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Sentence to think about :  The vase gives form to the emptiness, and music to silence.  Georges Braque
Sentence to think about :  What good attendance Plato, when a saxophone can also do us a glimpse of another world ?  Emil Michel Cioran
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The Saxophone Quartet

The Saxophone Quartet

A quartet of saxophones. From right to left: baritone, tenor, soprano, alto

The saxophone quartet is a formation of chamber music composed for a soprano saxophone, an alto, a tenor and a baritone. It also means by this name musical forms dedicated to this type of training, often in classical music built on the model of the string quartet. Because of the versatility of the musicians who composed, there are many variants of this training. The words "American" for two violas, a tenor and a baritone is the most common, but there are quartets of saxophones soprano, alto or tenor saxophone, including instruments and even rarer as sopranino saxophone or tubax.

Among the many existing sets of saxophone, the quartet is that the directory has the richest in quantity (more than a thousand works identified in 1994 by Jean-Marie Londeix in his book 150 Years of Music for Saxophone) and quality, and number of existing training is awesome. Without attempting to parallel with the wonderful string quartet repertoire, one can even consider it for this type of training that the most interesting composers have found inspiration in the fairest and most profound, and there are now number of pieces written for leading saxophone quartet, while the repertoire of sonatas for the instrument is unfortunately very limited qualitatively so far.

The birth of the formation

Shortly after the invention of the saxophone family (patent 1846), a friend and fellow of Adolphe Sax , Jean-Baptiste Singelée insisted to the inventor to develop formulas that chamber music around her instruments. Being himself a violinist, he offered this formula certainly Sax since he wrote his "First Saxophone Quartet" (well named) in 1858. The inventor was teaching four saxophones in his class from the Paris Conservatoire. And every student was specialized, contributing to the soprano saxophone, baritone who ... Contrary to what might suggest the subsequent hegemony of the viola in teaching classical (and tenor among the musicians of jazz ).

Adolphe Sax was then improvised music publisher and concert promoter. So he published a number of works for various groups of saxophones, but mostly for string quartet, in parallel to works written for the contest of the conservatory. Alas, few illustrious names in this production, but mostly military colleagues in the College attached to the academy, often themselves of talented instrumentalists. Besides Singelée, who also wrote "Grand quartet concerto" found in its catalog names of horn player Jean-Baptiste Victor Mohr, clarinetist, saxophonist and band leader Jerome Savari, pianist and music theory Emile Jonas, heads of music Jules Adolphe Cressonois and Valentine Sellenick. Sax's competitors also tried to occupy a market seemingly bearer publishing saxophonist Louis Mayeur and others.

However, after the closure of the class of Adolphe Sax in the Conservatory, and probably lack of properly trained musicians, the quartet repertoire (among others) until it disappears almost wilts. Among the few works that have emerged at the turn of the twentieth century include those of Raymond Moulaert Belgian or English Caryl Florio.

Le Quatuor Marcel Mule

We are indebted to Marcel Mule renewed interest during the 1930s. The soloist of the Republican Guard and unanimously recognized musician in classical music circles, and three of his colleagues panel initially form the Saxophone Quartet of the Republican Guard in 1928, later in 1936, the Saxophone Quartet of Paris, then Marcel Mule Quartet. Georges Chauvet, Hippolyte Poimbœuf, Rene Chaligne Paul Romby, Fernand Lhomme, G. Charron, Andre Bauchy Marcel Josse, Georges Gourdet and Guy Lacour (and even Daniel Deffayet on some records) will be part of the successive formations. The whole gives many concerts in Europe, while recording a series of disks that are part of the history of the instrument. Many composers write for them, including: Jean Absil, Adolphe Borchard, Amedee Borsari, Eugene Bozza, Charles Brown, Roger Calmel Robert Clérisse Alfred Desenclos Dupérier Jean, Julien Falk, Jean Francaix, Alexander Glazunov, Stan Golestan, Andre Jorrand, Eleuthere LOVREGLIO Roger Manas, Marcelle Manziarly, Georges Migot, Claude Pascal, Gabriel Pierne, Paul Pierne, Robert Planel, Jean Rivier, Jeanine Rueff, Florent Schmitt, Jules Semler-Collery, Peter Vellone.

