Notes & Reviews:
Many classical composers have been seduced by the sound and wide range of colors and sonorities the saxophone produces. From Glazunov’s concerto to present day composers, the repertoire has grown to include some fascinating works. This disc gathers together French works with a very Mediterranean feel. The sultry sound of the saxophone is used to tremendous effect in Schmitt’s exotic Légende. Tomasi’s imposing concerto and the vibrant Tableaux de Provence by Paule Maurice will be discoveries for most listeners. Theodore Kerkezos is one of the leading saxophonists of his generation, and a champion of modern music. He is also active in preserving and bringing to a wider audience the repertoire for his instrument – much of which is little known.
He's a tremendous instrumentalist, approaching everything he does with fire and commitment...Most of these composers associate the saxophone with sensuality and gorgeousness, and sometimes, more awkwardly, with orientalist notions of the foreign. The major work here is Debussy's Rapsodie with its sultry evocation of Moorish Spain.
Debussy's Rapsodie, Florent Schmitt's Légende and Vincent d'Indy's Choral varié all hauntingly exploit the mellow reedy timbre, and Kerkezos, together with the LSO, finds a refined range of colouring and expression for each. A disc full of surprises.
Debussy's Rapsodie...drew on Parisian street vendors' cries for some motifs, investing the material with an urban bustle, though it was also infused with a Moorish flavour - a blend of the exotic and the urbane which also found in Tomasi's Concerto Pour Saxophone Et Orchestre and Schmitt's Légende.
There is a wonderful opalescent, fluid quality to the way he observes both drama and subtleties of colouring...[Kerkezos] brings evocative atmosphere and zest to the charming musical snapshots in Paule Maurice's Tableaux de Provence.
Classic FM Magazine
Kerkezos makes the classical saxophone sound great - a sprightly, unblemished tone coloured with an excited, balmy vibrato and, obviously, the London Symphony Orchestra play faultlessly...One for saxophonists - and lovers of French exotica - everywhere.
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