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Discussion Starter #1
Philip Glass Violin Concerto

I picked up Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson's arrangement of Philip Glass' Violin Concerto, and from hearing her play it, and looking at the music, it kinda seems like circular breathing is required for certain parts. Otherwise you'd have to drop notes to breathe. Has anyone attempted this piece? Did you circular breathe or drop notes?
 

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Continue looking up Amy Dickson, especially her website.
Good breathing is her philosophy (and it goes beyond saxophone playing).

And yes, she had to use circular breathing for that particular piece, but it wasn't the only challenge (she made a few interviews about that). :)
 

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Just a note that although this thread is entitled, "Philip Glass Violin Sonata," it's actually about the Glass Violin Concerto (No. 1 -- Glass has since written a second one). BUT Amy Dickson also has recorded her arrangement of the Violin Sonata, which is very good as well. The Violin Sonata is one of Glass's best works of the last decade. It's very beautiful, composed in a quasi-Romantic Minimalist idiom.

As with the work of a Baroque composer, the almost mathematical purity of this music makes it very amenable to performance by alternative instruments. Dickson's soprano saxophone versions of the Glass violin solo works probably will become sax standards. (You can buy Dickson's arrangement of the First Violin Concerto.) Maybe next, baritone and/or tenor sax players will discover Glass's "Songs and Poems for Solo Cello." The excellent Glass Piano Etudes already have been taken up by harpists!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I was looking at the track listing on her cd where she performs both, and I typed out the wrong one. If anyone with the ability to do so reads this, please change the title. I have the sax part for the Concerto (arrived yesterday). Is the soprano part a note-for-note adaptation of the violin part, e.g. can it be played with the original accompaniment parts?

Also, is the Sonata available for purchase? You're right, it's also a very nice piece.
 

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Yeah, I was looking at the track listing on her cd where she performs both, and I typed out the wrong one. If anyone with the ability to do so reads this, please change the title. I have the sax part for the Concerto (arrived yesterday). Is the soprano part a note-for-note adaptation of the violin part, e.g. can it be played with the original accompaniment parts?
Not quite note-for-note, since she employs the usual trick of converting double- and triple-stops on the violin to grace notes, and may make some other minor accommodations along these lines. But I don't believe the orchestral parts have been transposed, since (a) it's a lot of work, and (b) an orchestra would not want to learn another version of a piece it had already performed, or might want to perform in the future, in its original form. Anyway, I have three different violin recordings of this concerto, in addition to Dickson's, and the sax version certainly sounds as though it's in the exact same key.

Also, is the Sonata available for purchase? You're right, it's also a very nice piece.
You can buy the violin version, but I don't think the saxophone arrangement is available yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not quite note-for-note, since she employs the usual trick of converting double- and triple-stops on the violin to grace notes, and may make some other minor accommodations along these lines. But I don't believe the orchestral parts have been transposed, since (a) it's a lot of work, and (b) an orchestra would not want to learn another version of a piece it had already performed, or might want to perform in the future, in its original form. Anyway, I have three different violin recordings of this concerto, in addition to Dickson's, and the sax version certainly sounds as though it's in the exact same key.
Cool, thanks for that. My interest in accompaniment is mostly hypothetical; the only playing I'm doing lately is to get back (and improve upon) my college chops, and occasionally for church, and while it's a nice piece it's a little long and not particularly churchy. Still, it'd be nice to have proper accompaniment should a performance opportunity present itself.
 

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Cool, thanks for that. My interest in accompaniment is mostly hypothetical; the only playing I'm doing lately is to get back (and improve upon) my college chops, and occasionally for church, and while it's a nice piece it's a little long and not particularly churchy. Still, it'd be nice to have proper accompaniment should a performance opportunity present itself.
You'll probably have more opportunities to play it if you get the piano reduction of the orchestral parts. You can buy it along with the violin solo part. As discussed, I'm sure the piano part will work with the soprano arrangement as well.
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/violin-concerto-sheet-music/16644608?utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImevb04Op3AIVlISzCh39iQ-bEAkYASABEgKD5_D_BwE&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_ggl_{campaign_id}_&popup=false&popup=false&utm_source=google&ac=1&country_code=USA&sc_intid=16644608&scid=scplp16644608
 
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