American Concerto
LAWRENCE GWOZDZ, SAXOPHONE American Concerto TROY331 - Price: $16.99
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Melodic, all-American music for sax and orchestra.

Sigurd Rascher became an instant celebrity when he appeared as a soloist with orchestra at the German Composers' Festival in Hannover in 1932. There was no precedent for a saxophone concerto to be performed at a composers' festival. Reviews of the concert appeared in all parts of Germany. This triumphant orchestral debut, with a concerto by Edmund von Borck (1906-1944), led to repeat performances a few weeks later with the orchestra in Berlin, this time under the baton of the celebrated Eugene Jochum. This was followed by orchestral engagements for Rascher throughout the world. During his long career as a concert artist, he performed with virtually every major orchestra and conductor in the world. With the exception of Debussy's Rapsodie (1904), the enormous number of concerti in Rascher's repertoire were all composed for and dedicated to him. All of these came about as the result of mutual artistic enthusiasm; not one was commissioned. One of Rascher's lifelong goals was to make sure a suitable repertoire was established for the saxophone. This CD contains a sampling of the many works for saxophone and orchestra that he inspired from the pens of American composers. For many years, he was the only person in the world with the ability to perform most of this repertoire. That others now perform it is largely a tribute to Rascher's own influence as the teacher and role model for succeeding generations of saxophonists.
Contents:
Warren Benson, composer
Aeolian Song
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone

Karel Husa, composer
Elegie et Rondeau
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone

William Grant Still, composer
Romance
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone

Carl Anton Wirth, composer
Idlewood Concerto
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone

Carl Anton Wirth, composer
Jephthah
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone, Steffen Hass, soprano saxophone

John C. Worley, composer
Claremont Concerto
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Kirk Trevor, conductor, Lawrence Gwozdz, alto saxophone

Review:
"This is the second time in as many issues of ARG that I have been sent an album by superb saxophonist Lawrence Gwozdz, and I am afraid of getting spoiled. Gwozdz has one of the finest alto sax sounds since his mentor, the legendary Sigurd Rascher. His tone and technical ability complement each other perfectly, and his contemporary sponsorship of the Rascher way - lucious, chocolate sound, and immaculate technique - serves sax music well. Each work on this recording was dedicated to Rascher, composed for him, and is by an American composer....Karel Husa's Elegy and Rondo is perhaps the greatest work here....Highly enjoyable." (American Record Guide)
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