Happy Birthday, Mr Sax!

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

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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