Tuesday 22 March 2022

Soprano saxophone transcription of Bach's A-minor violin concerto - live


This is a tremendously enjoyable live performance of the first movement from one of Bach's concerto's for solo violin; transcribed for soprano saxophone with with piano (instead of orchestral) accompaniment. 

The soprano sax is a truly delightful instrument - the same length as a Bb clarinet - which sounds more like an oboe than the lower-pitched saxophones, and is notoriously difficult to play in tune (the player must correct for the instrument's intrinsically unevenly spaces notes with varied pressure from his lips). 

Here, there are several extremely long passages of rapidly changing notes, during which I don't think Andre Tsirlin has time to breathe; yet he continues to play. I think (from the sounds) he is probably using 'circular breathing'; whereby the cheeks are puffed out as a reservoir and breaths are taken through the nose to top-up the reservoir; while a constant pressure of air is emitted through the lips. 

This, in a simpler fashion, is how a didgeridoo is sustained, and works on the same principles as the bagpipe.

Anyway, it all adds to the excitement of this live performance, which nonetheless manages to be very musically phrased and shaped. 

1 comment:

E M Johnson said...

Thank you for sharing it was delightful