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Topic: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

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  1. #1
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    Penfield (Rochester), NY
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    Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    The Debussy "Arabesque No. 1" ranks among one of the most popular and loved works for solo piano. It is a wonderfully expressive work that surprisingly enough lends itself well to other performing medium including orchestra as well as pipe organ. I have set it here for saxophone quartet for my Washington Saxophone Quartet friends (www.wsaxq.com), rendered here using Finale 2006 and the CMB Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone solo saxophones.

    www.garybricault.com/mp3/DebussyArabesque1.mp3

    Gary Bricault

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Nicely done on a nicely chosen piece of music. It really does work well for sax quartet. I'd really love to hear it more fully realized with some vibrato throughout the piece, though. Otherwise it tends to be a little sterile. Also some of the lower soprano sax notes sound like the velocity is too high, resulting in a somewhat unmusical attack here and there. I'm sure your real quartet sounds wonderful onthis piece.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  3. #3

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Nicely done on a nicely chosen piece of music. It really does work well for sax quartet. I'd really love to hear it more fully realized with some vibrato throughout the piece, though. Otherwise it tends to be a little sterile. Also some of the lower soprano sax notes sound like the velocity is too high, resulting in a somewhat unmusical attack here and there. I'm sure your real quartet sounds wonderful on this piece.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Quote Originally Posted by bmdaustin
    Nicely done on a nicely chosen piece of music. It really does work well for sax quartet. I'd really love to hear it more fully realized with some vibrato throughout the piece, though. Otherwise it tends to be a little sterile. Also some of the lower soprano sax notes sound like the velocity is too high, resulting in a somewhat unmusical attack here and there. I'm sure your real quartet sounds wonderful on this piece.
    Thanks for your comments. I work in notation so I don't put a great amount of extra detail into the scores beyond the necessary performance details. To include vibrato correctly is a fairly large task. The surprise attacks are the fs markings that are really set too high. I have not yet found where they are scaled within Finale. I would love to cut them back as well. YOu can be sure that the live quartet would be a different sound. Maybe someday I will have a recording of it to share here as well.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  5. #5

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Hi Gary,

    I don't think I've ever heard this piano piece before, but obviously it does work really well for sax quartet. I totally understand your process and goals in realizing these quartets using Finale -- and the lack of intuitive control over certain performance parameters within the program. Nonetheless, your projects have been a real treat for all of us. Thanks! Looking forward to hearing the WSQ version of it when you have it available.

    Danny

  6. #6

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    I have played other sax quartet arrangements of the piece... this one seems very nice. Thanks for sharing it!

    BTW, the correct URL for the Washington Sax Quartet is http://www.wsaxq.com - it seems to have gotten mangled in Gary's original message above. Good group.

    If you'd like to hear some other nice sax quartet music online (including some nice Xmas tunes), check out this site (requires RealPlayer): http://www.dws.org/tsq/sounds.htm

    - David

  7. #7

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Hi, Gary

    Another wonderful adaptation you've done for The Washington Sax Quartet - You're so right, a very popular and beautiful piece originally written for piano. I think I must have first heard it when I was very young, because it always evokes a warm nostalgic memory of my early childhood.

    My understanding is that customizing how Finale interprets the dynamic markings is one of its important features - Maybe a Finale user here can show you where that happens?

    I believe you're using these files as a sketch pad so the quartet can hear your adaptations before they start rehearsing them, correct? So I understand that it's not terribly important to you to put in the extra time of making the recordings a bit more fully realized, like using vibrato. Because you're certainly right that making recordings with full use of MIDI controllers is a very time consuming task - I can Quickly and easily testify to that, since it took me over a year to adapt my "Dorian" MIDI files to play in GPO. There is that MIDI editing window in Finale for when you want to do that, I do believe?

    Thanks for this. I enjoyed it a lot.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  8. #8
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    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Another great arrangement for sax quartet. I love this piece of music. At times when I listen I am almost more reminded of Tomita’s take than the original piano work, though I think the sound of the sax fits the music much better than some of his voice-like sounds – for some reason the sax seems to bring out the French character of the music more.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed listening to this.
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Gary

    Another fine arrangement for the saxes. Keep it coming.

    Ron

  10. #10

    Re: Debussy - Arabesque No. 1 - Sax Quartet using CMB

    Still another well made arrangement for the saxes,
    Gary. You're getting some wonderful mileage out
    of them, I must say. Much enjoyed!

    My best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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