The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

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The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:40 pm

Rascher commissioned concerti from other composers besides Glazunov; which ones would you rate as really notable?
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by Lance » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:14 pm

I don't know of Rascher's work except as a saxophonist. What of Glazunov did he commission?
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:11 pm

To tell the truth, I wouldn't consider any concerto or solo work for saxophone as notable, because I really dislike the instrument's sound.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:35 am

Lance wrote:I don't know of Rascher's work except as a saxophonist. What of Glazunov did he commission?
The Concerto in E flat major for alto saxophone and orchestra, opus 109, which premiered in 1934. It's the only sax concerto the Weasels play regularly, which is why I'm curious about the other concerti that were written for Rascher.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:30 pm

dulcinea wrote:
Lance wrote:I don't know of Rascher's work except as a saxophonist. What of Glazunov did he commission?
The Concerto in E flat major for alto saxophone and orchestra, opus 109, which premiered in 1934. It's the only sax concerto the Weasels play regularly, which is why I'm curious about the other concerti that were written for Rascher.
Isn't anyone else curious? YOUTUBE has many videos of concerti and other concert pieces for the saxophone, so obviously the children of Sax are very popular among composers, performers, and listeners.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:42 am

Here is one of those Rascher commissions, and a lovely piece of music it is, quite a handful for the soloist, too.



I simply cannot understand the snobbery surrounding this wonderful instrument. Why, you'd almost think it was a viola or something.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:34 am

Henry Brant was one of the composers Rascher got a concerto out of, in 1941.

Brant later developed a reputation for writing a much different kind of music


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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:24 am

A standard of the saxophone and piano repertory, Karel Husa's Elegie et Rondeau was written for Rascher as work for saxophone with strings and percussion.


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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:50 pm

Thanks for all the selections. Why don't the Weasels ever play them?; Ibert certainly is not an unknown.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:01 pm

Another really nice one: the Ballade for Saxophone and Orchestra by Frank Martin, written for Rascher in 1938.


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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:50 pm

That interests me, despite the saxophone - I'm a fan of Frank Martin's music. Somewhat off-topic, but the first of his works I heard is the harpsichord concerto, and it's still one of my favorites. This is the original Oiseau-Lyre recording, by Isabelle Nef who commissioned it.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:09 pm

You know, it's kind of a shame that Sigurd Rascher never commissioned a piece from Ernst Bacon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Bacon

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:38 pm

John F wrote:To tell the truth, I wouldn't consider any concerto or solo work for saxophone as notable, because I really dislike the instrument's sound.
Guess you hate Jazz then.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:29 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:To tell the truth, I wouldn't consider any concerto or solo work for saxophone as notable, because I really dislike the instrument's sound.
Guess you hate Jazz then.
I have avoided this thread, but I would turn that comment on its head. As I have posted before, the sax was my father's principal instrument, and it was for the same (wrong) reason that it is the main instrument of so many kids today, namely, that they take it up in high school band not knowing any better. (Most of them do not go on to study it at the Boston Conservatory where my father spent two hapless years.) In spite of that family connection, I also cannot stand the sound of the instrument. There is a reason that the sax has not become a standard orchestral instrument, and it is precisely because it is mainly good for loud jazz, with many famous exemplary players. I guess Kenny G is not exactly jazz, but as something tangential he tends to prove my point, and I will not mention the string of very famous names who are associated with the instrument strictly as jazz players. Even in concert bands of the Frederick Fennell type, which most modern concert bands at the high school level and above (including the military) are, the sax is a problematic instrument. It is necessary to the characteristic ensemble, but must constantly be held back dynamically, as much as or more than the brass per se, to allow the other woodwinds properly to speak I had this reinforced only the other day, when I substituted for a band teacher. I am not an instrumental specialist, but I can talk the talk and more or less walk the walk at that level better than the next randomly selected sub. At times when appearance in force is required, like, say, the Army-Navy game or an appearance by the President of the United States, the major bands will sometimes bring in "silent saxes," meaning that they appear to be playing but are actually not making a sound.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:36 am

Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:To tell the truth, I wouldn't consider any concerto or solo work for saxophone as notable, because I really dislike the instrument's sound.
Guess you hate Jazz then.
Not at all. I quite like some jazz - the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, traditional jazz, etc. - but most of what I like doesn't include saxophone solos.



