The Saexophones

From Gesualdo to Sting

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The Saexophones are a sax quartet formed in 1988. The group covers the sonic ranges through the instrumentation of the high-end soprano saxophone, the seldom-heard contralto, the tenor, and a foundation of baritone sax. The Saexophones take their unique interpretations to the masses through regular appearances with European orchestras. On this recording, an overview of popular music is taken from C. Gesualdo d'Venosa (popular in the late 16th century) to Sting (popular in the late 20th century). The arrangements are conservative and light, almost airy. Pieces are arranged chronologically on this disc, from the late 1500s to the late 20th century. Often, only an identifying theme from the original work is provided, as in Gervaise's jolly "Bransle Gay" and Praetorius' similarly bouncy "Courante" and "Springdance." Given somewhat more attention are the classical icons Bach ("Bourrees," one of the most intricate pieces here), Mozart (the pastoral "Andante K138"), and the Hitchcock theme "Marcia Funebre d'una Marionetta (Funeral March of a Marionette)." Faure's "Pavane Op. 50" and Gershwin's "Visit" are two excellent keyboard melodies presented by the Saexophones. Bits from three dances by Shostakovich from Dances of the Dolls are also here. The inimitable Astor Piazzolla sees his imaginative accordion melody "Night Club" translated into the brass arena. The modern song also is adapted well. The chosen examples are the very emotional "Yesterday" (the Beatles) and Sting's "Moon Over Bourbon Street." Notes are in English, French, and Italian.