WORKS: Saxophone Concerto; Peinture; Saxophone Sonata
PERFORMER: Claude Delangle (saxophone), Odile Delangle (piano); BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tadaaki Otaka
CATALOGUE NO: CD-665 DDD
Whilst the Saxophone Concerto, a recent reworking of Denisov’s Viola Concerto, is not yet standard repertoire, the earlier Sonata (1970) is known to many saxophonists and poses major ensemble problems as well as employing the full range of contemporary techniques such as multiphonics, quarter-tones and slaptongue. Claude Delangle makes light of these and gives a superb performance that is as convincing as it is accurate. The second movement, where quarter-tones and multiphonics are much in evidence, is particularly effective, while the final movement with its overt references to jazz, is a breathtaking tour de force. Credit is also to be given to Odile Delangle for her performance of the demanding piano part.
The Concerto is perhaps even more virtuosic, with the soloist frequently playing in the altissimo register with amazing control and intonation. This four-movement work culminates in an extraordinary set of variations on Schubert’s Impromptu in A flat that are completely at odds with the rest of the piece. Delangle plays brilliantly throughout and is extremely well accompanied by Tadaaki Otaka and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, whose woodwind soloists play with great sensitivity. Tim Payne