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Archive - Chamber Music, Concertos, Solo / Londeix


Release Date: 07/31/2007 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog #: 6421416   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jacques MurgierMarius ConstantPaule MauriceAndré Ameller,   ... 
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix
Conductor:  Jacques MurgierMarius ConstantEdouard CiavaneAndré Ameller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  International Saxophone Ensemble
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



JEAN-MARIE LONDEIX: PORTRAIT Jean-Marie Londeix (sax, cond); Ens International de Saxophones; 15 Jacques Murgier, 1 Marius Constant, 2 Edouard Ciavane, 3 André Ameller, 4 Marc Boneur, 5 Pierre-Max Dubois, 6 Pierre-Philippe Read more Bauzin, cond; 7 Unknown orchs & ensembles; 8 Lucie Robert, 9 Anne-Marie Schielin, 10 Carmen Picard, 11 Maurice Chancelade, 12 France Jénicot 13 (pn); Marc Eychenne (vn); 14 Ens Jean Courtioux 15 MDG 642 1416 (4 CDs: 283:06)


MUGIER Concerto. 1 CONSTANT Concertante. 2 MAURICE Tableux de Provence. 3 AMELLER Concertino, op. 125. 4 BERNIER Hommage à Sax. 5 DUBOIS Concerto. 6 BAUZIN Poème, op. 20. 7 Saxophone Sonata. 7 KOECHLIN Etudes, op. 188/8,2,9,3. 9 DESENCLOS Prelude, cadence et final. 10 HINDEMITH Sonate. 11 DENISOV Sonate. 11 GOTKOVSKY Brillance. 11 ROBERT-DIESSEL Cadenza. 10 EYCHENNE Cantilène et danse. 12, 14 ALLA Polychrome for 12 Saxophones. 15 MARKOVICH Complainte et danse. 10 LACOUR Divertessement. 15 DUBOIS Le lièvre et la tortue. 4 Les ecureuils. 10 DELVINCOURT 3 croquebouches. 10 MILHAUD Scaramouche. 10 BERNIER Capriccio. 13 CRESTON Toccata. 13 REUFF Chanson et passepied. 10 AUCLERT Comme un vieux. 10 Noël. SCHMITT Songe de coppelios. 10 IBERT L’age d’or. 10 BONNEAU Caprice en forme de valse. DEBUSSY Syrinx (trans. Londeix)


The history of music is dotted with virtuosos who legitimized their instruments as serious concert vehicles by realizing their hitherto unimagined possibilities. In Mozart’s time, the clarinet was thought to be a utilitarian band instrument whose tone was considered too stridently common for orchestral work. Enter Anton Stadler, a clarinetist who was able to produce an eerily beautiful tone which was said to have approximated the sound of the human voice in its variegated colors and suppleness. Mozart was inspired, and the result was his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and his incomparable Clarinet Concerto. Roughly a century later, a “retired” Brahms was coaxed back into composition by clarinetist Richard Mülfeld who proved to be the catalyst for Brahms’s autumnal op. 114 Clarinet Trio, his op. 115 Clarinet Quintet, and his two Clarinet Sonatas, op. 120. Instrumental virtuosos need music to serve as concert vehicles, and composers need virtuosos to champion their works. Closer to our own time, Pablo Casals and later Mstislav Rostropovich did much the same for the cello, as did André Segovia for his beloved guitar. The latter was a particularly active commissioner of new works for his instrument.


The saxophone has had a less than checkered career. Conceived by Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax around 1840 as an instrument that would bridge the gap between the woodwinds and the brass, it ended up neither there nor there. A few French composers used it fleetingly—Bizet in his incidental music for Daudet’s L’arlésienne , Debussy in his Rhapsody for saxophone and orchestra (which he grudgingly composed and never got around to orchestrating, that was done by Roger Ducasse), and Ravel in “The Ancient Castle” from his orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. A few Russian composers toyed with it, most notably Glazunov in his Saxophone Concerto of 1931. So much for the composers of that generation. They could be counted, as Nabokov said in one of his novels, “on the fingers of one maimed hand.” The saxophone was quickly adopted as a band instrument and later became a mainstay in the worlds of jazz and big band. And so it seemed to remain, until this enlightening release crossed my desk. As is apparent from the headnote, the French have subsequently proven to be the saxophone’s best advocate. Apparently, I speculate, they never saw jazz as a lowly art form. Composers as far back as Debussy, Satie, and Ravel saw and paid homage to its musical validity.


Jean-Marie Londeix’s articulation, tone coloration, control of dynamics, and sheer musicality are mind-boggling. The fact that virtually each piece on this four-disc release has either been premiered by or written for him shows that the composer/instrumentalist synergy alluded to above is still blessedly in force.


