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Unusual combination

'Dance of the Blessed Spirits' for saxophone and organ -
reviewed by ROBERT HUGILL

'... a lovely technique ...'

The Dance of the Blessed Spirits. © 2002 Daniel Rubinoff

Despite a promising early career in nineteenth century France, the saxophone never quite made it into full-time classical music. Thanks to its adoption by popular music and jazz, it has been consigned to the sidelines, making an appearance as an occasional novelty. The instrument's relative neglect is puzzling as it is highly versatile, with a strong even tone. This neglect has been changing as contemporary saxophonists ask composers to create a new repertoire for their instrument. In England, John Harle has done much for the instrument's reputation. This disc is the first of a number produced by the Canadian saxophonist, Daniel Rubinoff.

Eugène Bozza (1905-1991) was an early champion of the saxophone, though he is best known now for his wind chamber music. His charmingly melodic Chanson à Bercer [listen -- track 1, 0:00-1:16] and Gavotte make a lovely start to the disc. They display Rubinoff's fine tone and wonderful control of his instrument. Throughout the disc he produces a smooth even tone, with a lovely sense of line, though he does have a fraction more vibrato than I would like.

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Copyright © 6 April 2004 Robert Hugill, London UK


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