Saxophone Forum


by PsuSax
(25 posts)
10 years ago

What pieces are you working on?

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm not out to start a bragging contest (even though I have a feeling it will end up there). I'm just curious what everybody is working on, be it for a jury, rectial, a competition, or for fun. Also if anybody has heard a cool new piece, spread the word about it. As for myself, I have my senior performance recital in April. I'm programming the Denisov Sonata, William Bolcom- Lilith, John Anthony Lennon- Distances Within Me, Steven Galante- Shu Gath Manna (for sax and DX7 synthesizer, wicked cool piece), and a quartet piece yet to be deterimined. I also have a concerto competition to compete for the right to play with the PSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and I'm playing Dana Wilson Concerto for Alto and Band called "Time Cries, Hoping Otherwise". Great piece, check it out. I look forward to hearing about what everybody is working as well as whatever madness ensues.

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  1. by canpafe
    (4 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What pieces are you working on?

    I'm so damn good! I'm going to play all the hardest stuff for my next recital. Berio Sequenza, Lauba Jungle, Albright Sonata, Dahl Concerto and the Maslanka Sonata. Yeah! Actually, just kidding. I haven't played any of that stuff, and I'm probably not going to go near Lauba and Berio. Still unsure about that stuff. Not close-minded, just unsure. I'm a little up in the air lately about standard repertoire. Old and new. I have taught it for a long time and played it for a long time, but I feel, and this is only my OPINION, that most of it really isn't that great. Sinta apparently said he hasn't recorded a lot because most of it isn't worth recording. I didn't hear that from him directly, but I did hear it from a good friend of his. What pieces for legit saxophone are really great? By that I mean, what will still be considered three hundred years after it was written? I don't think we don't have the benefit of time like most other instruments or the benefit of composers like Beethoven, Brahms or Bach. I am not against legit saxophone. Most of my musical life revolves around it, but I just struggle with the music we play over and over and over and over and over and over... I have some pieces in my repertoire that I do like, however. I'm just really picky about what I play. Maybe too picky, but here they are. I play Demersseman's Fantaisie su un theme originale, Muczynski's Sonata, Distances Within Me (this one got better that longer I worked on it. At first it was just a challenge. Now I love it), Maslanka's Sonata(a work in progress), Bonneau Caprice (but I imagine that I play it with a bit looser interpretation that a lot of people. Imagine two really drunk people trying to waltz.), Double Vision by Charles Young (but again, looser that most maybe. I use tenor occasionally, with Charles Young's blessing, and the improv. section is wide open. It's great!), Music for Diverse Instruments by Frank Bennett...I could go on, but not too much. A lot of what I have played remains in my past. I think it's critical to know and play Ibert, Creston, Glauzonov, etc., but after that we...or maybe just me...need to find our own voice. I also think sax quartet is great great stuff. The sax quartet is just as important to the saxophone family as the string quartet is to the strings. I love Maslanka's Mountain Roads. A bit long-winded in the end, but beautiful. I'll shut up now. THANKS!

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  2. by astrocarro
    (5 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What pieces are you working on?

    Right now, I'm in between the Glaz, Introduction Dance anf Furioso by Couf, and Flight. On an alternate/similair note, does anyone know where I can find the Morosco Blue Sonata, or Caprice? I'm not sure which one, but probably the easiest one. Thanks!

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  3. by Kitch22
    (98 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What pieces are you working on?

    I'm working on the Gurewich Concerto for alto sax. It's a great piece to play.

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    1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
      (767 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: What pieces are you working on?

      I'm doing a few transcriptions from Bach's Cello suites on Tenor.

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What pieces are you working on?

        My latest enterprise is Schubert's Winterreise - piano w/ saxophone playing the vocal solo. No recordings to share yet - but I have the piano recordings pretty well worked out. Not technically very difficult, but fun to play anyhow. I'm at the point in my life where I don't compete, but I might solo occasionally and I have some intentions of publishing down the road once I have a library built up.

