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ORIGINAL SAXOPHONE QUARTETS
Affaire du Coeur - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Affaire du Coeur is a folk-song of mourning with rich harmonies and plenty of scope for flexibility within the ensemble. The notes should not be a challenge for any standard ensemble, but musicianship is definitely required to make the most of this lament.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 47s
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Henry's Dilemma - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano (or Alto), Alto, Tenor and Baritone

Hark back to the days of Henry V and the battle of Agincourt. Although not written with a detailed programme in mind, it is easy to make up a story to go with the piece, as required by my young sons (Knights, Castles, Horses.etc). Written for SATB, there is also an Alto part as an alternative for the Soprano part. It has three continous sections, but the final section can stand alone, indeed the "Gallop" is sold separately for those not wanting the whole piece. The Gallop is woven around a contemporary song of the times (The Agincourt Song) but the feel of the piece is not all from 1415.

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PDF icon Moderate/hard 6m 28s
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Henry's Gallop - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone

This is the final section of "Henry's Dilemma" (see above) for those not wanting to buy or perform the whole piece. Hark back to the days of Henry V and the battle of Agincourt. Think knights, castles and horses, and you will get the idea. The Gallop is woven around a contemporary song of the times (The Agincourt Song) but the feel of the piece is not all from 1415.

The Gallop is also available for Saxophone Octet

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PDF icon Moderate/hard 3m 31s
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Jazzablanca - from the suite "Surface Tension" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Jazzablanca is infused with an off-beat drive that requires a really controlled ensemble to keep the swing intense but the pace relaxed. Intended for 2 altos, it does rise to a top G for the 1st Alto, so an alternative soprano part is provided.

Other movements from the suite are Try Hard and Try Harder

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 25s
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A Knight Remembered - from the suite "Saxiana" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Saxiana is a three movement set of dances, each starting in "Elizabethan" in style but becoming more Elizabeth II as they progress. A Knight Remembered starts as a simple Pavane, but becomes more lush as time goes by. Not technically demanding but requires control and musicianship to bring off to full effect. This movement is also available for Clarinet Quartet and is regularly performed in this guise.

The other movements of the suite are Manic Minstrels and Revel without a Pause

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 25s
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Look What the Day Brings - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone

A challenging piece, full of drive and momentum and great as an encore piece. My original version was in the horrendous key of (concert) Gb minor but I have taken pity and moved it up to a more comfortable G minor. It is also now available in a new version for Saxophone Octet.

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PDF icon Hard 3m 59s
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Manic Minstrels - from the suite "Saxiana" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Saxiana is a three movement set of dances, each starting in "Elizabethan" in style but becoming more Elizabeth II as they progress. Manic Minstrels starts as a stately dance, elegant and refined, but the musicians seem to have been at the wine as they gradually deviate into a rather more "blue" version, before recovering their composure and very nearly regaining control by the end.

Other movements from the suite are A Knight Remembered and Revel without a Pause

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PDF icon Easy 2m 59s
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Oily Rag - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Having just arranged "Maple Leaf Rag" for quartet I decided to write my own bit of ragtime. It has emerged as a spectacular little show piece, ideal as an encore (if you have the stamina). It twists and turns and slips and slides and provides a healthy challenge but is certainly achievable. The parts are spread over three pages as there is no time for page turns. Breathing places are suggested in the repetitive section of the Tenor and Baritone parts, but try to keep these to a minimum. If you can, you will love playing this!

Also available for Saxophone Octet and Saxophone Choir in an extended version

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PDF icon Hard 2m 52s
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Revel without a Pause - from the suite "Saxiana" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Saxiana is a three movement set of dances, each starting in "Elizabethan" in style but becoming more Elizabeth II as they progress. Revel without a pause has a gutsy drive to it, but is not too difficult, so a good challenge for a student group.

Other movements are Manic Minstrels and A Knight Remembered

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PDF icon Moderate 2m 7s
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A Touch of the Vespas - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone (Alternative Alto part for Sop.)

Designed as a encore piece with a fast and furious pace, it requires some highly skilled playing. Apart from the obvious dexterity required, there must be an evenness of tone both individually and between members of the quartet. Is the buzzing from the wasps or the scooters?

There is alternative Alto part (instead of Soprano) but it does go to top 'G'

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PDF icon Very hard 1m 44s
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Try Hard - from the suite "Surface Tension" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

A driving baritone line and some intricate rhythms should prove excellent entertainment for the musicians! Although intended for 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone, a Soprano part is available to replace Alto 1.

Other movements from the suite are Jazzablanca and Try Harder

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PDF icon Moderate 2m 22s
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Try Harder - from the suite "Surface Tension" - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Try Harder aims to be challenging, so much so that the players are left gasping for breath - literally. The "gasps" need to sound as if the players are trying really hard, which of course they are which is why they can't fit in "the gasps" .. Hey Ho! (You'll need to look at the score to understand). Although intended for 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone, a Soprano part is available to replace Alto 1.

Other movements from the suite are Jazzablanca and Try Hard

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PDF icon Hard 2m 17s
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Wizzy Izzy - Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - a featu re for 1st Alto

This was written for a student quartet which had a dazzling and virtuosic 1st Alto who loved the more challenging repertiore. Her colleagues were not so ambitious, so the first alto part is very flashy and the other parts are very simple.

Also available as a solo for Alto Sax and Piano.

