woensdag 18 maart 2020

The Solitary Saxophone

Claude Delangle - The Solitary Saxophone
The coming weeks I will post some of my main musical influences and inspirations. This is the album cover of Claude Delangle’s ‘The Solitary Saxophone’. Especially the Berio Soprano/Oboe ‘Sequenza’s’ inspired me as a teenager. The sound world of these pieces, and the way Delangle played this piece are something else! Both of the Berio pieces still represent the ‘contemporary’ saxophone to me. When the CD was released I remember already noticing the heavy acoustics. In spite of this, I tried to listen through the acoustics and to really hear the saxophone. How could Delangle play like this? This sounded unlike I whatever I heard on the sax before, even classical. If this is possible on a sax, what else was!?
Arno Bornkamp also released a Berio alto Sequenza on ‘Reed my Mind’ (not available anymore, in the future Bornkamp might put the audio for download again here: http://www.arnobornkamp.nl/#disco). Both recordings are extremely different, not only in acoustics. Delangle’s recording has more distance and is more objective. His sound is clear and transparent. This interpretation gives room for the listener to have his own musical association while at the same time conveying the musical thoughts of the composer.
Also the way a composer can make two completely different pieces, using a contrasting style is astonishing. The oboe Sequenza is quite avant-gardistisch and conceptual, the alto one is more melodic and much lengthier. But both pieces go beyond style. This is characteristic for true artists. Sometimes art is just so strong that within whichever style it becomes ‘music’, or even more.
It is difficult for me to explain, but together with the Stockhausen and the other repertoire, this CD represents something very dear to me. There are no concessions on this album. This is what it is. There’s no doubt in the repertoire and the way it’s played. And that’s something that gave me inspiration to pursue a career in music and especially the saxophone. Apparently this music was possible on the sax. I did not get it 100%, but this album provided me with a path to follow. I wanted to ‘understand’ this music and learn how to play it, to find other pieces like this and to learn how to play them.
And of course the saxophone technique is pure mastery. I remember listening very closely to the album while trying to analyse the sound, the intonation (I even put a tuner in front of the speaker!), the even registers, phrasing, articulation…
Here’s the Spotify link to ‘The Solitary Saxophone’: https://open.spotify.com/album/0pzbtxim3lVmSj4Y1L2KoQ…

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