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What a beautiful and interesting work!

It's funny how the baroque feeling in the beginning blends well with the following parts. The solo soprano (with background) is amazing. I love the sound of this kind of quartet.

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1 hour ago, Luis Hernández said:

What a beautiful and interesting work!

It's funny how the baroque feeling in the beginning blends well with the following parts. The solo soprano (with background) is amazing. I love the sound of this kind of quartet.

 

The Quartet that performs this piece is the Pornic Sax Quatuor.

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#6 Mark Watters - Rhapsody for Baritone Saxophone and Wind Orchestra (2001).

This Rhapsody is probably one of the most virtuosic pieces in the Baritone Saxophone repertoire. Mark Watters is next to a composer a saxophonist. In the recording below, he is the soloist.
The saxophone writing is so fluent that one can only expect that the composer plays this instrument: the music is hard, but still playable.

Unfortunately, there is not very much Baritone Saxophone music, except the Saxophone Quartets. This composition explains why contemporary composers should write more for this specific instrument.

NOTE: Only the score of the Baritone Saxophone is shown, but this still gives a very clear impression of the characteristics of the instrument.

Mark Watters - Rhapsody for Baritone Saxophone and Wind Orchestra (2001).

 

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#7 Iannis Xenakis - XAS (1987)

The following piece is considered as a member of the extremely 'avant garde' saxophone repertoire. Xenakis not only leaves the tonality, but rhythm, playing in tune and other techniques are very complex too.

Description by James Harley:

Iannis Xenakis was not known for his attraction to woodwind instruments, and certainly not to the saxophone. In fact, he wrote for this instrument but once. XAS, however, is a highly successful piece, and has entered into the repertoire for saxophone quartet. This composer was attracted to string instruments, and if one omits the vibrato from the sound, the pure tone of the saxophone can sound remarkably similar to a cello. In any case, after persistent requests from the Rascher Quartet, Xenakis penned his saxophone quartet, exploring a range of sonorities and extended techniques, and explicity forbidding the use of vibrato! One effect he scrupulously avoids is the glissando, perhaps to avoid any connotation of blues or jazz. He does evoke more far-reaching cultures, though, through the use of an original mode that sounds Oriental, and in fact is adapted from the five-note scale of the Javanese gamelan. XAS is an episodic work, flowing smoothly from one section to another. There is a tendency in the piece to focus on the high register, no mean feat for the poor baritone and tenor players, but the close-voiced harmonies are quite beautiful. Xenakis explores the possibilities of multiphonic sounds, where one player produces more than one tone simultaneously, to provide a raucous contrast to the sweet modal harmonies of other passages. The occasional use of microtones enhances the exotic resonances of the music.

Iannis Xenakis - XAS (1987)

 

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7 minutes ago, Luis Hernández said:

I knew this piece because of my inclination to XX century music. But I didn't know the details (as the non vibrato feature). No wonder it is in the repertoire.

 

Well, Harley tells that the (lower) saxophone can sound like a cello, but this is mostly caused by the same vibrato. Funny is that Xenakis forbis vibrato with the result that the whole cello effect is quite gone.

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DirkH    15

#7 Mozart / Arr. Niels Bijl - String Quartet No.15 in D minor, Kv. 421a

Another beautiful compositions, this time an arrangement of one of Mozart's String Quartets. Note that the sounds and timbres of the four instruments blend extremely well. At some places the ensemble sounds like a pipe organ and sometimes it really sounds like string instruments.

This arrangement caused my to leave my aversion for the sax. I have yet to write for it, but I certainly will!

Mozart / Arr. Niels Bijl - String Quartet No.15 in D minor, Kv. 421a

 

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20 hours ago, DirkH said:

This arrangement caused my to leave my aversion for the sax. I have yet to write for it, but I certainly will!

 

Beautiful!

The Aurelia Quartet is a Dutch saxophone quartet, which played an important role in introducing this ensemble to more people.
Of the four saxophonists, three of them are professors on conservatoria in The Netherlands: Johan van der Linden (Soprano); Arno Bornkamp (Tenor); Willem van Merwijk (Baritone). I talked with these three about saxophone and I had some lessons with Van der Linden.
The alto saxophonist is Niels Bijl.

Dirk, I will restate your post to keep the structure of this topic. Thanks for sharing!

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