The Dahl Concerto - Page 3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoLa
    I don't mind saying this, because it's already past what I could bid on it, but there are three vinyl Rascher quartet recordings on eBay up shortly - the auction isn't done yet at close to eighty bucks. For vinyl, for heaven's sake. Which would likely have to be transferred to a contemporary medium anyhow. I don't understand the thought that the interest or the market re:SMR isn't out there
    Yeah but there was a SINGLE Marcel Mule LP on there a few weeks ago that went for $150 - one more example of the plot to denigrate Rascher and his legacy .

    I guess this shows that a few of us kooks are willing to put up large quantities of dough to obtain these old recordings. Doesn't really prove that there are a large number of "normal" people willing to put up a relatively small amount for a CD reissue, though I think there probably are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awholley
    What about the Arizona University recordings? They did the Millenium Tribute series. It would seem to me that they should be interested and willing to take a careful approach to all of it.

    People are willing to buy the bootleg stuff because that's all that is available, and they want to study the performances of the man who brought much of our repertoire into being.
    AU Rec put out 7 volumes of "America's Millenium Tribute to Sax" without including a single cut of Rascher. Not exactly the way to build trust among the various contending schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greysun82
    Hi I was reading this thread and was wondering if there were any legal recordings (cd's or cassette tapes) of Rascher. I have never heard him and I think I am missing out because of it.
    First things first: commercial recordings. There's the aforementioned Coates SaxoRhapsody, a short performance from 1937 (I think) on a Pearl CD of Coates's works. Available from Berkshire Record Outlet (though they have a $15 minimum order).

    Looks like the von Koch Concerto from 1969 with the Munich Philharmonic can still be purchased from Sweden. Nice recording.

    If you literally mean legal, my guess is that some of Bryan Kendall's CD-R disks are "legal" because the copyrights have expired. The Concert Hall LP, for example. Don't know the exact copyright length - is it 50 years? I would think the legality of anything more recent than that would depend on whether he's made the proper licensing arrangements, but I'm not a copyright lawyer. In any case, these are CD-R copies, not CDs or tapes as you enquired about.

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    Hehe... I got those same 3LPs from the same seller a few weeks ago (he has a number of them), for a BIN of $30


    Steve P

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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownjazz
    AU Rec put out 7 volumes of "America's Millenium Tribute to Sax" without including a single cut of Rascher. Not exactly the way to build trust among the various contending schools.
    Good point. I didn't realize he wasn't represented in that series. Whether one likes him or not, its nearly impossible to argue that he wasn't a significant contributor to the saxophone as a classical instrument. Plus if anyone should belong to a tribute to Adolphe Sax, Sigurd Rascher is more than qualified. He is the only one to take the radical stance of furthering the ideas of Sax, rather than trying to evolve them.

    It would be interesting to know the story behind the compilation of the Arizona University recordings. Maybe they did try to include Rascher. Anybody around here know anyone involved in that project?

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    in response to some one who asked before, there were at least a few rascher recordings that were available on vinyl. i have stumbled into a few in my record collecting adventures. generally i find them in the dollar bins.

    i think the easiest recording to find is his debussy rhapsodie on columbia with bernstein. (i am not a fan of this recording)

    i also have some solo recordings, one where he does the creston and one where he plays a bunch of transcriptions. i am not sure when these albums were recorded but the playing on these is not at all representational of his playing that i have heard on some of the bootleg recordings that a friend has.

    as for the mule album on ebay, a lot of the mule stuff is bid up by a couple of collectors that are obsessed (it only takes 2). i know of the winning bidder on that auction and my understanding is he is about 30 has never had a job, and his parents give him an allowance. hence he will bid a mule album up to 150 dollars.

    i found my copy of that album for 5 dollars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_s
    i think the easiest recording to find is his debussy rhapsodie on columbia with bernstein. (i am not a fan of this recording)
    Me neither. This one was available on CD and the CD now seems to have gone out of print as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_s
    i also have some solo recordings, one where he does the creston and one where he plays a bunch of transcriptions. i am not sure when these albums were recorded but the playing on these is not at all representational of his playing that i have heard on some of the bootleg recordings that a friend has.
    Those two sound like the "Grand Award" label releases, Volume 1 and 2, from around 1960. His technique is sloppy and his artistic interpretation is, what's a good word, melodramatic? The 1950-ish Concert Hall recording is much, much better on both counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_s
    as for the mule album on ebay, a lot of the mule stuff is bid up by a couple of collectors that are obsessed (it only takes 2). i know of the winning bidder on that auction and my understanding is he is about 30 has never had a job, and his parents give him an allowance. hence he will bid a mule album up to 150 dollars.
    It only takes 2 - that goes for most of the classical saxophone vinyl on eBay. I sell some albums on there from time to time so I know there are a small number of people who really want some of these records and are willing to pay a lot for them. A while back I had two extra copies of Sinta playing the Hartley Concerto on Golden Crest. First one sold for about $100 and the second one sold for like $25 - the first guy wasn't there to bid up the price on the second copy!