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        1. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          I'm working on two handel pieces. Adagio and Allegro taken from some Violin thing that he wrote, and a Bouree Duet. the duet is simple, I have to do it with this kid, it's all quarter notes and eighth notes, but the solo's pretty challenging for me. (eighth grade) it's out of the Rubank solo book. Are most of the pieces that saxes play in legit transcriptions, or are there actual written parts for sax. How are modern composers using the sax? I've noticed Philip Glass uses a lot of sax in some of his work, hopefully others will follow him.

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        2. by saxman0317
          (53 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Hey there, im in eighth too and i am also sworking on some Handel, personally Sonata in F Mager and Sonata 3 which i just played in a state wide comp. and finshed PERFECT score might i add. But also if your into jazz at all, try some of Coltranes solo transcripts......Blue Trane is a fun one to impress any girls

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        3. by The_MarkVI
          (80 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          as a freshman i am working on he transcriped solo of Giant Steps for tenor and flight of the bumble bee for alto

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        4. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          sorry, that should have been 15 clicks in 10 to 15 measures. (accelerating positively.)

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        5. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          That adagio is actually pretty cool - I like to take right off extra slow right after the adagio, then speed up about 45 clicks above speed in about 20-25 bars, then slow down to proper tempo after another 10 or 12.

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        6. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          yea, I'm working on the transcribed solo of giant steps too, but I'm going kinda slow. I'm into around the second half of the second page, just haven't got my fingers to move as fast as coltranes. Flight of the Bumblebee is a killer. I saw that done on trumpet once, it was awesome, if you can do that on alto, wow.

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        7. by bronzemonkey992
          (22 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Short term, I'm working on -Improvisation et Caprice by Bozza -Fantaisie Sur un Théme Original by Demersseman Long term, I'm working on -Blue Caprice by Victor Morosco -Sonata by Robert Muczynski -Sonate by Hindemith

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        8. by Hexaclon
          (90 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Hey, I'm working with my altered scales, transcribing Robens Ford solo on work song, practicing improvisation in oleo and other rythm changes. OOhhh and mostly, trying to master my new mouthpiece.

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        9. by John Coltrane
          (84 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Working on Sonata for Alto Saxophone by Wolfgang Jacobi for solo and ensemble, very different songs, lots of sharps and flats and rhythms.

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        10. by saxman0317
          (53 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Nice song......i tried it in a comp. once, fun with a bit of a challange

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        11. by phathorn
          (165 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Right now just working on some patterns by Jerry Bergonzi, Will be hitting Lilluth and Peck's 'the Upward Stream' in the very near future. Having to balance being in a band who is trying to get label attention and playing the classical stuff (which I love) is becoming more and more daunting....

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        12. by hselmer9966
          (31 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          Yea I just started the Dahl, Creston, and Dubois Concertos and the Creston Sonata. The Dahl Concerto is wicked hard, but in the long run it's probably the coolest piece ever written for alto. The Creston stuff is just a phase I think Im going through. And my teacher is making me play the Dubois for some audition. If anyone likes legit jazz they shouldnt play coltrane they should try Morosco's Blue Caprice, that is an awesome song. And if your in for a challenge try Maslanka's Sonata, the 3rd Mvt. is the hardest, its just all over the place, its crazy.

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        13. by Sunyveil
          (11 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          wow, I'm surprised to see a lot of people working on Morosco stuff, I've met the guy, he's my teacher's teacher, and I've even had a few lessons from him! I feel so honored Wow all of you sound so good... maybe I'm just a bit young though. Currently I'm working on Creston Sonata, that's awesome stuff... First and third movements mainly, I played the third for my audition at my high school. I only got a 7 out of 10 though, but my sister says that the teacher wants every reason to keep me out of the top band, as I am still just a "freshman" :(

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      2. by Eccles
        (4 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What pieces are you working on?

        Right now im working on Eccles sonata for a Recital, along with Crestons sonata. Creston is a very talented Composer but the peice is very hard. I thouroughly enjoy the Second movement of Eccles, its very technical. For jazz I'm playing the Harlem Nocturne solo, which is my favorite Jazz piece.

