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Alliage Saxophone Quintet

Belgian flutist, clarinetist, and inventor extraordinaire Adolphe Sax dreamed up the saxophone in the 1840s, along with the saxotromba, saxhorn, and saxtuba. In 1928, Marcel Mule, his successor as saxophone professor at the Paris Conservatoire, founded an ensemble with the familiar soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone instrumentation. In 2005, Daniel Gauthier, the saxophone professor at the University of Music in Cologne, Germany, added a piano to Mule’s saxophone quartet, and the unique Alliage Saxophone Quintet was born, appropriately named with the French word for alloy. Not surprisingly, the classical masterpieces they play in performance and on seven CDs, two of which have won the Opus (neé Echo) Klassik award in 2005 and 2014, are specially arranged for the sui generis Alliage. Interesting recording collaborations, one embracing a renowned Romani violinist, for example, and another welcoming one of today’s leading classical clarinetists, have freshly encountered music from Milhaud to Gershwin and experimented with a musical interpretation of fairy tales through woodwinds. Alliage describes its saxophone sound as “chameleon-like,” transforming “into almost all the colors of other instruments,” while “the piano provides the orchestral fullness and the harmonic framework.”

Alliage Saxophone Quintet

Friday, April 4, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Foy Concert Hall

PROGRAM

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Saint-Saëns: “Danse bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila
Bach: Air from “Orchestra Suite No. 3”
Vivaldi: Autumn from “The Four Seasons”
Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Shostakovitch: Five Pieces
Bernstein: Suite from “West Side Story”
Poulenc: Suite Française
Nagao: Rhapsody on Carmen from Bizet

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