Famous works for saxophone: Concertos

This is the most famous of the famous, and could be called the bible of saxophone music. This piece was written at the behest of German saxophonist Rascher, and Ibert asked Marcel Mule, the god of the saxophone, to play it and give his advice. In fact, it could be said that Mule was the first to perform the piece. A recording of a masterful performance by Mule still exists. The "11 instruments" were the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, two violins, viola, cello, and contra-bass.

Jacques Ibert (1890 - 1962)

Jacques Ibert (1890 - 1962)

This is a modern Japanese piece. It was written for Japan's world-class saxophonist Nobuya Sugawa in 1994. It is three overlapping concertos in which the saxophone, piano, and percussion play independently. The piece has three movements: 1. "Bird in Colors" (allegro), 2. "Bird in Grief" (andante), and 3. "Bird in Wind" (presto). It is a masterpiece that encapsulates the modern lyricism peculiar to Takashi Yoshimatsu. Sugawa has made two recordings of this piece, and it has been well received internationally.

Nobuya Sugawa (1961 - )  © Wataru Sato

Nobuya Sugawa (1961 - )
© Wataru Sato