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        1. by Sunyveil
          (11 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What pieces are you working on?

          hmmmm second movement? I've played that. I didn't find it too difficult though, Creston Sonata seems to be a lot harder. But then again, it could just be my opinion.

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          1. by Jaj858
            (2 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: What pieces are you working on?

            Mai by Ryo Noda Improvisation 1 & Improvisation 2 and 3 by Ryo Noda longer term: Balafoon- Christian Lauba

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            1. by YanagisawA-901
              (312 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              lol anyone heard of the 1st suite?? Gustav Holst?? chaconne? intermezzo??and the march?? lol tuffy.. our "legit" band doesnt really play symphonic stuff.. were not instrumentated for that.. we play more of those songs that "paint a picture" or "tells a story".. the songs were playn now arent too tuff.. but were gettn better songs.. not quite sure.. the hardest one we have now is that 1st suite.. its a grade 5 i think

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            2. by phathorn
              (165 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              Shoot, I LOVE Holst, and to say that isn't symphonic, this is the same guy who wrote "The Planets" . For wind ensembles, Holst and Grainger are ok. Holsinger is alright although they all start to sound the same.

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            3. by YanagisawA-901
              (312 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              we played a percy grainger piece last year.. harvest hymn. i didnt say the holst wasnt symphonic. i sed that we usually dont play song that are. for some reason this year we are.. i really liked that grainger piece tho..

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            4. by slicksilver
              (8 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              we played first suite in Eb this year for evaluation. i think we did pretty good with it i was luck anuff to snag that alto solo in the 1st movement i got a sound link to it to.. www.cudaband.org/music.html its the third song under wind ensemble enjoy

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            5. by YanagisawA-901
              (312 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              is that the band you are in bro??

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            6. by slicksilver
              (8 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              yea

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            7. by YanagisawA-901
              (312 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              that is so beast. im glad you posted that. the only recording we have is that of the cleveland winds and its awesome to get another version of it from another highschool like my school.

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            8. by slicksilver
              (8 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              no prob hey if ne1 wants to hear us butcher elsa's percession through the cathdral its number 2 under windensemble. i'm covering the english horn part there at the beggining.

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            9. by sgt17594
              (31 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              I'm working on the scales from low Bb up to super high F(3 & half octive)! Target speed is 132!

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            10. by Vondermark
              (18 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              I am working on the Claremont Concerto by John C Worley, whenever Dorn finally delivers it. I am also working on the Glaznouv (sp?), Sarabande Et Allegro by Gabriel Grovlez, and the Jacobi Sonata.

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            11. by hselmer9966
              (31 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              Thats not that high. Coming out of 9th grade you should have had scales that high and fast. Try full range Bb to 4th octave C.

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            12. by Steve P
              (1 post)

              9 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              Iv been working on the Denisov Sonata for Sax and Cello, as well as the Concerto Piccolo. Really interesting pieces! I love them. Also, Iv been working through Steady Study on the Boogie by Lauba some more. I did it on my recital last april, and now Im working on memorizing it. Fun piece. Steve P

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            13. by newreedsyndrome
              (343 posts)

              8 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              Steady Study on the Boogie is a fun piece. I'm sure you've heard Tim McCallister's recording of it, but if you haven't, you should because it's pretty bad (meaning good).

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          2. by cowgirl
            (3 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: What pieces are you working on?

            Hello, Its really intersting to read about what people are playing and to get new ideas. I'm working on a programme for a competition, the usual stuff: Ibert, Descenclos, Villa Lobos, Glazunov, Mai, Denisov and so on! I really want to work on Lilith and Distances though. Any one know of a good recordgin of Mai? I can't find one anywhere!

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            1. by phathorn
              (165 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              have fun with lilluth...it's a bear!

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              1. by colonelkernel8
                (1 post)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                I am a junior in high school and I am currently working on Improvisation et Caprice (extremely difficult), a Bop Duet, and one other piece that I forgot the name of.