The stylistic range of this release is impressive—from Paule Maurice’s disarmingly tuneful Tableaux de Provence , Pierre-Philippe Bauzin’s Chaussonesque Poème , op. 20, and Ibert’s sweetly melodic L’age d’or , to Thiery Alla’s post-Darmstadt-inspired Polychrome for 12 saxophones (employing quarter tones). In between one finds such magical scores as Marius Constant’s Concertante, Pierre Max Dubois’s Le liévre et la tortue , Jeannine Reuff’s Le Six-like Chanson et passepied , and Ida Gotkovsky’s beyond brilliant Brillance , whose demands in rapid legato articulation are effortlessly met by Londeix—to give just four random citations. Of the non-French composers, Hindemith makes a fine showing in his Sonate of 1943 which swings between vervy virtuosity and poignant Innigkeit , and Paul Creston’s Toccata from his Suite, op. 6 sounds, given Londeix’s account, quintessentially American. On a historical note, Edison Denisov, a composer quite dear to me, composed his sassily spiky Sonata for Saxophone for Londeix, who premiered it in Chicago in 1970 and has championed it ever since, bringing Denisov out of the Soviet musical gulag and to our “decadent” Western ears. What a gift!


A caveat: these are all private recordings made between 1957 and 1995 in a variety of locations on both sides of the pond. To be expected, the quality is variable—the undocumented orchestras often sound a bit dull and remote and the piano accompaniments will be, from time to time, shallow and percussive. Whatever the sonic shortcomings, Londeix’s sound—not merely that of a surrogate human voice, but of a transcendently musical one—comes through whatever the limitations of the recording media; and his accompaniments, orchestral and piano, prove to be completely simpatico. Given the widely varying times and places of these recordings, MDG has, in its subsequent re-mastering, achieved an admirable and highly communicative consistency.


My advice to the purchaser of this release, given its hugeness and the terra incognita quality of so many of its composers: go to the fourth disc, program Londeix’s transcription of Debussy’s Syrinx followed by Ibert’s L’age d’or and Milhaud’s Scaramouche . Sit back and play them. It will only cost you about 17 minutes of your life. Now that your ears are adjusted to the largely French glories of this offering, either select any work whose title or composer captures your fancy, or just go back to the first disc and play the whole thing in sequence. I dare say, for many of you, it may prove to be a life-altering experience.


FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Jacques Murgier
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Jacques Murgier
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
2.
Concertante by Marius Constant
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Marius Constant
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978-1979 
3.
Tableaux de Provence by Paule Maurice
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Edouard Ciavane
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954-1959; France 
4.
Concertino, Op. 125 by André Ameller
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Conductor:  André Ameller
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959 
5.
Hommage à Sax by René Bernier
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958 
6.
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra by Pierre Max Dubois
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; France 
7.
Poème, Op. 20 by Pierre-Philippe Bauzin
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960 
8.
Sonata for Saxophone, Op. 15 by Pierre-Philippe Bauzin
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959 
9.
Etudes (15) for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 188 by Charles Koechlin
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1943; France 
10.
Prélude, cadence et finale by Alfred Desenclos
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956 
11.
Work(s) by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
12.
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano by Edison Denisov
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USSR 
13.
Brilliance by Ida Gotkovsky
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
14.
Cadenza by Lucie Robert-Diessel
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974 
15.
Cantilène et Danse by Marc Eychenne
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961 
16.
Polychrome by Thierry Alla
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  International Saxophone Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994 
17.
Complainte et Danse by Igor Markevitch
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964 
18.
Divertissement by Guy Lacour
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968 
19.
Le lièvre et la tortue by Pierre Max Dubois
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957 
20.
Croquembouches by Claude Delvincourt
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; France 
21.
Scaramouche for Saxophone and Orchestra, Op. 165c by Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; France 
22.
Capriccio by René Bernier
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957 
23.
Suite for Saxophone and Piano, Op. 6: Toccata by Paul Creston
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935 
24.
Chanson et Passepied by Jeanine Rueff
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951 
25.
Comme un vieux Noël by Pierre Auclert
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941/1969 
26.
Les Ecureuils by Pierre Max Dubois
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971 
27.
Songe de Coppélius, Op. 30 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
28.
Le chevalier errant: L'âge d'or by Jacques Ibert
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; France 
29.
Caprice en forme de valse by Paul Bonneau (1918-`995) by Paul Bonneau
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
30.
Syrinx by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Jean-Marie Londeix (Saxophone)
Written: 1913 pub 1927 

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