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Caribbean Rhapsody; Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 17, 2011
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Description

About the Artist

Sometimes it takes an extraordinary talent to inspire an unprecedented piece of music. For Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra, the epiphany struck in the midst of a tenor saxophone solo by James Carter, who was appearing as the featured soloist with legendary soprano Kathleen Battle. Long fascinated by the horn, Sierra immediately realized he had encountered a master capable of playing anything he could imagine. Working closely with Carter over several months, he composed a four-part concerto that seamlessly integrates the forms and harmonic language of contemporary classical music, Latin rhythms, and jazz's improvisational imperative. Documented on Carter's 13th release and his second for Universal, Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra is a singular work that stands alone in the jazz and classical canons, half belonging to each world. In a fascinating collaboration that neither could have foreseen, one of classical music's most widely respected composers has given this era's most prodigious saxophonist the role of a lifetime.

"What immediately struck me was that he played with total command and mastery of the instrument," says Sierra, a professor of composition at Cornell University. "James is the Paganini of the saxophone. He and the instrument are one. To me that was amazing, right from the start."

Carter premiered the concerto with his hometown Detroit Symphony Orchestra in October 2002, a performance that elicited such a rapturous response that he and the orchestra reprised the last movement as an encore. As the Detroit News music critic reported, "In your lifetime, did you ever witness such a thing--the reprise of a new work, on the spot? Neither did I, until Thursday night, when Carter and conductor Neeme Jarvi finally gave in to a storm that showed no signs of abating and recapped the last long stretch of Roberto Sierra's brilliant `Concerto for Saxophones.'"



Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EmArcy
  • ASIN: B004QDCZAA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Holly Weiss VINE VOICE on May 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Article first published as Music Review: James Carter - Caribbean Rhapsody on Blogcritics.

Caribbean Rhapsody from Emarcy records features saxophone virtuoso James Carter. The recording is the culmination of a decade long collaboration between the jazz giant and classical composer, Robert Sierra. The music is written in a modern style, with jazz elements of improvisation combined with Latin heritage and classical genres.

Two works are showcased on the CD. The first is Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra, recorded in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. James Carter solos on soprano and tenor saxophones. Carter calls the composition a "delicate yet strong balance of written music, improvisation and the cadenzas." Bright orchestration, syncopation and strong accents open the concerto. A plaintive saxophone melody intervenes. Percussive effects from orchestra and tenor sax lead into a kind of atonal bluesy boogie woogie in the third movement. A free improvisation on tenor saxophone, complete with slap-tonguing, squealing and a soulful, masculine feel leads us into the title track, Caribbean Rhapsody.

The second composition, Caribbean Rhapsody, also composed by Sierra, is a joyful chamber piece with alternating reflective and spirited music. It bounces from the sensuous opening bolero to Latin riffs to music he heard on jukeboxes from cafes he frequented in Puerto Rico. Sierra wrote the piece as a musical reunion for saxophonist Carter and his cousin, violinist, Regina Carter. The juxtaposition of saxophone and violin, viola, cello and bass is a refreshingly new hybrid of musical elements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HB on April 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the quality of the product particularly the artistry and sound. The Concerto is beautiful with all the nuances of classical and jazz music doing a tango. The music is artfully peppered with the brilliant technical prowess of James Carter. This music speaks to the far-reaching range of James Carter's gift. James Carter plays it all with regards to styles of jazz. This Concerto brilliantly demonstrates how James Carter a.k.a. "The Sax God" brings a symphony orchestra & a string quintet into his kingdom and makes heavenly music. This CD is a must-listen!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By abtg on May 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I truly enjoyed listening to this CD. For me, it is representative of my marriage - a perfect blend of American and Puerto Rican!
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This is creative, unique, orchestral sax. Sax meets classical. If you want something like Sinatra, or other warm but even/steady/predictable background music, like for a dinner party, this is not what you should buy. This is art, it requires something closer to your full attention to enjoy it. It's not out there though, highly listenable, and truly playful. It is one of few albums where I will sit in my car until the current song ends. Try the song 'playful,' give it a minute or two to build, and then just. . .enjoy!
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Caribbean Rhapsody; Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra
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