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23 Vocalises-Etudes for saxophone and piano

This recording is a co-production with Radio SRF 2 Kultur

To sing a melodic line on a single vowel highlights many technical difficulties, such as producing a legato line, making a smooth register change and even intonation. For the past 250 years, vocalises have therefore beeen an important tool for singing instructors, who at first would use existing songs published without a text. In the nineteenth century specific studies were developed, but these tended to become monotonous scalar exercises, and in 1906 Amédée-Landély Hettich, a voice professor at the Paris Conservatoire, made it his goal to raise the vocalise from a dull practice tool to a work of art in its own right. Over a period of thirty years, he persuaded an impressive list of composers to write vocalises, and 150 of these were published by Éditions Alphonse Leduc in the series Répertoire Moderne de Vocalises-Études. Several of the vocalises commissioned by Hettich have become popular in instrumental versions – the prime example is that by Ravel 'en forme de Habanera', which the composer himself transcribed for the cello, and which has since entered the repertoire of a large number of instruments. Finding his own instrument, with its flexible, voice-like timbre, ideal for the varied musical characters represented in Hettich’s collection, the saxophonist Harry White here presents a selection of 23 vocalises by composers as diverse as Fauré, Carl Nielsen, Messiaen and Villa-Lobos. A former member of the acclaimed Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Harry White is an eager recitalist and regularly includes a set of vocalises in the programmes he performs with his regular partner at the piano, Edward Rushton.
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  Paul Dukas
01 Vocalise-Étude « alla Gitana » (1909) 4'03
  Georges Auric
02 Vocalise-Étude (1926) 1'51
  Francis Poulenc
03 Vocalise-Étude (1927)  3'02
  Joseph Jongen
04 Vocalise-Étude « Sérénade », Op. 83 (1928) 2'33
  Olivier Messiaen
05 Vocalise-Étude (1935) 3'40
  Arthur Honegger
06 Vocalise-Étude (1929)  1'57
  Albert Roussel
07 Vocalise-Étude « Aria » (1928) 2'04
  Joseph Canteloube
08 Vocalise-Étude « en forme de Bourrée » (1927) 2'05
  Darius Milhaud
09 Vocalise-Étude « Air », Op. 105 (1928) 1'13
  Pierre de Breville
10 Vocalise-Étude « Maneh » (1907) 3'14
  Florent Schmitt
11 Vocalise-Étude pour Erik Satie, Op. 130 (1906) 3'28
  Maurice Ravel
12 Vocalise-Étude « en forme de Habanera » (1907) 3'19
  Louis Vierne
13 Vocalise-Étude à Monsieur A. L. Hettich (1907) 4'11
  Jean Huré
14 Vocalise-Étude (1922) 3'45
  Jacques Ibert
15 Vocalise-Étude « Aria » (1927) 4'25
  Laszlo Lajtha
16 Vocalise-Étude (1930) 1'46
  Alexander Labinsky
17 Vocalise-Étude « Ferveur » (pub. 1931) 2'21
  Alexander Gretchaninov
18 Vocalise-Étude (pub. 1929) 2'53
  Nikolai Tcherepnin
19 Vocalise-Étude (1927) 3'56
  Bohuslav Martinu (Martinů)
20 Vocalise-Étude, H. 188 (1930) 1'08
  Gian Francesco Malipiero
21 Vocalise-Étude (1928) 2'56
  Carl Nielsen
22 Vocalise-Étude, CNK 124 (1927) 4'02
  Heitor Villa-Lobos
23 Vocalise-Étude (1929) 2'02
  Album total 67'40
ComposerAuric, Georges
Breville, Pierre de
Canteloube, Joseph
Dukas, Paul
Gretchaninov, Alexander
Honegger, Arthur
Ibert, Jacques
Jean Huré
Jongen, Joseph
Labinsky, Alexander
Lajtha, Laszlo
Malipiero, Gian Francesco
Martinu (Martinů), Bohuslav
Messiaen, Olivier
Milhaud, Darius
Nielsen, Carl
Poulenc, Francis
Ravel, Maurice
Roussel, Albert
Schmitt, Florent
Tcherepnin, Nikolai
Vierne, Louis
Villa-Lobos, Heitor
Alto saxophoneWhite, Harry
PianoRushton, Edward

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