Happy Birthday, Mr Sax!

On this day in 1814 in Bel­gium, Adolphe Sax was born to a promi­nent fam­i­ly of instru­ment mak­ers. Hav­ing invent­ed and improved a num­ber of instru­ments, he cre­at­ed the Sax­o­phone — sad­ly one of the few of his instru­ments that have lived on to the present day.

In cel­e­bra­tion of Adolphe Sax, today’s pro­gramme fea­tures brass instru­ments of all kinds, includ­ing some of his devel­op­ments and improve­ments, and of course the Sax­o­phone itself.

The music today ranges from ancient and ear­ly music, through Baroque and clas­si­cal, to Vic­to­ri­an and mil­i­tary brass bands, to rag­time, trad jazz, a touch of big band, right up to mod­ern works includ­ing a mar­vel­lous suite of pieces for wind band inspired by the works of Shake­speare. Patri­ot­ic songs next to New Orleans brass bands. The pro­gramme also includes the mar­vel­lous arrange­ments for the Vic­to­ri­an Cyfar­tha Band — read this entry for more details.

There are also some aston­ish­ing pieces that use brass instru­men­ta­tion in a dif­fer­ent and extreme­ly mov­ing way — such as the col­liery brass band arrange­ments from Grimethor­pe Col­liery Brass Band on Kate Rus­by’s My Young Man and Under­neath the Stars and on Peter Skellern’s You’re a Lady (which not only fea­tures a brass band arrange­ment — it has almost every­thing else you can imag­ine). And talk­ing of Peter Skellern, in today’s pro­gramme you’ll hear tracks from his Cheek To Cheek album of pri­mar­i­ly Great Amer­i­can Song­book tunes, also fea­tur­ing the musi­cians of Grimethor­pe Col­liery. Lis­ten to how very dif­fer­ent the sound of the brass band is to a con­ven­tion­al brass sec­tion in these classy arrange­ments.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at http://main.radioriel.org, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link: http://loudcity.com/stations/radio-riel/tune_in

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