These include among his immediate followers of Mule, who formed his retinue to similar formations: Daniel Deffayet Quartet, Ensemble Saxophone French Jean-Marie Londeix, quartets Nouali Michel (Republican Guard), Jacques Desloges , Jean le Dieu, Alain Liger (4 of Paris) ...

The Rascher Quartet

For its part, the alter ego of Mule, Sigurd Rascher also formed in 1969 with his daughter Karina and Bruce Weinberger quartet who also knew a great success in North America. Among the composers used: Erland von Koch, Gerhard Fritz, Werner Wolf Glaser, John David Lamb, Zdenek Lukas, Walter S. Hartley, Emil Hlobil, Rene Borel, Robert Starer, Samuel Adler. The quartet continues today and contributes seriously to the expansion of the repertoire since it was commissioned major pieces by composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Franco Donatoni Dufourt Hughes, Ivan Fedele, Luciano Berio, Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Cristobal Halffter, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Enrique Raxach Erich Urbanner, Charles Wuorinen ...

Contemporary repertoire

The most classical saxophonists today, inspired by the success of the quartet Mule and the interest of some scores when available, were themselves formed a quartet which includes the original parts and develops its own directory. Some parts are of great interest, and there is an increase of quality repertoire, parallel to the quantitative explosion. It is indeed often the formula for saxophone quartet as the most important composers of our time dedicating their work more relevant. Among the most notable include: Iannis Xenakis, Franco Donatoni, Ivan Fedele, Henri Pusher, John Cage, Salvatore Sciarrino, George Aperghis Erkki-Sven Tüür, Terry Riley, Hugh Dufourt Ichiro Nodaïra, Olga Neuwirth, ... portray a multifaceted instrument capable of feeding all the influences, first serve with all styles of music.

(Source: - copyright authors - article under GFDL)

Creation date : 31/03/2009 09:54
Category : - Chamber music
Page read 32125 times


Antoine-Joseph Sax

Anthony-Joseph Sax , better known by the name of Adolphe Sax (November 6, 1814 in Dinant, Belgium - February 4, 1894 in Paris) is a Belgian mailman of musical instrument, best known for inventing the saxophone. His father, Charles Joseph Sax, who was already himself a mailman of musical instrument, has made several changes to hunting horn. Adolphe Sax began making his own instruments very young, with two flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15 years. He then studied those two instruments at the Royal School of Singing in Brussels. It becomes a master of the clarinet to the point that competition is forbidden in his country.


Classical period

The Music "Classic" includes music written by agreement between the death of Johann Sebastian Bach is 1750 and the beginning of the Romantic period or the 1820s. By extension, called  "classical music" all european art music, music from the Renaissance to contemporary music. It is therefore necessary to separate the classical music, composers whose headlights are Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and classical music opposed to popular music in the West or elsewhere (referred to "Indian classical music," for example).

Daniel Deffayet

Deffayet Daniel, born in Paris May 23, 1922 and died in the same city December 27, 2002, was professor of saxophone at the Paris Conservatoire where he succeeded Marcel Mule after his retirement in 1968. He held this post until 1988.
It has long led courses at the International Academy of Nice and was one of Annecy.
Teaching Deffayet Daniel continued the academic tradition of Mule, imposing the same standard phrasing, vibrato and a systematic inventory essentially neo-classical, mostly composed of professors from other of the Paris Conservatory. His Saxophone Quartet has not been as successful as the Mule, but was often hired by Radio France for creations, as Antoine Tisné alloys, among others.

Jacques Desloges

Jacques Desloges (born on September 2nd, 1934 in Paris) is a French saxophonist, also conductor of the Orchestra of the National police force and knight in the order of Arts and in Letters.
Jacques Desloges studies music in CNSM of Paris or he acquires several prices and rewards, particularly the first price of saxophone in 1964. It acquires then its upper certificate of direction of orchestra in 1969. From 1975 till 2002, it teaches the saxophone CNR of Versailles and is part of several jury of competition.
During its career, it is solo saxophone of several groups as the National Orchestra of France, the Opera of Paris or the philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin. From 1975, it aims different together musical (he is tenured leader of the Orchestra of Harmony of the National police force from 1986 till 1992). Finally, it is  the director of the local conservatory Jehan-Alain, in Pecq from 1995 till 1999 and deputy manager in CNR of Cergy-Pontoise from 2000 till 2001.
Secretary of the Association of the French saxophonists (ASAFRA) of 1972 to 1982, Jacques Desloges wrote numerous articles on the saxophone, his musical problems, his compositors and his repertoire.

