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CHAN 10466
Star    2 Ratings
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CHAN 10466

Saxophone Concertos

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2008

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2007


BBC Philharmonic

Yutaka Sado

Nobuya Sugawa



Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Brian Pidgeon


Stephen Rinker

Denise Else


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 76:12
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Select Complete Single Disc for


(b. 1953)
  premier recording  

Saxophone Concerto 'Albireo Mode', Op. 93 (2004-05)

  for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra  
  To Mr Nobuya Sugawa  
1 I Topaz. Andante tranquillo - Più mosso - Tempo I - Moderato - 11:36
2 II Sapphire. Andante misterioso - Moderato - Sena tempo - 11:12


(b. 1957)
premiere recording

Concerto du vent (2005)

  À Nobuya Sugawa  
3 I Un vent propice 4:25
4 II La marque du vent 5:29
5 III Un nouveau vent 9:06



Concertino da Camera (1935)

  for Alto Saxophone and Eleven Instruments  
  À Sigurd Rascher  
6 I Allegro con moto 4:22
7 II Larghetto - 3:46
8 Animato molto 4:40



Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra, Op. 14 (1934)

  Till Sigurd M. Rascher  
9 I Allegro molto moderato 10:17
10 II Adagio 6:52
11 III Allegro scherzando 4:27
Premiere recording of Honda’s Concerto du vent and Yoshimatsu’s Saxophone Concerto Albireo mode

Yoshimatsu previously wrote the Cyber-bird concerto for Sugawa, released on CHAN 9737

Nobuya Sugawa is one of the most distinguished wind instrumentalists in Japan. He is joined here by the BBC Philharmonic under Yutaka Sado to perform works by Yoshimatsu and Honda, both of which are dedicated to him. He also plays works by Ibert and Larsson which are firmly established in the saxophone’s concert repertoire. Sugawa performs in Japan and throughout the world and over the years has received numerous prizes and awards.

Takashi Yoshimatsu, who has a long-term association with Chandos, in 1994 wrote a concerto for Sugawa titled Cyber-bird, a piece which utilises all the functions of the saxophone, and fuses classical, ethnic and jazz styles. When Sugawa approached Yoshimatsu for a new concerto, the composer declined, saying, ‘I can’t compose a new work that surpasses the last one’. Yet, when the idea of a soprano saxophone concerto was mentioned, he writes, ‘I thought, maybe I can compose a concerto for the soprano sax that highlights “calm”, in contrast to the “motion” characteristic of Cyber-bird, and so I started to structure a new work’. The ‘Albireo’ of the title is the name of the double Beta star that sits at the beak of the constellation Cygnus. These two stars shine respectively bright goldenyellow like a topaz and bluish-green like a sapphire. Yoshimatsu continues, ‘Albireo Mode symbolises the character of the soprano sax, which is two-fold, combining both coolness and heat, both beauty and depth. That is why I named the cool and beautiful first part “Topaz” and the hot and deep second part “Sapphire”’. The work was premiered by Sugawa in 2005 at the Symphony Hall in Osaka.

Toshiyuki Honda began his professional career as a saxophonist. He writes of the connection between Sugawa and the Concerto du vent, ‘Nobuya Sugawa, a saxophone player like me and a friend whom I respect very much, entrusted me with the task of writing a concerto for him, a concerto that would represent a tribute to jazz. People tend to associate jazz with ad lib and rhythm and blues, but we took a slightly different direction… It was a great honour to be able to record with the BBC Philharmonic and Nobuya Sugawa… “Vent” is the French word for wind. Please think of the Concerto du vent as a Concerto of the wind’.

Completing the recording are Ibert’s Concertino da camera, one of the best-known works for alto saxophone, by a composer Yutaka Sado has conducted on many occasions, and Larsson’s popular Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra.

Sugawa’s playing is a marvel in its own right… he seems to have lungs the size of barrage balloons, and breath- and lip-control that produce melodic lines of infinite ductility – and which are moreover as secure at the extremes of his range as in its centre.
International Record Review

Lovers of the saxophone must welcome a CD that offers two stalwart works in such fine interpretations, as well as significantly extending the recorded repertory.

Yoshimatsu’s Albireo Mo de and Toshiyuki Honda’s Concerto du vent are showpieces of Sugawa’s burnished sound… The sinuous athleticism of Ibert’s Concertino da camera and Lars-Erik Larsson’s stunning, bluesy concerto are worthier tests of Sugawa’s virtuosity.
Classic FM Magazine

M Davies

P Melbourne