They made other recordings of this, mainly in concert, but I think they got it right the first time when (I suppose) they played from John Lewis's score and the improvisations were short and to the point.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:46 am

As usual, I have to take the contrary position.

The saxophone is a beautiful instrument, capable of gentle, velvety tones, as the concerti I have posted here make abundantly evident. It is a very vocal instrument, as I found while taking lessons on the instrument. Fine saxophone players do much more with resonance, forming the sound in the mouth and the throat, as if forming different vowels. In this way they get an extremely wide variety of timbres. The saxophone can also be very powerful, it is true, as can the trumpet and trombone, and it can be very raucous, as it often is in jazz. This is one of the virtues of the instrument, not a fault: the instrument is so versatile, it can play anything. I think the orchestra would be well expanded to include a pair (or more) of saxophones as a bridge between the woodwinds and brass, or to provide it's own distinctive, expressive sound, as they do so wonderfully in the 6th and 9th symphonies of Vaughan Williams.

Of course it's played badly by amateurs. So is the violin. So is the trumpet. So is anything. You judge an instrument by the way the masters play it, not the bumblers. Rascher was one of the masters. And I've heard so many fantastic young saxophone players that would just make your jaw drop. So cut the snobbery already.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:23 am

Advance to the 3:30 mark, please.



Only good for loud jazz, huh? I don't think so!

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:09 am

Nonetheless. :wink:
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:25 pm

diegobueno wrote:As usual, I have to take the contrary position.

The saxophone is a beautiful instrument, capable of gentle, velvety tones, as the concerti I have posted here make abundantly evident. It is a very vocal instrument, as I found while taking lessons on the instrument. Fine saxophone players do much more with resonance, forming the sound in the mouth and the throat, as if forming different vowels. In this way they get an extremely wide variety of timbres. The saxophone can also be very powerful, it is true, as can the trumpet and trombone, and it can be very raucous, as it often is in jazz. This is one of the virtues of the instrument, not a fault: the instrument is so versatile, it can play anything. I think the orchestra would be well expanded to include a pair (or more) of saxophones as a bridge between the woodwinds and brass, or to provide it's own distinctive, expressive sound, as they do so wonderfully in the 6th and 9th symphonies of Vaughan Williams.

Of course it's played badly by amateurs. So is the violin. So is the trumpet. So is anything. You judge an instrument by the way the masters play it, not the bumblers. Rascher was one of the masters. And I've heard so many fantastic young saxophone players that would just make your jaw drop. So cut the snobbery already.
The Weasels are VERY snobbish, as demonstrated by the fact that the Glazunov concerto is the only saxophone piece they play regularly. In the evening hours, when they play excerpts from concerts, they often play sax pieces, but they don't rate them highly, as those pieces never make their way into the regular programming.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:28 pm

diegobueno wrote:Advance to the 3:30 mark, please.



Only good for loud jazz, huh? I don't think so!
OK, I'll grant you that's very lovely. So is the celesta in Nutcracker, another instrument whose inherent loudness is little known and which has been seldom used by later writers for orchestra. But still, Mark, how does it make the sax anything other than a specialty instrument in a standard orchestra? Even Il vecchio castello in Ravel's orchestration sounds to me like one of his mistakes. Other orchestrations, which basically sound the same as Ravel either because their composers were imitating a master or because the music suggests how it must be set, use the English horn. And the other famous example, from l'Arlésienne, just strikes me as mediocre music, much as I hate to say that about Bizet.