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    Interesting about Rascher's Debussy recording. Of all the recordings I have heard of the Raspsody, maybe seven or eight by now, Rascher's is my favorite. It is a later recording for him and he does exhibit some undesireable characteristics that seem to have surfaced as the years passed by, but he plays it with passion and artistry...something that is almost totally neglected by all the other recordings I have heard.

    His Brant concerto is similar in this way. It is a much earlier recording than the Debussy, but even by then Rascher was sometimes inconsistent with the solidity of his technique. He was the only one in the world who could play it at that time, though for his own standards his technique wasn't at his sharpest. It's not that he missed notes or anything like that, but his sound didn't sound as solid as it did on other recordings, like the Concert Hall recording. Otis Murphy's Memories of Dinant is a great example of aggressively solid technique. He lacks artistry and musical insight in this CD, but his technique is "muscular". Rascher's Brant recording, artistically, is superb though, and that is what draws me to his playing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWoz5000
    You can't "legally" get Mr. Rascher's recording of the Dahl (I believe there was a post about this earlier, concerning the person in S America selling all those saxophone recordings - I wouldn't recommend buying from him unless you want your sax prof to get upset! ). About the reeds, it's not really neccessary if you work on your voicing a lot - what strength reed do you normally play on (I'm assuming 3 1/2) - I play on 4's and it does make high notes a bit easier. I lose a few notes when I try a 3 1/2. Dahl is a big project - good luck!!!

    Ha, ha. You wouldn't be talking about me with my Rascher videos would yo Dwoz?
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    Default On the Dahl

    Here are a few facts about the original Dahl and Mr. Rascher.

    Rascher performed the Dahl approximately 14 times. Some of these were recorded as archives for the performing group, just as they are today. I know of 4; the premiere from 1949, the second perf from 1952, one from Harvard Univ in the 1960s, and one in Penns. from slightly later. Rascher gave me the vinyl disc of the 1952 performance (this was the advanced recording medium of the day) and the fidelity is quite acceptable. The playing of Rascher is remarkable. The 1949 performance fidelity is not as good, but still well defined. This was advanced contemporary music for the concert band at this time, and their effort, though not the result, is commendable. Rascher's playing, for a new work of this stature, is very impressive. My admiration for his playing at the premiere and the second performance only deepened with my own performances of the original version.
    Rascher requested that performances he gave to me not be distributed, but could be used for demonstrations and lectures. The unlistenable version that is illegally (yes illegal; despite the passage of time permission needs to be secured for live performances not previously commercially released) circulating sounds bad because of lack of source material (tape copy of a copy) and amateur audio duplicating. Hearing the original disc (of the 1952 performance) or its CD transfer, proves illuminating for all listners; one can hear the history being made as well as garnering an insight both into Rascher and his artistry as well as the profound nature of the Dahl Concerto.
    Despite the valiant attempt by the band in the premiere performance (one that Dahl heard by record), Dahl was quite shaken by what he heard. The instrumental imbalances he heard due to the size of the band, as well as the less sophisticated playing, compared to what Dahl was used to hearing with professional orchestras that he conducted and occasionally played in, prompted him to rescore and partially rewrite the concerto in 1953. His scoring for orchestral winds was an attempt to move the medium into a more professional circle (orchestras or advanced wind groups) and to control the orchestration. If only he could have waited 25 years or so.
    These live performances of the original Dahl with Rascher playing are not suitable for commercial release due to flaws in execution and tempo, almost all related to the ensemble. They are vital historical documents, and are the highlight of my lectures and demonstrations on the original Dahl. The reaction of those who have studied the Dahl to these performances is stunning. But without the proper context they can also be vehicles for sustained prejudice and malignment which is still prevelant in the saxophone world today.
    Now the original version itself is another chapter. With a length of 28 minutes (not 18 as the revised) it is unlike anything we have in our repertoire and establishes a depth and felicity of playing and thought unmatched by most of what we play.
    Paul Cohen

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    Wow Paul, thanks for the information. Nice to have you around!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownjazz
    Yeah but there was a SINGLE Marcel Mule LP on there a few weeks ago that went for $150 - one more example of the plot to denigrate Rascher and his legacy .

    I guess this shows that a few of us kooks are willing to put up large quantities of dough to obtain these old recordings. Doesn't really prove that there are a large number of "normal" people willing to put up a relatively small amount for a CD reissue, though I think there probably are.
    And Rascher leaps back into the lead with a nearly $200 Grand Award Vol. 1.

