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Ballades For Saxophone & Orchestra / Kerkezos, Et Al


Release Date: 08/17/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557454   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Henri TomasiMaurice RavelAstor PiazzollaDimitris Dragatakis,   ... 
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Elsewhere I heap high praise upon a companion CD to this one, titled “Music for Saxophone and Orchestra.” I especially commended Theodore Kerkezos for assembling an attractive program of original works for saxophone and orchestra. Here we have the flip side of the coin, a program in which three of the six works presented are arrangements by other hands of pieces not originally conceived for the saxophone... Take Frank Martin’s Ballade for saxophone and orchestra. Here is a nearly 15-minutes long piece that runs the whole gamut of dramatic expression and virtuosic display. It is one of Martin’s most tightly argued and emotionally gripping works, somewhat out of character, I think, for this enigmatic Swiss composer who has always struck Read more me as having close cultural and aesthetic ties to France’s Les Six. This work is a minor masterpiece, and must surely be one of the most taxing challenges for the saxophone ever written. How Kerkezos manages those high notes without sounding pinched or in the least bit stressed is testament in itself to his technical mastery.

Henri Tomasi (1901–1971) was a composer of Corsican descent who was another in that very long and impressive lineup of pupils and disciples of Vincent d’Indy...His very substantial Ballade for alto saxophone and orchestra is based on a poem written by his wife, Suzanne Malard...The music is lushly romantic, by turns amusing and musing, and at moments menacing, which is an apt portrayal, I suspect, of the conflicted clown... Two world premiere recordings complete the program, a Ballade for sax and strings by Greek composer Dimitris Dragatakis (1914–2001) and a Czárdás for sax and orchestra by Spanish composer Pedro Iturralde (b. 1929).

Once again, as in the companion CD, Kerkezos, this time accompanied by Roberto Minczuk and the London Philharmonic, plays magnificently. Both discs contain appealing music and some of the best sax-playing you are likely to hear. This CD, I think, is for those days (and we’ve all had them) when one is in the mood for something a little less high-minded and a little more soothing. The companion CD is for those days when one is up for something a little more challenging, and perhaps a little more rewarding. I can recommend either or both very highly."

Jerry Dubins, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ballade for Saxophone and Orchestra by Henri Tomasi
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; France 
2.
Pièce en forme de Habañera by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
3.
Tango Suite for 2 Guitars by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Argentina 
4.
Anamnisis by Dimitris Dragatakis
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1959; Greece 
Notes: Arranger: Dimitris Dragatakis. 
5.
Pequena Czarda by Pedro Itturalde
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Spain 
6.
Ballade for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra by Frank Martin
Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos (Saxophone)
Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Switzerland  

Sound Samples

Ballade: Andantino - Gigue - Blues
Ballade for Saxophone and Orchestra
Piece en forme de habanera (arr. A. Hoerre): Pièce en forme de Habanera
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Preludio
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Fuga
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Misterio
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Fugato
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Oblivión
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Adios Nonino
Tango Suite (arr. T. Kerkezos): Libertango
Ballade for Saxophone and Strings
Czardas (orch. J. Iturralde): Czárdás

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