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Lots of sax; no violins
May 11, 2013 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Also no conductor and no sheet music: the Eastman Saxophone Project performs The Rite of Spring

Created in 2010 as the country’s first “conductor-less” saxophone ensemble, the Eastman Saxophone Project (ESP) consists of students from the saxophone studio at the Eastman School of Music. The ensemble also performs entire programs from memory, dramatically enhancing the level of interaction with its audiences.

They also do Debussy in shopping malls.

Lots more at their YouTube channel....
posted by neroli (15 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great choice for the repertory -- the reedy stridency inherent to the saxophone is what the original orchestration is trying to pull out of the strings. Nice to keep the tympani...
posted by MattD at 9:37 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Impressive! And it sounds every bit as good as the original arrangement.

Maybe better.
posted by Foosnark at 10:31 AM on May 11, 2013


Sounds gorgeous. Was waiting to recognize something as sounding just a bit off, but it never seemed to happen...
posted by RainyJay at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2013


I'd like to say to all the commenters on YouTube who are so awed and.. pardon the pun.. BLOWN away by this, especially people who are so seduced by the novelty of the arrangement and impressive nature of the memorization and the truly great performance that they believe it's better than the original: remember as good as it is it is still only a transcription and pales in comparison to the original. As wide as the color palette is (and it truly is) with all the different saxophones on display, it is still relatively monochromatic when compared to the original. Let's not get ahead of ourselves!
posted by ReeMonster at 12:16 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't imaging the rite without violence.. even with lots of extra sex..
posted by snaparapans at 12:16 PM on May 11, 2013


It didn't occur to me until I read the top comment: This was memorized?!

Yeh. There are no music stands. And they're standing for the whole 37 minutes. Won't see that in Salzburg, baby.

The great thing about transcriptions of familiar works is how much they can teach us about what we thought we knew.
posted by Twang at 3:03 PM on May 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The great thing about transcriptions of familiar works is how much they can teach us about what we thought we knew.

The Butcher Shop Quartet did a rock arrangement of the Rite (with music stands!), two guitars, bass, and drums—the Rite of Spring works really well when arranged for rock band.
posted by kenko at 3:10 PM on May 11, 2013


the Rite of Spring works really well when arranged for rock band.

My (uneducated) guess is that 300 years from now people will think that The Rite of Spring was rock music.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:34 PM on May 11, 2013


...for rock band.

Zappa used it.
posted by snaparapans at 3:40 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aw man, it's been taken down due to a copyright claim by Boosey Hawkes... here be one sad saxophonist.
posted by fraula at 2:17 AM on May 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


The music publishers? Wait, what?
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:17 AM on May 12, 2013


Insane. Apparently once in the public domain a law revision placed it back into copyright. Seriously Boosey & Hawkes, what possible revenue could you expect to lose by allowing people to view this DIY arrangement?
posted by sourwookie at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2013


(actually, I bet B&H keeps it on a pretty tight leash as they still collect monies from Fantasia--but that's just a guess)
posted by sourwookie at 10:09 AM on May 12, 2013


Huh, Stravinsky died in 1971.

So no free performances for another ... 28 years, if his copyright lasts for life + 70. Is that the issue here?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:01 PM on May 12, 2013


Ah shit. That's what I get for saving this for last. Fuck you, Boosey Hawkes, you rat bastards.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 AM on May 13, 2013


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