Alto Saxophone - in Classical Music

In Classical Music

The alto saxophone has an extensive classical solo repertoire that includes solos with orchestra, piano, and wind symphony. The most well-known solo compositions are Jacques Ibert's "Concertino da Camera" and Alexander Glazunov's "Concerto in E Flat major".

Also, the alto saxophone is part of the standard instrumentation of concert bands and saxophone quartets.

The alto saxophone is also occasionally used in orchestral compositions. Several of the major orchestral examples are listed below.

Georges Bizet features it in the Minuet from the second suite of music from L'Arl├ęsienne.

It was called for by Richard Strauss in his Sinfonia Domestica, which includes parts for four saxophones including an alto saxophone in F.

Dmitri Shostakovich uses the alto in his Suite for Variety Orchestra and it has a prominent solo in the Waltz No. 2 section. He also includes it in his Suite No. 1 and Suite No. 2.

Maurice Ravel uses the saxophone prominently in his orchestration of Modest Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, most notably as the soloist in "Il Vecchio Castello".

Alban Berg uses the saxophone in his late orchestral works, most notably "Der Wein", Lulu, and the Violin Concerto.

Sergei Rachmaninoff uses the saxophone in his Symphonic Dances as a soloist in the first movement.

George Gershwin includes it in a few pieces; such as Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris.

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