Adapting select string compositions of Lars-Erik Larsson for the saxophone

Abstract

Lars-Erik Larsson’s Konsert för Saxofon och Strakorkester was premiered by the dedicatee, Sigurd M. Rascher, on November 27, 1934 with great reception, immediately joining the ranks of great saxophone concerto repertoire. It is no surprise that Larsson is considered the father of the Swedish saxophone concerto, as this work preceded some of the most significant standard concerto works by Glazounov and Ibert and it helped to usher in a new trend of saxophone composition by Swedish composers such as Erland von Koch and Werner Wolf Glaser. This Swedish saxophone tradition would later continue through efforts by Rascher’s daughter Carina and John-Edward Kelly.

With the saxophone concerto being as influential as it is, it is a curiosity as to why it is the only saxophone work that Larsson composed. With the composer’s Op. 1 being composed in 1927, his saxophone concerto was a very early work in the composer’s chronology, and yet, it remains his sole saxophone work.

The saxophone repertoire includes many successful and idiomatic transcriptions adapted from solo voice, wind, or string compositions and string quartet literature is often adapted to the saxophone quartet due to the instrumental homogeneity of these chamber music ensembles. The purpose of this research is to explore a selection of Lars-Erik Larsson’s solo and chamber string works and present performance adaptations for saxophonists. These arrangements will prove valuable for saxophonists who wish to explore Larsson’s later compositional output, as well as give saxophone chamber ensembles the opportunity to perform Larsson’s music.

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Keywords

Lars-Erik, Larsson, Saxophone, Arranging, Quartet, Music

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