15 Master’s Level Works for Baritone Saxophone

15 Advanced Works for Baritone Saxophone [2]

 

Last years, many baritone players asked me for advice on the repertoire for baritone saxophone. As it is impossible to know all repertoire (check out this post), I have a long list with the most interesting works in terms of pedagogy and interpretation that I studied or played once at least. Anyway, let your teachers or professors help you in choosing which of them are the most suitable to each of you.

In November and December 2020, I revised the posts “15 Intermediate Works for Baritone Saxophone”, “15 Advanced Works for Baritone Saxophone (1)” and “15 Advanced Works for Baritone Saxophone (2)” that I published on this blog between 2013 and 2015. I have updated them by removing all transcriptions, in order to promote of the original repertoire for the instrument, and including more recent pieces. As usual, I haven’t repeated any composers (although some of them have a large production for our instrument) in order to give a widest vision of styles and have also summarized the comments on each work.

Here is my list of 15 Master’s Level works for Baritone Saxophone solo, with piano, with electronics and some chamber music. Go, guys!

1) Baritone Saxophone Solo

OXYTON (1991), Christophe Havel
P. J. Tonger Musikverlag, Köln-Rodenkirchen (GER). Around 9:00 long.
Range (written): A2 – Bb6
With no doubt, this work is really a milestone of our repertoire in terms of techniques (with really hard elements) as well as interpretative. Indispensable.
Watch the video!

PRESS RELEASE (1991/2001), David Lang
G. Schirmer, Inc. (ASCAP), New York (USA). Around 10:00 long.
Range (written): A2 – B5
Originally composed for bass clarinet and adapted later for the baritone saxophone by the composer, this work requires a great dynamics control in all registers and a great physical resistance.
Watch the video!

TIME FIELDS (2002-06), Hèctor Parra
Edicions Tritó, Barcelona (ESP). Around 6:00 long.
Range (written): A2 – G6 (or as treble as possible)
As a good example of a “new complexity” style, it is impossible to play this astonishing work without a great deployment of performing energy.
Listen to the audio!

TROIS RÊVES EN MUSIQUE (2015), José Luis Campana
Babel Scores, Paris (FRA). Around 10:30 long
Range (written): A2 – B6
This is an impressive work in all senses: technically and interpretatively. If you like challenges, this is your piece.
Listen to the audio!

2) Baritone Saxophone and Electronics

A CHILLIDA (1997), Mercè Capdevila
Contact the composer (mercecapdevilagaya@gmail.com). 16:10 long. Live electronics modulated with SPX90 II. There is also a version in live electronics by the sound artist Joan Bagés (joanbir@hotmail.com).
Range (written): A2 – F6 (or as treble as possible)
Each one of its five parts is an absolutely amazing sample of advanced techniques on the baritone and colouring on the electronics part.
Listen to the audio!

STAN (2001), Christian Lauba
Editions Alphonse Leduc, Paris (FRA). Around 8:00 long. Tape (there is also the possibility to play it with piano instead of the electronic part).
Range (written): A2 – C#6
A beautiful electronics part (simple but very efficient) for a very demanding work in terms of techniques, specially for the use of the circular breath and a final full of fast and rhythmic excerpts.
Watch the video!

MYRRH (2012), Timothy Harenda
Contact the composer (tmh0166@unt.edu). Around 8:00 long. Live electronics.
Range (written): B2 – C6
Originally composed for the alto saxophone, the version for the baritone rests also demanding, specially in its fast excerpts.
Listen to the audio!

motherFUNK! (2012), Ian Wilson
Contact the composer (tullynascreen@gmail.com). Around 9:00 long. RC-300 Loop Station. 
Range (written): B2 – F6
Although you control this device very well, it is a very difficult piece for the pulse and rhythms. Anyway, it is worth the effort.
Listen to the audio!

3) Baritone Saxophone and Piano

SONATE (2000), Alain Margoni
Gérard Billaudot Editeur, Paris (FRA). Around 8:30 long.
Range (written): A2 – A6
It is a brilliant work, with many advanced techniques on the baritone that requires a good work on chamber music, as well.
Watch the video!

CAUSA SUI SONATA (ed. 2002), Carl Fischer
Notissimo Editeur (Alphonse Leduc), Paris (FRA). Around 6:30 long.
Range (written): A2 – Bb5
It is quite similar to the precedent work but it is composed in some styles of modern music.

DOPPELGESANG (2015), Alan Theisen
Self-edited (https://alantheisen.com/store/doppelgesang). Around 12:00 long.
Range (written): Bb2 – C6 (D6, optional)
It is a fantastic piece for chamber music. It is technically demanding, with lots of advanced techniques, and very resolutive in terms of interpretation.
Listen to the audio!

4) Chamber Music with Baritone Saxophone

DUO-SONATE (1977), Sofia Gubaidulina
For two Baritone Saxophones (original for two Bassoons)
Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburg (GER). Around 9:00 long. Range (written): Bb2 – D6 (1st baritone) / G#2 (or A2) – B5 (2nd baritone)
Although it was no composed for our instrument, the sonority of the baritone saxophone gives a captivating atmosphere to the work. A great piece by one of the great women composers of the 20th-21st Centuries.
Listen to the audio! 

JMDC (2010), Dominique Soulat
For Baritone Saxophone Quartet
Editions Bar&Co, Ambazac (FRA). Around 9:00 long.
Range (written): B2 – E6 (1st Baritone) / C#3 – E5 (2nd Baritone) / C#3 – F#5 (3rd Baritone) / A2 – D5 (4th Baritone)
One of the very first pieces originally written for baritone quartet, it is a tribute of the composer to John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and Charlie Parker. If you like jazz, this is your work.

QUARKS BLAUS (2010-11), Joan Bagés i Rubí
For Baritone Saxophone, three Snare Drums and Electronics
Contact the composer (joanbir@hotmail.com). Around 13:30 long. Tape.
Range (written): A2 – G5 (the more treble possible)
The constantly search of timbres in the electronics as well as the instrumental parts, push the limits of the baritone saxophone. It is also interesting for the work on the chamber music skills.
Listen to the audio!

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