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Topic: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

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  1. #1
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    St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Perhaps one of Camile Saint-Saens most well known compositions is "Dance Macabre". Originally composed as an art song for voice and piano based on French text by the poet Henri Cazlis, itself is based in an old French superstition regarding death at Halloween. It was expanded and reworked into it more well known orchestral work several years later.

    This setting was produced from a piano transcription by H. Cramer using Finale 2008 and the JABB and CMB libraries. The instrument mix is;

    Sopranino Sax. (JABB)
    2 Soprano Sax.
    4 Alto Sax.
    2 Tenor Sax.
    2 Baritone Sax.
    Bass Sax.

    www.garybricault.com/mp3/StSaensDanceMacabreSax.mp3

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    This is masterly done, though I prefer the original orchestration. Never you "overkilled" the expressiveness of the instruments. How many try-outs did you make before this one emerged? You must have listened and tweaked this hundreds of times to get this civilized.

    Wonderful,

    Raymond

  3. #3
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Now that was fun... This is a great arrangement. At times there was the flavor of a French accordion and others it was almost like a mad calliope.

    I really enjoyed this.
    Trent P. McDonald

  4. #4
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    This is masterly done, though I prefer the original orchestration. Never you "overkilled" the expressiveness of the instruments. How many try-outs did you make before this one emerged? You must have listened and tweaked this hundreds of times to get this civilized.

    Wonderful,

    Raymond
    Raymond,

    Thanks for your very kind comments. Actually I scored the work for saxophone ensemble just one time and then did a little cleanup. It is directly from the score as it is written for this arrangement.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  5. #5
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd View Post
    Now that was fun... This is a great arrangement. At times there was the flavor of a French accordion and others it was almost like a mad calliope.

    I really enjoyed this.
    Trent,

    I agree. It is a great work to begin with. It is difficult to imagine the original setting as a vocal work. There are times that the saxophones even mimic the strings of the orchestral version. But yes, it is a very fun piece.

    Gary

  6. #6

    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Gary -

    Thanks! That was a blast!! Really cool arrangement of one of my all-time favorite classical works. Plus I learned something about it that I didn't know (that it started its life as an art song). As one who uses JABB a lot for the "J" part of the acronym, listening to this was for me like suddenly finding out some crazy secret about somebody I thought I knew - BUT in a good way!
    Nicely done!

    -TC

  7. #7
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by grebnar View Post
    Gary -

    Thanks! That was a blast!! Really cool arrangement of one of my all-time favorite classical works. Plus I learned something about it that I didn't know (that it started its life as an art song). As one who uses JABB a lot for the "J" part of the acronym, listening to this was for me like suddenly finding out some crazy secret about somebody I thought I knew - BUT in a good way!
    Nicely done!

    -TC
    TC,

    Yeah I totally agree. The story about the work is in Wikipedia and really blew my mind when I read it. But really, the saxophone sound works so well with this piece and the CMB saxes really help sell the product.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  8. #8
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Hi Gary,
    A great job of matching the saxes to the Orchestra.
    Some really nice sax sounds/articulations come thru.
    Gary

  9. #9
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    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by garymosse View Post
    Hi Gary,
    A great job of matching the saxes to the Orchestra.
    Some really nice sax sounds/articulations come thru.
    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    I worked from a very good piano transcription. It makes the work much easier that attempting to reduce the orchestra score. The transcription was performed at Northwestern Univ. last week by the saxophone studio. The CMB went a long way on selling the work.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  10. #10

    Re: St. Seans - Dance Macabre using CMB Saxophone Ensemble

    Excellent adaptation of this, Gary, as always.

    I was particularly charmed by the agility of the
    sopranino in places -- an instrument one hears
    used too infrequently.

    Very able handling of a number of figures and
    textures I would have hesitated to think might
    translate well to this ensemble.

    My best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

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