Your instrumental experience goes back to high school. In those days, did kids take up the saxophone because they wanted to be in the jazz band (a privilege they had to earn while also playing in one of the other ensembles, typically the concert band)? I am asking seriously. That was my experience at the school where I taught in Maryland, where I kept up with the musical activities of my students and in regular contact with the excellent band teacher.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:41 pm

jbuck919 wrote: OK, I'll grant you that's very lovely. So is the celesta in Nutcracker, another instrument whose inherent loudness is little known and which has been seldom used by later writers for orchestra. But still, Mark, how does it make the sax anything other than a specialty instrument in a standard orchestra?
The clarinet used to be a specialty instrument in the 18th century. Mozart and Haydn only wrote for it in a handful of symphonies between the two of them. Then composers started writing for it, and it became a standard part of the orchestra. The English horn used to be a specialty instrument. Some critic even complained because Cesar Franck dared use it in his symphony.

The way a "specialty" instrument becomes a standard instrument is simple. People start writing for it. Regularly, until it becomes accepted and people come to a concert expecting to see saxophones in the orchestra, then none of them get all huffy and say "eeeeuwww! There's a jazz instrument! Get it out of there! I'm leaving!"

The thing that really really galls me is that I even have to argue this! If someone started a thread about "Violin concertos commissioned by Isaac Stern" and I barged in and said "I don't consider any violin concertos to be notable because I don't like the violin", how do you think that statement would go over?

It's attitudes like yours that keep the saxophone as a "specialty" instrument.
Your instrumental experience goes back to high school. In those days, did kids take up the saxophone because they wanted to be in the jazz band (a privilege they had to earn while also playing in one of the other ensembles, typically the concert band)? I am asking seriously. That was my experience at the school where I taught in Maryland, where I kept up with the musical activities of my students and in regular contact with the excellent band teacher.
.

All I can tell you is that there are many many kids coming out of college who aspire to be serious saxophone players. Many of them play really brilliantly. Most will probably also play jazz because there are more gigs for them there.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:56 pm

diegobueno wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: OK, I'll grant you that's very lovely. So is the celesta in Nutcracker, another instrument whose inherent loudness is little known and which has been seldom used by later writers for orchestra. But still, Mark, how does it make the sax anything other than a specialty instrument in a standard orchestra?
The clarinet used to be a specialty instrument in the 18th century. Mozart and Haydn only wrote for it in a handful of symphonies between the two of them. Then composers started writing for it, and it became a standard part of the orchestra. The English horn used to be a specialty instrument. Some critic even complained because Cesar Franck dared use it in his symphony.

The way a "specialty" instrument becomes a standard instrument is simple. People start writing for it. Regularly, until it becomes accepted and people come to a concert expecting to see saxophones in the orchestra, then none of them get all huffy and say "eeeeuwww! There's a jazz instrument! Get it out of there! I'm leaving!"

The thing that really really galls me is that I even have to argue this! If someone started a thread about "Violin concertos commissioned by Isaac Stern" and I barged in and said "I don't consider any violin concertos to be notable because I don't like the violin", how do you think that statement would go over?

It's attitudes like yours that keep the saxophone as a "specialty" instrument.
Oh come off it, Mark. Whose "attitude" interfered with the introduction and standardization of the clarinet when its main benefactor was Mozart? All composers thereafter gave it a seat on Olympus with the other principal woodwinds. Who stood in the way of the violin family supplanting the viol family (except for the double bass)? If you think you are in communication with the spirits of the mostly deceased important orchestral composers since the saxophone was invented, you are free to ask them if dummies like Brosseau are responsible for it not now being a standard instrument of the orchestra. Dream on.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:39 pm

The saxophone is certainly less marginal in classical music than, say, the Heckelphone (love that name!), which Richard Strauss but few others have used in the orchestra, and some worthwhile music has been composed for it. I still don't like how it sounds, and I can't be argued out of that.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:05 pm

What the sax family needs is a composer who loves it as much as Mozart loved the clarinet! My good diegobueno, can you think of likely candidates?
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:20 am

John F wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:To tell the truth, I wouldn't consider any concerto or solo work for saxophone as notable, because I really dislike the instrument's sound.
Guess you hate Jazz then.
Not at all. I quite like some jazz - the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, traditional jazz, etc. - but most of what I like doesn't include saxophone solos.