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                1. by saxs_make_it_happen
                  (42 posts)

                  9 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  This is my senior year and for our spring concert I'm playin Flight of the Bumble Bee alto sax solo, I've had it for 2 years now I think I've got it down but I'm always goin through it cause ya only get one chance with that hog lol. I'm jus hopin to impress our little 1-A school cause we're all one big family lol.

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                2. by hselmer9966
                  (31 posts)

                  9 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  2 years? thats too long for one solo expecially Flight of the Bumble Bee. I'm a senior too and i work on at least 4 solos at a time and they dont require 2 years. Ive already played the solos from my earlier post and now im working on the C.T. Smith Fantasia, the Maslanka Sonata, and Blue Caprice by Morosco all for college auditions and the Dahl. Im not tryin to be mean or egotistical but if you plan on going to college you will never have 2 years to learn 1 song. But good luck on that solo. My 2 cents, take it or leave it. Peace

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                3. by newreedsyndrome
                  (343 posts)

                  8 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  If you really want to get the most out of Flight of the Bumblebee, play it up an octave, and if you think that's fun, play it up two octaves!

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              2. by sax_maniac
                (984 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                CK8 - is the Bop Duet you are playing out of the Bugs Bower series? Those are really fun and challenging! I just got that series myself and am slowly working my way through it.

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              3. by saxs_make_it_happen
                (42 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                I'm not saying that it took me this long to get to where I can play it.............I'm just saying that I've had it plenty of time so it shouldn't be a problem. and I don't get a chance to perform "four solos at a time" anywhere with my band of 30 members. n I dont plan on taking 2 years to learn a piece sorry if I sounded like I'm the worst player alive. me and my director jus planned for a solo at my last senior concert when I was a sophmore and I always wanted to play bumble bee. Sorry I havent had the chance that bigger bands do to get to play really difficult music and solos and an endless library of music. I've always wanted to be able to do that like you said you're doing... that's what sucks about small bands is you get bored with the easy music. I was gunna go to Northwestern State University with my brother and sister but Im goin to the Marine Corps in May to play with their band.

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              4. by saxs_make_it_happen
                (42 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                lol I was readin other posts on here and whaddya know sumone was proud of themself and you critisized them also lol.... I thought this thread was to tell others what you workin on, not tell them how bad they are.

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              5. by hselmer9966
                (31 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                I wasnt critisizing you...damn! i was just sayin 2 years was a long time to play something and that if you go to college you wont have that much time and youll have to practice multiple solos at a time. read before YOU critisize. and besides i dont play solos w/my band i do them for college auditions and to progress as a musician. its awesome that youre playing with your band i dont get opportunities like that, but i do practice solos in a manner that professionals practice. also its very good for a college audition to have already learned a dozen or so pieces...they like that. critisizing helps some people, im sure when youre in a lesson and you play something wrong your teacher isnt all nice, he probably says what youre doin wrong and you fix it the next. think before you slander me next time(which im sure there will be).

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              6. by saxs_make_it_happen
                (42 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                Lol I wish I got to have private lessons.....that's a dream of mine... and I would LOVE criticism from a teacher, I was jus sayin that it seems jus kinda rude on here

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              7. by saxs_make_it_happen
                (42 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                lol y dont you tell me where I criticized ANYONE

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            2. by straightj23
              (103 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: What pieces are you working on?

              I just got my solo for contest in the mail. It is Second Prelude by Gershwin. It was listed as a class B solo (second hardest). When I looked at it, I didn't understand why it isn't a class C until I saw the last note. Even though it is optional, it is altissimo A. It will be tricky, but I can see if I can belt it out. Good luck all.

