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The Classical Saxophone - A Love Story / Oviedo, Schmitt


Release Date: 07/08/2008 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1288   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alexander GlazunovEugène BozzaJean HuréLouis Mayeur,   ... 
Performer:  Javier Oviedo
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE CLASSICAL SAXOPHONE: A FRENCH LOVE STORY Javier Oviedo (sax); John-Pierre Schmitt, cond; Pasdeloup O MSR 1288 (56:17)


HURÉ Concertstück. MAYEUR Grande fantasie brilliante sur “Carnival de Venise.” GROVLEZ Suite for Alto Saxophone. GLAZUNOV Saxophone Concerto. Read more class="COMPOSER12">BOZZA Aria


If you are familiar with the sound and style of veteran saxophonist Harvey Pittel (and his teacher Fred Hemke), you will have a good idea what to expect here. Javier Oviedo was a student of Pittel’s at the University of Texas at Austin and what he acquired from the master, in addition to the love of French music that is the impetus for this CD, was the sweet, controlled sound and the predominantly lyric interpretive approach that is the hallmark of French saxophone-playing. Oviedo’s style, of course, fits this program of French and French-style pieces perfectly.


As I usually do, I read the liner notes first. Along with artist and orchestra information—not to be taken for granted these days—there is a short essay on the first American saxophone virtuoso, Boston socialite Elisa Hall, and her role in creating a taste for French music in conservative early-20th-century Boston. Oviedo’s own essay describes his and conductor Schmitt’s odyssey to locate the many works that Mrs. Hall commissioned from well-known French composers of her time, in addition to the Debussy Rapsodie that is already known to most saxophonists. They eventually found the collection in the library of the New England Conservatory, and one could safely assume that this release is a prospectus of the riches contained therein. Strangely enough, that is not the case. One might guess, since Huré is particularly mentioned as a composer from whom she commissioned a work, that the Concertstück is one of these pieces. That may be the case, but the notes do not say. The Glazunov Concerto clearly was not a Hall commission. It was written at the insistence of Sigurd Rascher and premiered by him. In any case, it was started 10 years after Hall’s death in 1924. The Bozza dates from 1936. The Mayeur Fantasie was composed for Adolphe Sax.


The notes are also silent on the identity of the composer(s) of the new orchestrations for the Mayeur and Bozza works, but such ambiguity and oversight need not get in the way of enjoying these recordings. The Glazunov is not so over-recorded that a new rendering can’t be welcomed. My favorite before this was the Eugene Rousseau on DG 453991. Rousseau’s impulsiveness is still quite appealing, and his transition to the third section (movement) is quite magical. However, if I could have only one version, it would be Oviedo’s, as I prefer his more lyric approach and more controlled vibrato. The Orchestre Pasdeloup can be a bit scrappy at times, in this and the other works, but is in no way inferior to Rousseau’s accompaniment. The other pieces in this program are not available elsewhere in this form. The Huré is particularly lovely. Oviedo meets the technical challenges of the Mayeur nicely, though the work is slight. The Grovlez is a charming suite of dances and the Bozza’s Aria shows off the soloist’s elegant bel canto tone to good effect. In sum, a must-buy release for saxophone fanciers and highly recommended release for anyone attracted to genial French music of the last century.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Alto Saxophone in E flat major, Op. 109 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USSR 
Length: 15 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2. Aria for Alto Saxophone by Eugène Bozza
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1936; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
3. Concertstück by Jean Huré
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 8 Minutes 34 Secs. 
4. Grande Fantasie Brillante sur Carnival de Venise by Louis Mayeur
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Length: 11 Minutes 46 Secs. 
5. Suite for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra: no 1, Pavane by Gabriel Grovlez
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 6 Minutes 33 Secs. 
6. Suite for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra: no 2, Sicilienne by Gabriel Grovlez
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
7. Suite for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra: no 3, Minuet by Gabriel Grovlez
Performer:  Javier Oviedo (Alto Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Schmitt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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