The jazz

The jazz is a music type born in the United States at the beginning of the XXth century. Existent of the crossroads of the blues, the ragtime and European music, the jazz is considered to be the first specific musical form to have developed in the United States.

Jean-Marie Londeix

Jean-Marie Londeix, born in Libourne (Gironde) September 20, 1932 is a French saxophonist.
A student of Marcel Mule and Jean Rivier, he was professor of saxophone at the Conservatory of Dijon during eighteen years, then at the Conservatory of Bordeaux.
A regular guest at American universities and in various countries where it is the defender of his instrument in the classical repertoire.
He founded a saxophone quartet called the French Saxophone Ensemble Audefroy with Roland, and Jacques Guy Lacour Melzer and Saxophone Ensemble of Bordeaux, made up of twelve saxophones. He has written three books on the saxophone repertoire, but also a method in 5 volumes, studies, teaching rooms and many transcripts.
He called on many composers whose works he has created. Among other Sonata Edison Denisov. He has been constantly evolve the saxophone repertoire, including working with Christian Francis Thrashed Lauba or development of a specific idiomatic repertory.
He was particularly interested in the musical possibilities opened up by the development of new techniques.
It was founded in 1971 the AsSaFra (ASsociation saxophones de France), "the first association ever formed to musicians in the world" in its own terms. His association has played an undeniable role in place of the saxophone in the world today. The AsSaFra still exists and is today the ASAX Association (saxophone).

Marcel Mule

Marcel Mule, born June 24, 1901 at Aube (Orne), died December 18, 2001 in Hyeres (Var) is a French saxophonist.
With Francis Combelle, Marcel Mule is one of the first protagonists of the school known as "French" saxophone.
In 1942, the director of the Paris Conservatoire, Claude Delvincourt, reopen the saxophone class. He entrusted the charge to Marcel Mule. During 26 years, he taught at that institution. Her students leave teaching throughout France and worldwide.
In 1968 he retires and ceases to play the saxophone.

Sigurd Rascher

Sigurd Rascher, born May 15, 1907 in Elberfeld) (Germany) and died February 25, 2001 at Shushan (New York) was an American saxophonist of German origin.
One of the pioneers of classical saxophone, Rascher was the sponsor of 150 pieces for the instrument including concerti Ibert and Glazunov.
After studying the clarinet, he chose to specialize in saxophone, which he develops game modes hitherto unknown and unheard, as shrill.
It be an overwhelming success in the early 1930s as a concert soloist, in Berlin and throughout Europe. This will encourage him to control many partitions to a judicious choice of talented composers, often captivated by his technical mastery.
Forced to emigrate because of the rise of the Nazis, he will then travel to Sweden and the United States.
His concerts with the Orchestra of Boston and New York are the first of these bands with a solo saxophonist.
He was a professor at the University of Michigan, the Juilliard School, Eastman School and the United States.

Jean-Baptiste Singelée

Jean-Baptiste Singelée is a violinist, conductor and composer of the nineteenth century Belgian, born in Brussels September 25, 1812, died at Ostend September 29, 1875.
He pursued a career as a violinist in Paris, especially in the orchestra of the Opera-Comique, and then returned to Belgium as concertmaster of the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie.
There is also a conductor, and directed the orchestra in particular the Theatre Royal Mint Ghent and Brussels.
He wrote many scores for the ballet, two violin concertos and many works.
Friend of Adolphe Sax, he has certainly rubbed it to the Royal School of Music in Brussels during their training in 1828. It supports an active musical inventor to debut in Paris: he wrote the First Quartet for Saxophones by 1853 (the patent of the instrument was then only 7 years), Sax encouraged to develop music room for his new instrumental family.
It is also the most active contributor to the examinations and competitions of the Conservatoire de Paris, during the period when Sax teaches and provides dozens of Fantasy, Concert Solos, Caprices and Memorabilia to be used in student assessment in specialized military One of the four saxophone quartet.