They made other recordings of this, mainly in concert, but I think they got it right the first time when (I suppose) they played from John Lewis's score and the improvisations were short and to the point.
How about Trombones?
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:03 am

Without trombones, Stravinsky wouldn't be Stravinsky.



The Boulez/Cleveland Orchestra DG, also on YouTube, is strangely tame.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:25 am

jbuck919 wrote: Oh come off it, Mark. Whose "attitude" interfered with the introduction and standardization of the clarinet when its main benefactor was Mozart? All composers thereafter gave it a seat on Olympus with the other principal woodwinds. Who stood in the way of the violin family supplanting the viol family (except for the double bass)?
You weren't around then, otherwise you would have, I'm sure. :lol:

The problem here is you've moved the goalposts of this argument, which started out as the legitimacy of the saxophone even to have concerti written for it. Now that I've proved my point so that you can't deny it, you change the argument to whether or not the saxophone is a "specialty" instrument. So, thank you for conceding my point, but why not just let it rest there? Why turn it into an argument about the status of the instrument in classical music as it stands now? My concern is with classical music as it will be in the future. Why should there not be in the future a standard place for the saxophone in our music?

In the case of the clarinet, we have Anton Stadler, clarinetist, friend and Masonic brother of Mozart, to thank for K. 622 and the other clarinet works of Wolfgang Amadeus. In the 20th century we have Benny Goodman, and in our own times Richard Stoltzman to thank for a whole slew of new repertory for the clarinet. Sigurd Rascher worked tirelessly to perform the same service for the saxophone. More recently Timothy McAlister has commissioned and gotten a saxophone concerto out of John Adams. According to his Wikipedia page, he has premiered over 200 new works by composers including: Gunther Schuller, Caleb Burhans, Jennifer Higdon, Benjamin Broening, Kati Agocs, Mischa Zupko, Gregory Wanamaker, Roshanne Etezady, Kristin Kuster, William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, Lee Hyla, Libby Larsen, Lei Liang, John Harbison, David Rakowski, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Joel Puckett, Brian Fennelly, Evan Chambers, Ken Ueno, Donnacha Dennehy, David T. Little.

This is how things change, and it's a change I can believe in.
Last edited by diegobueno on Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:07 am

dulcinea wrote:What the sax family needs is a composer who loves it as much as Mozart loved the clarinet! My good diegobueno, can you think of likely candidates?
Well, here's a piece of my own modest contribution to the repertory. It formed part of my DMA dissertation at Cornell. It is performed by saxophonist Mark Taggart and a pick-up orchestra conducted, rather inexpertly, by myself. This is the last movement.

https://soundcloud.com/markgsimon/saxop ... i-movement

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:36 pm

diegobueno wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
The problem here is you've moved the goalposts of this argument, which started out as the legitimacy of the saxophone even to have concerti written for it. Now that I've proved my point so that you can't deny it, you change the argument to whether or not the saxophone is a "specialty" instrument. So, thank you for conceding my point, but why not just let it rest there? Why turn it into an argument about the status of the instrument in classical music as it stands now? My concern is with classical music as it will be in the future. Why should there not be in the future a standard place for the saxophone in our music?
I can't predict the future, but Adolphe Sax invented his instrument in 1840. I don't see much future for enduring orchestral music on a large scale to begin with, which I know would be guaranteed to ignite another disagreement between us if you weren't already aware of my thoughts on the matter. (As an aside, a composer of real stature like Elliott Carter wrote little for large orchestra, but that's because according to his own assessment he couldn't find full symphony orchestras willing and/or able to play his music.) But even if I'm wrong about that, orchestral composers have had 176 years to "mainstream" this instrument. That time span encompasses every composer for a full orchestra of approximately modern size (or at least who has not been almost entirely co-opted by the HIP movement) except Beethoven and Schubert.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:03 pm

