“The Art of Saxophone” = GLAZUNOV: Concerto in E flat Major; DEBUSSY: Rhapsodie; IBERT: Concertino da Camera; MILHAUD: Scaramouch suite; Creation of the World; VILLA-LOBOS: Fantasia – Mario Marzi, sax/Verdi Sym. Orch./Hansjorg Schellenberger – Arts

by | Sep 4, 2009 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

“The Art of Saxophone” = GLAZUNOV: Concerto in E flat Major for alto sax & strings Op. 109; DEBUSSY: Rhapsodie for sax & orchestra; IBERT: Concertino da Camera for alto sax & 11 instruments; MILHAUD: Scaramouch suite for sax & orch.; VILLA-LOBOS: Fantasia for sax & ch. orch.; MILHAUD: The Creation of the World ballet – Mario Marzi, saxophone/ Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano Giuseppe Verdi/ Hansjörg Schellenberger – Arts multichannel SACD 47748-8, 76:50 [Distr. by Albany] *****:

This is an excellent collection of works for classical saxophone and symphony orchestra, superbly performed and recorded with state of the art hi-res surround. Mario Marzi teaches saxophone at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan and is one of the world’s leading classical saxophone virtuosos. The Glazunov sax concerto opening the program was only composed in 1934 and has been much recorded, but this is one its best performances and the remainder of the program is well-chosen and played. There is a preponderance of French composers represented here, but the instrument was after all a French invention, so that follows.  

While the sprightly Scaramouch Suite is fun on two pianos or with sax accompanied by piano, it really shines in this version with full orchestra.  As to the other Milhaud work, I had never considered it to be a work for sax and orchestra, but just a ballet score for chamber orchestra. But it does feature the saxophone here and there, along with solo spots for many other instruments plus percussion.  It is the major work of the six on the SACD. Villa-Lobos used the saxophone in several of his works.  This one runs thru several different rhythms during its three distinct sections.

Sonics are first rate and for the technical mavens the inside of the note booklet cover has complete technical information on the multichannel recording setup.

 – John Sunier

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