Creation

Creation

by Branford Marsalis
     
 

Although his brother Wynton has been very comfortable wielding his trumpet in the classical world, Branford Marsalis has been a bit shier. Fifteen years after first venturing into classical territory with Romances for Saxophone, the master reed player returns withSee more details below

Overview

Although his brother Wynton has been very comfortable wielding his trumpet in the classical world, Branford Marsalis has been a bit shier. Fifteen years after first venturing into classical territory with Romances for Saxophone, the master reed player returns with Creation -- a recording that focuses on early-20th-century French music for saxophone and finds Marsalis breathing new life into long-dormant pieces. Although this project may sound a bit outré, it is actually a perfect fit. Jazz rhythms were all the rage in fin de siècle Paris, and several of the pieces on Creation reflect the burgeoning French interest in the hot new musical style from across the Atlantic. Darius Milhaud's rarely heard ballet score from 1922, La création du monde, blends syncopated rhythms and up-to-date harmonies with sophisticated, transparent French orchestration. Another rarely heard work composed a few years later, Jacques Ibert's Concerto da camera for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, echoes the spirit of Milhaud's ballet with a three-movement concerto that is more classical in design but still resounds with the infectious rhythms. Creation also features several arrangements for saxophone and orchestra of well-known French music from around the turn of the century: Examples include Claude Debussy's spirited "Golliwogg's Cake-Walk" from his Children's Corner Suite, Erik Satie's laconic Gymnopédie No. 3, and Maurice Ravel's lovely Pavane pour une infante défunte. Accompanied by the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Marsalis's latest foray into the classical realm is an inspired pairing of artist and material. Mix his sweet-toned saxophone with the jazz-inflected music of the French avante-garde, and you've got a recipe for success.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
Branford Marsalis' second classical album -- released a yawning 15 years after his first -- is a far more successful project than its predecessor, dwelling entirely within the world of French music of the 20th century. Thankfully, Marsalis doesn't have to rely too heavily upon transcriptions this time, choosing interesting, stimulating, often jazz-influenced works with a genuine saxophone part, and he has the expert backing of New York City's Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, who doesn't use a conductor and doesn't need one. For Marsalis' fans, this album is also a rare opportunity to hear him on alto saxophone, along with soprano, and like his brother, Wynton, Branford Marsalis plays entirely and knowingly within the classical style, with one pardonable exception noted below. The CD begins deceptively with some Ronnie Bauch transcriptions of pastoral standard stuff by Satie, Debussy, and Ravel, but then veers into the authentically orchestrated strains of Milhaud's juxtapositions of melancholy and whoop-de-do hijinks, "La Creation Du Monde," which has a prominent part for alto saxophone. It's a fine rendition, too, well-paced, very polished and urbane, yet sufficiently raucous -- if not ideally swinging -- in the jazzy stretches. Listeners also get Milhaud's own version of the flippant "Scaramouche Suite" for alto saxophone and orchestra, which receives a performance filled with refinement and sass, and Ibert's delightful, neo-classical "Concertino Da Camera for Alto Saxophone" and "Orchestra," where Marsalis improvises his own cadenza with some of the post-bop fire that he displays in jazz. Sprinkled around the big works by Milhaud and Ibert are four excerpts from Milhaud's "Saudades do Brasil," performed by Orpheus with a detailed awareness of the music's swaying polytonal intricacies. A winner from Marsalis, sumptuously recorded and proof that good things can come from those who wait.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/06/2001
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998925120
catalogNumber:
89251

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Gymnopedie for piano No. 3  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  2. The Little Shepherd, for piano (Children's Corner No. 5), L. 113/5 [From "C  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  3. Pavane pour une infante défunte, for piano (or orchestra)  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  4. Excerpts  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  5. Pie Jesu  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  6. No. 1 Sorocaba  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  7. I. Vif  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  8. II. Modéré  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  9. III. Brazilei  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  10. No. 7, Corovado  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  11. No. 9 Sumaré  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  12. I. Allegro con M  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  13. II. Larghetto  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  14. III. Animato Mol  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  15. No. 11 Laranjeiros  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  16. Golliwogg's Cakewalk, for piano (Children's Corner No. 6), L. 113/6 [Fr  -  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

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