YourClassical Adventures

The Strong and Mellow Saxophone

Saxophone player street artSamuel Regan

YourClassical Adventures: Episode 87 - The Strong and Mellow Saxophone


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The saxophone is a unique instrument that has found itself played within classical to jazz music genres. Join host Liz Lyon as we explore the history of the saxophone and listen to examples of where the instrument shines.

Episode 87 playlist

Hector Berlioz: Chant Sacré — Hector Berlioz wrote this piece originally in 1829. In 1844, he arranged it for different groupings of instruments. One arrangement was for wind ensemble, which included two clarinets and four “saxhorns,” which we know today as the saxophone.

LISTEN — Hector Berlioz: Chant Sacré

Hector Berlioz: Chant Sacré

Jacques Ibert: Concerto da Camera, Movement III — This concerto in its entirety has a large range of notes and at times requires the musician to play the saxophone’s highest notes.

LISTEN — Jacques Ibert: Concerto da Camera, Movement III

Jacques Ibert: Concerto da Camera, Movement III

John Adams: Saxophone Concerto — John Adams’ father played the alto sax in swing bands in the 1930s. Adams said this early exposure to jazzy saxophone playing was inspiration for this piece.

LISTEN — John Adams: Saxophone Concerto

John Adams: Saxophone Concerto

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