    Actually, to the best of my knowledge, Rascher was already in the lead of the alltime eBay classical saxophone LP auction prices, with a copy of the Concert Hall LP that went for around $500 some years ago.

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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigansax View Post
    Ahh...the Dahl Concerto....

    I spent a lot of time working on this piece back while I was doing my undergrad work at Baylor University. I strongly encourage you not to use a harder reed than normal for the sole purpose of playing those altissimo notes. My advice is to search until you find the reed that offers the best compromise. They are out there. Of the readily available recordings, I enjoy Sugawa's the best. You can order it here: http://www.koseicd.com/

    I also have a live performance that I did with the Baylor University Wind Ensemble that I can send you (or anybody who wants one).
    Hey, so this was forever ago but I am currently a Baylor saxophone student and would love to get a recording of this performance! You could email me at johnrwardlaw@live.com for more info!

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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cohen View Post
    Here are a few facts about the original Dahl and Mr. Rascher.

    Rascher performed the Dahl approximately 14 times. Some of these were recorded as archives for the performing group, just as they are today. I know of 4; the premiere from 1949, the second perf from 1952, one from Harvard Univ in the 1960s, and one in Penns. from slightly later. Rascher gave me the vinyl disc of the 1952 performance (this was the advanced recording medium of the day) and the fidelity is quite acceptable. The playing of Rascher is remarkable. The 1949 performance fidelity is not as good, but still well defined. This was advanced contemporary music for the concert band at this time, and their effort, though not the result, is commendable. Rascher's playing, for a new work of this stature, is very impressive. My admiration for his playing at the premiere and the second performance only deepened with my own performances of the original version.
    Rascher requested that performances he gave to me not be distributed, but could be used for demonstrations and lectures. The unlistenable version that is illegally (yes illegal; despite the passage of time permission needs to be secured for live performances not previously commercially released) circulating sounds bad because of lack of source material (tape copy of a copy) and amateur audio duplicating. Hearing the original disc (of the 1952 performance) or its CD transfer, proves illuminating for all listners; one can hear the history being made as well as garnering an insight both into Rascher and his artistry as well as the profound nature of the Dahl Concerto.
    Despite the valiant attempt by the band in the premiere performance (one that Dahl heard by record), Dahl was quite shaken by what he heard. The instrumental imbalances he heard due to the size of the band, as well as the less sophisticated playing, compared to what Dahl was used to hearing with professional orchestras that he conducted and occasionally played in, prompted him to rescore and partially rewrite the concerto in 1953. His scoring for orchestral winds was an attempt to move the medium into a more professional circle (orchestras or advanced wind groups) and to control the orchestration. If only he could have waited 25 years or so.
    These live performances of the original Dahl with Rascher playing are not suitable for commercial release due to flaws in execution and tempo, almost all related to the ensemble. They are vital historical documents, and are the highlight of my lectures and demonstrations on the original Dahl. The reaction of those who have studied the Dahl to these performances is stunning. But without the proper context they can also be vehicles for sustained prejudice and malignment which is still prevelant in the saxophone world today.
    Now the original version itself is another chapter. With a length of 28 minutes (not 18 as the revised) it is unlike anything we have in our repertoire and establishes a depth and felicity of playing and thought unmatched by most of what we play.
    Paul Cohen
    Fascinating. I've spoken about the Dahl with Jerry Junkin, Director of Bands at the University of Texas and Artistic Director of the Dallas Wind Symphony, and he relayed much of the same information. Is there any organized effort to get the original 1953 version published?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnPlaysSax View Post
    Hey, so this was forever ago but I am currently a Baylor saxophone student and would love to get a recording of this performance! You could email me at johnrwardlaw@live.com for more info!
    I would look towards professional recordings instead. Someone was actually kind enough to upload Donald Sinta's out of print recording on SoundCloud.

    https://soundcloud.com/andyaustin-1/...-dahl-concerto
    https://soundcloud.com/andyaustin-1/...ahl-concerto-1
    https://soundcloud.com/andyaustin-1/...ahl-concerto-2

    Tim McAllister will be recording the Dahl Concerto with the University of Michigan Symphony Band and Michael Haithcock. I'm not sure if it will be the full 1953 version or not, but it's still worth having. I had the privilege of hearing him play the Dahl Concerto with the Dallas Wind Symphony in April 2012, and it was the most amazing performance of the piece that I've heard.
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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    We can all look forward to the recording of the Dahl by Tim McAllister. It should be terrific. He would be recording the final, revised version (noted as 1953 but really from 1957/58) that is always played. It is not possible to perform or record the original (1949) version in that the only remaining set of parts and score is currently not available. My efforts to make this set available to all through the cooperation of the saxophone community in showing support for this amazing original version have not been successful.

