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Percy Grainger: Music for Saxophones - Transcriptions of music by Olsen, de Machaut, Bach, Jenkins, Lawes, Ferrabosco, Le Jeune. Joyce Griggs, saxophones

Audio Samples

  1. Grainger — The Immovable Do "The Ciphering C" (Version for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  2. Grainger — Ballade No. 17 (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Grainger — The Lonely Desert-Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes (Version for Saxophone & Piano) $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Grainger — The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude, BWV 874 (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Grainger — The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Fugue, BWV 874 (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Grainger — Pavan à 5 No. 4 "Four-Note Pavan" (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Grainger — Når jola kjem (Arr. P. Grainger in E-Flat Major for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Grainger — La Bernardina (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Grainger — The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue, BWV 849 (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Grainger — Fantasias for 5 Viols: No. 15, — (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Grainger — March in D Major, BWV Anh. 122 (Attrib. C.P.E. Bach) [Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble] $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Grainger — Lisbon "Dublin Bay" $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Grainger — Når jola kjem (Arr. P. Grainger in B-Flat Major for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  14. Grainger — 6-Part Fantasy (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Grainger — Angelus ad virginem "The Annunciation Carol" (Arr. P. Grainger for Saxophone Ensemble) $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Grainger, Percy : The Immovable Do (The Ciphering C), for clarinet (or saxophone or woodwind) choir
>Jeune, Claude Le : La Bel'Aronde
>Machaut, Guillaume de : Ballades
>Grainger, Percy : The Lonely Desert Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes, for soprano, tenor, baritone & instruments
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Prelude and Fugue no 5
>Ferrabosco (I), Alfonso : Four Notes Pavan
>Olsen, Sparre : Når jola kjem (When Yuletide Comes)
>Desprez, Josquin : La Bernardina, song for 3 parts
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
>Jenkins, John : Fantasy a 5 no 15 in D major
>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Four Pieces for Anna Magdalena Bach, H.1.
>Grainger, Percy : Lisbon (Dublin Bay), folk song for 5 saxophones (BFMS 40)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Fantasy à 6 in F major
>Anonymous, English : Angelus ad Virginem
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Percy Grainger called the saxophone "the world's finest wind-tone tool, the most voice-like", and wrote for it a series of fascinating but hitherto little-explored works. These arrangements are special in that, unusually, Grainger largely abandoned his idea of "elastic scoring" and noted specific instrumental configurations. The selections include the music J.S. Bach, British and Norweigan folksongs, old polyphonic instrumental and vocal music, as well as two original compositions, each indelibly stamped with Grainger's experiences as pianist, folk-song collector, and proponent of early music.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Perf (03/15/2013); The Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Perf (03/16/2013); The Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Perf (04/02/2014).



Reviews

Lovely works for Saxophone arranged/composed by Percy Grainger
This recording on the Naxos label features works arranged and composed by Percy Grainger, a particularly eclectic genius (read his biography unconventional and genius are most certainly not mutually exclusive), but one for whom the majority of his works are warm and witty and delightful. On this recording, we have music for Saxophones that Mr. Grainger found particularly voice-typed. And contained herein we have music of Bach (arranged by Mr. Grainger), original compositions (such as the first track, the delightful The Immovable Do and the 2 minute, 24 second The Lonely Desert-Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes), various pieces from The Well-Tempered Clavier, as well as folksongs that Grainger transcribed. The full range of saxophone instrumentation is featured here, but the blending of each of the voices is seamless and pleasing, in a way that is typically found only in the most evenly matched of human voices. It is easy to get lost in the sonorities of this music, and easily understood how Mr. Grainger found himself fascinated by the possibilities of sounds produced by these instruments.

For me, the Bach arrangements are particularly insightful in both texture and form, but the other works on this recording were also more than a little bit interesting it is clear that the abilities of the soloists are a big part of the magic that occurs on this recording, but by the same token all due respect must be given to the efforts of Mr. Grainger for mapping the original source material to these wonderful instruments in such a way that it is easy for the listener to let go of any preconceived notions regarding the musical material and immerse himself/herself in the overall experience (both emotional and sonically pleasing).

All of that being said, it is clear that the recording engineers working in the Foellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for the Performint Arts in Illinois did a fantastic job. Every nuance and keypress is accurately captured, and each piece breathes as the performers do the results are seamless and life-affirming, and this is a testament to the craftsmanship of all involved (including Mr. Grainger, despite his passing in 1961). This kind of experience does not happen unless all involved are committed 100%, as is clearly the case here.
For me, Percy Grainger is a bit of a guilty pleasure there is no denying the talent of the man, although his later endeavors do give this listener pause. That being said, I do find myself strangely drawn to his early to mid-life efforts, and am more than a little bit pleased by the music contained on this disc. I strongly recommend this recording for those similarly fascinated by Graingers work.

Submitted on 01/03/16 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Grainger, Percy : The Immovable Do (The Ciphering C), for clarinet (or saxophone or woodwind) choir
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Adrianne Honnold; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis; Drew Whiting
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1933-1939

>Jeune, Claude Le : La Bel'Aronde
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Adrianne Honnold; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Machaut, Guillaume de : Ballades
  • Performers: Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: 13th Century

>Grainger, Percy : The Lonely Desert Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes, for soprano, tenor, baritone & instruments
  • Performers: Casey Dierlam (Piano); Joyce Griggs; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 2 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1949-1954

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II :: I. Prelude
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 6 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1740

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Prelude and Fugue no 5 :: II. Fugue
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1722

>Ferrabosco (I), Alfonso : Four Notes Pavan
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Olsen, Sparre : Når jola kjem (When Yuletide Comes)
  • Performers: Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 1 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Vocal

>Desprez, Josquin : La Bernardina, song for 3 parts
  • Performers: Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Adrianne Honnold
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I :: no IV Fugue
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis; Drew Whiting
  • Running Time: 3 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1722

>Jenkins, John : Fantasy a 5 no 15 in D major
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 3 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1630

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Four Pieces for Anna Magdalena Bach, H.1. :: March in D Major
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis; Drew Whiting
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1730-1731

>Grainger, Percy : Lisbon (Dublin Bay), folk song for 5 saxophones (BFMS 40)
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1906-1943

>Olsen, Sparre : Når jola kjem (When Yuletide Comes)
  • Performers: Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Pierick Houdy
  • Running Time: 1 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Vocal

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Fantasy à 6 in F major
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Adam Hawthorne; Michael Holmes; Adrianne Honnold; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis
  • Running Time: 7 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Anonymous, English : Angelus ad Virginem
  • Performers: Jesse Dochnahl; Joyce Griggs; Michael Holmes; Adrianne Honnold; Pierick Houdy; Ben Kenis; Drew Whiting
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: by 1360