Repertoire Series: Alto Saxophone
There are literally hundreds of pieces written and published for saxophone that could be considered standard repertoire, but in order to keep this article at a reasonable length, we will begin by featuring only a few pieces.
As young saxophone students mature in their abilities to handle more and more difficult music, many may have played through standard pieces such as Vivaldi’s “Sonata in G minor“, Handel’s “Sonata XIII,” Bozza’s “Improvisation et Caprice,” and of course Paule Maurice’s “Tableaux De Provence.” All of these pieces have a substantial place on the list of “standard repertoire,” but there are other pieces that bring a certain difficulty level found in more modern composition: Andre Jolivet’s “Fantaisie Impromptu,” Alexandre Tcherepnine “Sonatine Sportive,” Fisher Tull’s “Sarabande and Gigue,” Burnet Tuthill’s “Sonata opus 20,” and Ibert’s “Concertino Da Camera.”
Mastering standard repertoire pieces helps young students to build knowledge of the literature itself. Other pieces such as Heiden’s “Solo for Alto Saxophone” Ibert’s “Histories,” and Henri Eccles “Sonata for Alto Saxophone” add to a student’s phrasing, tone and technique as they study and gain more abilities on their instrument.
As high school students prepare for college auditions and continue on as music majors, they will likely have a chance to prepare many of these pieces. Encouraging your students to become familiar with these standards as soon as they are able will give them a “head-start” in their musical career!
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