    Paul Cohen

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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cohen View Post
    We can all look forward to the recording of the Dahl by Tim McAllister. It should be terrific. He would be recording the final, revised version (noted as 1953 but really from 1957/58) that is always played. It is not possible to perform or record the original (1949) version in that the only remaining set of parts and score is currently not available. My efforts to make this set available to all through the cooperation of the saxophone community in showing support for this amazing original version have not been successful.

    Paul Cohen
    Dr. Cohen, would you be able to further elaborate on why your efforts have not been successful to publish the original version? I'm curious to know why there would be difficulties with something like this.
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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Here is a brief summary of the status of the original Dahl Concerto. I own the last set of score and parts to the original. (Dahl withdrew all other sets except the one he forgot about that I discovered.) The publisher owns the rights to the work. They have been reluctant to issue the original version, in that the revised Dahl is one of their most profitable rental pieces. In negotiation with them, they agreed that if there was a groundswell of support from the saxophone and wind ensemble community expressing interest in the original , they would consider adding it to their catalogue. To do this, they have allowed me the opportunity to lecture, perform and record the original work, as a means of creating a dialogue and promoting an awareness of this extraordinary music. I have tried for years to interest NASA, other saxophone organizations, as well as saxophone and wind studios across the country in hosting a performance to stimulate this awareness and dialogue (for which I do not charge a fee). The result is either lack of interest or purely partisan posturing of only having their saxophone instructor as soloist. So this amazing work, one that deserves to be heard and appreciated, remains unknown and unplayed, and probably will remain that way. By the way, I have played it some 14 times over the years with wind ensembles in concerts that have been tremendously encouraging and supportive. But the climate today is more conducive to appreciating such an epic, early work than ever before. Every avenue that I continue to explore to create a greater dialogue that might lead to a groundswell of support has been blocked. It does not look good.

    Paul Cohen

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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cohen View Post
    Here is a brief summary of the status of the original Dahl Concerto. I own the last set of score and parts to the original. (Dahl withdrew all other sets except the one he forgot about that I discovered.) The publisher owns the rights to the work. They have been reluctant to issue the original version, in that the revised Dahl is one of their most profitable rental pieces. In negotiation with them, they agreed that if there was a groundswell of support from the saxophone and wind ensemble community expressing interest in the original , they would consider adding it to their catalogue. To do this, they have allowed me the opportunity to lecture, perform and record the original work, as a means of creating a dialogue and promoting an awareness of this extraordinary music. I have tried for years to interest NASA, other saxophone organizations, as well as saxophone and wind studios across the country in hosting a performance to stimulate this awareness and dialogue (for which I do not charge a fee). The result is either lack of interest or purely partisan posturing of only having their saxophone instructor as soloist. So this amazing work, one that deserves to be heard and appreciated, remains unknown and unplayed, and probably will remain that way. By the way, I have played it some 14 times over the years with wind ensembles in concerts that have been tremendously encouraging and supportive. But the climate today is more conducive to appreciating such an epic, early work than ever before. Every avenue that I continue to explore to create a greater dialogue that might lead to a groundswell of support has been blocked. It does not look good.

    Paul Cohen
    I see, what a shame. Thank you for the information.
    MM in Performance - Florida State University
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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cohen View Post
    We can all look forward to the recording of the Dahl by Tim McAllister. It should be terrific. He would be recording the final, revised version (noted as 1953 but really from 1957/58) that is always played. It is not possible to perform or record the original (1949) version in that the only remaining set of parts and score is currently not available. My efforts to make this set available to all through the cooperation of the saxophone community in showing support for this amazing original version have not been successful.

    Paul Cohen
    I was under the impression that Dahl wasn't happy with his original efforts, hence the reason why the concerto was rewritten. Are you saying that the currently published version of the concerto has edits beyond what Dahl had intended?
    "Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead."
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    Default Re: The Dahl Concerto

    Dahl was not happy with the original results, not with his original efforts.
    His writing was too demanding and too sophisticated for wind ensembles of the time and he quickly turned away from the medium and re-scored the concerto for orchestral winds.

    In his second revision, Dahl further scaled back the scope of the work to accommodate the shorter length (and attention span) that he observed in wind ensemble programming in the hopes of obtaining more performances. He also simplified the solo saxophone part so that others besides Rascher could play it.

    Today we have many wind groups, conductors and soloists who can well grasp the depth and magnitude of the original version, and no doubt offer performances at the highest technical and musical level that Dahl envisioned and conceived . It is simply a question of volition, curiosity and will.

    Paul Cohen

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