Henry Brant was inspired to write his Concerto in 1941 specifically for the virtuosity of Sigurd Rascher, the incredible performer of the day. He incorporated Rascher's techniques of slap-tongue, flutter-tongue, and extended altissimo, which made the Concerto virtually unplayable by any other saxophonist. After Rascher's last performance of the work in 1953, it would be almost half a century before Brant would authorize another performance with orchestra in 2002, and the fortunate saxophonist was Dr. Noah Getz, another formidable talent. Getz worked closely with Brant in preparation for the performance, and continues to champion the work today. The foreword by Getz provides an excellent overview of the Concerto, and more information is available on his website. While Brant resisted the creation of a piano reduction, Elizabeth Ames has now produced a critical edition, using all available sources. The reduction was thought to be essential in allowing saxophonists to study the work, and in advancing performances of the Concerto with orchestra, as the composer intended.
Concerto for Alto Sax and Orchestra
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