Frank Martin

Ballade for saxophone, for alto sax, strings, piano & percussion

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    The Ballade for saxophone and piano is the first in a series of similarly titled works by Frank Martin, each of which features a different instrument in a prominent role. This work, nearly 15 minutes long, has the dimensions of a single-movement concerto. The particular instrument called for is the alto saxophone, whose solo repertoire at the time was rather slender. Martin deftly explores the instrument's still-emerging possiblities -- using it, for example, in the far reaches of what was then its upper range. Though much of the rhythmic activity in is marked by syncopation, the composer makes no overt reference to the saxophone's associations with jazz and popular music. Martin makes notable use of dissonant sonorities in the work, lending considerable harmonic spice. Like most of the Ballades, this one was first written with piano accompaniment and later orchestrated.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2004 Naxos 8557454
    2003 Musicaphon 56843
    2002 Koch Schwann 36597
    2001 Arte Nova 27786
    1999 Ars Musici 1220
    1995 Chandos 9380
    1994 Koch Schwann 311025
    Kleos Classics 5150