes to help overcome technical and musical challenges. This comes a little easier once you've studied a lot of etudes and literature, but it's definitely not emphasized as much as it was used to. It used to be a part of learning your instrument, akin to how jazz players invent patterns for themselves to create new technical and musical challenges and to expand their creativity and range as players. I feel like more students of classical saxophone and otherwise should be doing this.

I for one prefer to play the solo and chamber literature written for the instrument. The majority of it is French and written in the 20th century. Something about flute pieces on sax just doesn't sit well with me, it never sounds right as I am also a flute player and usually would rather just play the tune on flute. :shock:
 
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