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              1. by MavisDavis
                (21 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                I am working on the Aria, by Bozza (so thus, the Bozza Aria) also, I'm working on a not too well known piece (usually for bari sax, but I'm playing it on alto) called Sonata, by R.L. Caravan

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                1. by SaxAppeal
                  (67 posts)

                  9 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  The Oxen Minuet - class 2, 7th grade

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              2. by MRsniffles
                (1 post)

                8 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                Right now I am playing flight of the bumblebee up a octave. This is quite a challenge for whoever dares. Has anyone ever heard of Samuel Adlers piece Soundings? It is very tough but very fun. For competition I am working on Bozza Improvisition and Caprice/Creston Sonata. Just for fun I am playing Ryo Nodas Pluse 72. This is sax-o-fun.

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              3. by barisax999
                (400 posts)

                8 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                i just started handels sonatat no. 3 arranged by rascher. really fun. not overly challenging. just some fast tounging, thats about it.

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              4. by BuffetSax
                (21 posts)

                8 years ago

                Re: What pieces are you working on?

                im working on improvisation et caprice right now. me and my teacher are "competing" to get the caprice down. its pretty easy if you take your time. Im also working on alot of the ferling studies for oboe and playing them on my alto, number 4 specifically. and i recently played sonata by eccles/rascher.

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                1. by sax_maniac
                  (984 posts)

                  8 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Those Ferling studies are excellent and quite musically interesting whereas others can be a bit tedious. I recently got the Hite compilations - lots of great stuff in there.

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                  1. by The Insomniac Saxman
                    (141 posts)

                    8 years ago

                    Re: What pieces are you working on?

                    Not working on anything in particular right now (I'm strictly a jazz and commercial player now), but haven't seen anyone mention the sonatas by Lawson Lunde (for alto, soprano, and tenor--the alto one is my favorite). Check out the recording by Leo Potts and Jack Reidling on Cambria Records.

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                2. by newreedsyndrome
                  (343 posts)

                  8 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Steady Study on the Boogy by Lauba. It's a HARD piece; lots of extended technique and multiphonics. Tim McCallister (spelling?) has a great recording of it out. Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner solos are great for developing altissimo chops on too.

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                  1. by Dark Eyes
                    (138 posts)

                    8 years ago

                    Re: What pieces are you working on?

                    I'm working on the uber hard piece Caprice en Forme de Valse by Bonneau for tenor and also Concertino de Camarade for alto. Both are hard and are going to sound as if the gods themeselves took up sax to play them. They'll be excellent! Cheers, Dark Eyes (unloved thesis)

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                3. by serieIIIsax
                  (6 posts)

                  8 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Here's one thing that really bothers me: vocalists sing...therefore the pieces they perform are called songs. Instrumentalists (which we are) play....therefore we perform pieces. Do not call pieces in standard saxophone rep "songs"....you should be shot.

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                  1. by thebarimenace
                    (4 posts)

                    8 years ago

                    Re: What pieces are you working on?

                    Hell yes, my man! Thank God I'm not the only one alive who knows that. In either case, I think I may start work on Creston's sonata, but uncharacteristically... for bari. I just need a challenge compared to all the other things written for lower horns. Also, I heard this really cool piece at a symposium called De Profundis. It's a bari solo based on both the Gregorian monk chant "De Profundis" and also "Round Midnight" it's not available for mainstream market yet, but it's a great piece that I recommend any serious player attempts.

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                4. by mike754
                  (1 post)

                  7 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Well I'm working on Creston Sonata( Mov. I & II, but might do third to). Im hoping to be able to memorize this for solo & ensemble and blow away the competetion with it

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                5. by ianhart
                  (5 posts)

                  7 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Lawson Lunde Sonata, McConnell suite for solo sax, Fuzzy Bird, and trying (and pretty much failing) with the Brant Concerto.

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                6. by azurealto
                  (79 posts)

                  7 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  I'm geeting a new saxophone soon, and i'll probably make a few jazzy songs once I get the hang of it.

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                7. by d
                  (1 post)

                  6 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on

                  ddddd

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                8. by lilmoose17
                  (2 posts)

                  2 years ago

                  Re: What pieces are you working on?

                  Can you tell me where you found the parts for the DX7 in Shu Gath?  I'm hoping to play it for my senior recital.  Thanks!

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