Prokofiev included saxophone parts in some of his orchestral music, including the score for "Romeo and Juliet." The two saxophone solos that come to mind stick out like sore thumbs, for me anyway, as the timbre of the tenor sax is too voluptuous for the dramatic contexts. But I guess Prokofiev didn't think so.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:12 pm

jbuck919 wrote: I can't predict the future, but Adolphe Sax invented his instrument in 1840. I don't see much future for enduring orchestral music on a large scale to begin with, which I know would be guaranteed to ignite another disagreement between us if you weren't already aware of my thoughts on the matter. (As an aside, a composer of real stature like Elliott Carter wrote little for large orchestra, but that's because according to his own assessment he couldn't find full symphony orchestras willing and/or able to play his music.) But even if I'm wrong about that, orchestral composers have had 176 years to "mainstream" this instrument. That time span encompasses every composer for a full orchestra of approximately modern size (or at least who has not been almost entirely co-opted by the HIP movement) except Beethoven and Schubert.
Now John, you know I can't agree with any of this. If there's no future for new orchestral music, then the fate of the saxophone is a trivial matter. If there's no future for new orchestral music, then it's time to shut down orchestras altogether. Orchestral music is dead. Let's just put it in the grave and go on to find something with a future.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:19 pm

jbuck919 wrote: orchestral composers have had 176 years to "mainstream" this instrument. That time span encompasses every composer for a full orchestra of approximately modern size (or at least who has not been almost entirely co-opted by the HIP movement) except Beethoven and Schubert.
OK, so if something hasn't caught on for a lengthy period of time, say 100 years, then it's invalid and shouldn't be considered. I'll remember this next time the subject of atonality comes up.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:26 am

Atonality certainly did catch on, if by "caught on" you mean widespread adoption by classical music professionals. Even among today's less rigorous composers, tonality in any sense that Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms would recognize is a dead letter. jbuck919's point about the saxophone, I believe, is that it has not been widely adopted by classical composers, as the clarinet and trombone have been. Wuite a few composers have been willing to compose concertos for it on commission from a few classical saxophone soloists, but that's a different matter. Outside of classical music, the saxophone has been a big success story, and that's fine with me.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:20 am

John F wrote:Atonality certainly did catch on, if by "caught on" you mean widespread adoption by classical music professionals. Even among today's less rigorous composers, tonality in any sense that Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms would recognize is a dead letter. jbuck919's point about the saxophone, I believe, is that it has not been widely adopted by classical composers, as the clarinet and trombone have been. Wuite a few composers have been willing to compose concertos for it on commission from a few classical saxophone soloists, but that's a different matter. Outside of classical music, the saxophone has been a big success story, and that's fine with me.
As an artist, I cherish color--the more colors the artist has, the better for his work. The sax family contributes a whole new range of colors that deserve to be used; the composers mentioned in this thread--such as Glazunov, obviously--certainly showed vision in being willing to use those new colors in the works of their imagination.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:48 am

John F wrote:Atonality certainly did catch on, if by "caught on" you mean widespread adoption by classical music professionals. Even among today's less rigorous composers, tonality in any sense that Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms would recognize is a dead letter.
Nor is there any reason for tonality to be the same today as it was in the 18th & 19th centuries. I'm actually with you on this. In fact I will go farther and say that the because of atonality, because of the possibility and actual existence of music without tonal center, there are ways of making music around a tonal center that are very much different from anything that Mozart or Brahms could have imagined. I have been composing pieces whose harmonies are totally based on the set 5-29 (from Allen Forte's list of all possible pitch class sets in his book The Structure of Atonal Music). The flute quartet that I posted here recently (https://soundcloud.com/markgsimon/murmu ... n-premiere) follows this harmonic system.
John F wrote: jbuck919's point about the saxophone, I believe, is that it has not been widely adopted by classical composers, as the clarinet and trombone have been. Quite a few composers have been willing to compose concertos for it on commission from a few classical saxophone soloists, but that's a different matter.
Then we come back to the original issue, which is, is this a good thing. I, for one, say more power to those enterprising sax virtuosos working to make a difference.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:26 am

diegobueno wrote:because of atonality, because of the possibility and actual existence of music without tonal center, there are ways of making music around a tonal center that are very much different from anything that Mozart or Brahms could have imagined.
Then you do agree that atonality has "caught on," even if we don't exactly agree on what tonality is. Because of the widespread confusion between atonality and dissonance - you clearly know the difference, but many don't - perhaps the term "atonal" is no longer useful except, perhaps, when composers use it when speaking of their own music, as with Schoenberg.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by dulcinea » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:15 pm

Herr Francis, you say you don't like the sound of the sax. Beecham didn't like the sound of the harpsichord, IMO the loveliest and gentlest of keyboard instruments. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:01 pm

dulcinea wrote:Herr Francis, you say you don't like the sound of the sax. Beecham didn't like the sound of the harpsichord, IMO the loveliest and gentlest of keyboard instruments. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Assuming that's true about Beecham, in his time the harpsichord as it sounded in the 18th century had not yet been revived. The choice was between watery-thin-sounding instruments used for the accompaniment of recitatives and Pleyels like Wanda Landowska's, and while I have no problem with the latter as a valid instrument in its own right, it is easy to understand not liking an instrument when one has never heard a proper version of it. Of course, I have no way of knowing that Beecham didn't hear an inherent quality which he would have disliked no matter how "good" the instrument might have been.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:27 am

dulcinea wrote:Herr Francis, you say you don't like the sound of the sax. Beecham didn't like the sound of the harpsichord, IMO the loveliest and gentlest of keyboard instruments. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
So what? Mozart disliked the flute, as he said in his letters. Nonetheless, he composed excellent music for it when commissioned to do so.

The harpsichord "the loveliest and gentlest of keyboard instruments"? I certainly wouldn't say so. The softest of the keyboard instruments is the clavichord, and as for gentleness, that depends on the music, not the instrument.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:09 am

John F wrote: Then you do agree that atonality has "caught on," even if we don't exactly agree on what tonality is. Because of the widespread confusion between atonality and dissonance - you clearly know the difference, but many don't - perhaps the term "atonal" is no longer useful except, perhaps, when composers use it when speaking of their own music, as with Schoenberg.
You'll never get a consistent argument out of me because my point of view is all over the place. And I like it that way.

Some composers actively and deliberately avoid any kind of tonal center. They are writing atonal music. Some composers prefer to organize their music around tonal centers, even if they don't adhere to all the rules in Rameau's textbook. They are writing -- what shall we call it? -- I've heard the word "neo-tonal" used, or maybe "free tonality" (by way of analogy with the "free atonality" of Schoenberg's Erwartung period), or "tonicentric" if you wish (I just made that one up). Or, to simplify things, we can just call it "tonality" with the understanding that tonality is something capable of growing and evolving and being formulated anew.

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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by John F » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:32 pm

What you mean "we," white man? :D Maybe after all you don't acknowledge the difference between tonality and consonant harmony, or atonality and dissonant harmony. Whatever, you can use words as you like, but I don't buy it.
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Re: The Concerti Of Sigurd Rascher

Post by diegobueno » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:27 pm

John F wrote:What you mean "we," white man? :D Maybe after all you don't acknowledge the difference between tonality and consonant harmony, or atonality and dissonant harmony. Whatever, you can use words as you like, but I don't buy it.
We seem to be talking past each other. I don't think you have the slightest idea of what I'm saying. Maybe Im not expressing myself clearly enough. (Hint: tonality/consonant harmony vs. atonality/dissonant harmony doesn't figure into it). I certainly have no idea of what you're saying.

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