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PDF icon Very Hard for soloist - Easy for the rest 2m 17s
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SAXOPHONE QUARTET ARRANGEMENTS TOP
Bach Double Concerto - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

This transcription of the Bach Double Violin Concerto (1st Movement) features the 2 Altos but the nature of the music means that the other two parts have plenty to do. Although listed as "hard" it is a good piece to work on with up-and-coming students as the technique is almost less of a problem than just keeping together. The Tenor part in particular requires meticulous counting. The top G's in the Alto parts are all given ossias and I have provided a Soprano part as an alternative although it is really intended for 2 altos.

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PDF icon Hard 3m 48s
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Brandenburg Concerto 3 - 1st movement - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

Bach, but for a more modern family of instruments. Why should the Strings have all the fun? Well, breathing isn't such a problem for them, but this is an arrangement of pure indulgence for the keen saxophonist. This is very challenging for the Altos, especially for the 1st Player, who will need top 'G' and an'A' harmonics in their repertoire, so for this reason I have added an alternative Soprano part.

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PDF icon Very Hard 6m 55s
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Brandenburg Concerto 3 - 3rd movement - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

The other half! (see above) There is plenty for everyone to do is this challenging piece. Breathing was the big issue when arranging it, and I think it is just the baritone player who will find it a real challenge. Arranged for AATB (there is a soprano part for those you can't find two Altos). This movement is, by necessity, in a different key from the first movement but it fits like a glove.s

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PDF icon Hard 5m 55s
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Carmen - Aragonaise - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

This lively dance from Carmen imparts a real Spanish flavour and works well on saxophones. The alternative Soprano part is rather low but will work well if the player and the instrument enjoy low B's.

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PDF icon Moderate 2m 39s
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Carmen - Chanson du Toreador - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

The Chanson du Toreador is exciting to play for everyone with a starring role for the Tenor player. No soprano part available for this one.

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PDF icon Moderate 2m 55s
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Carmen - Danse Boheme - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

Danse Boheme is very energetic and busy for everyone except the poor Baritone player. A Soprano part is provided but Alto preferred.

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PDF icon Easy/Moderate 4m 34s
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Carmen - Intermezzo - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

The Intermezzo has a beautiful melody giving an excellent opportunity to show off the expressive nature of the soloists.

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PDF icon Easy 2m 57s
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Carmen - March, Les Toreador - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano alternative for Alto 1)

The March "Les Toreador" is probably the most famous melody from the opera. A Soprano part is provided but Alto is ideal, especially if you can manage the top G.

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PDF icon Easy/moderate 2m 20s
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Carmen - Prelude and Habanera - Bizet arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Do listen to the MP3 and keep listening through the somewhat disturbing "Prelude" and you will get to the famous "Habanera". The Prelude does not have to be a Prelude to the Habenera. It will work equally well before the Aragonaise. I have not provided Soprano alternatives for these two movements as the range is too low.

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PDF icon Moderate Prelude - 1m 23s
Habanera - 2m 31s
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Dance of the Swans - Tchaikovsky arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Soprano part provided)

The Dance of the Swans from Swan Lake is simple in structure but the key (demanded by the range) makes it quite hard to play. I intended this for AATB but the Alto 1 part is also transposed for Soprano and that extra bit of "quacking" in the low register might sound quite appropriate!!

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PDF icon Moderate 1m 23s
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Dido's Lament - Purcell arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

Dido's Lament - When I am laid in Earth - from Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" is amongst the saddest music ever written. I have used a very low range for most of this lament, so skill and control are required throughout to maintain a good balance.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 32s
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Fauré Pavane - Gabriel Fauré arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

An exquisite orchestral piece, transcribed for saxophone quartet. Although the notes are not challenging, a great deal of skill and subtlety are required to maintain its character, so, be gentle with it!

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PDF icon Moderate 7m 34s
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Flower Duet from "Lakme" - Delibes arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone (optional Soprano)

Elegant in its simplicity (and made more popular by British Airways), this vocal duet transcribes beautifully for saxophones. I have provided a soprano part, but ideally the matched tones of two altos sounds best. This is ideal music for weddings. If you listen beyond the famous opening you will find the following section very beautiful.

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PDF icon Moderate 4m 42s
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Halleluja Chorus - Handel arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Alto (or Soprano), Alto, Tenor and Baritone

The Halleluja Chorus from "The Messiah" is a joyful celebration and maybe Handel would have enjoyed writing for saxophones! His music certainly transcribes well. Arranged for AATB but a Soprano part is included.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 48s
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Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone

Maple Leaf Rag is one of the most famous of Joplin's rags and quite demanding for the top two parts. You will hear this played at a wide variety of speeds, from the sedate Joplinesque style to a mad rush that may more truly reflect the "Tempo di Marcia" marking. It depends on your taste and the speed of your soprano player's fingers.

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PDF icon Moderate/hard 3m 13s
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Joplin - Ragtime Dance - Scott Joplin arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Alto (or Soprano), Alto, Tenor and Baritone

Ragtime Dance is a real delight. Described as a "two-step" it features "stop time" and the Pianist was asked to maintain the beat by stamping his foot, and why not! All the instructions are in the parts (where to stamp). For AATB with an alternative Soprano part provided.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 37s
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Joplin - The Easy Winners - Scott Joplin arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone

The Easy Winners... Easy for the audience perhaps! This is quite a tricky little number but certainly one of my favourite Joplin rags. The Soprano Saxophone is essential for this arrangement so there is no alternative Alto part.

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PDF icon Moderate/hard 2m 59s
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Joplin - The Strenuous Life - Scott Joplin arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Soprano (or Alto), Alto, Tenor and Baritone

The Strenuous Life particularly suits the inclusion of the Soprano Saxophone, my usual preference being for the smoother sound of 2 altos (an alternate "Alto for Soprano" part is included for those without the luxury of a Soprano). The Strenuous Life was written as a tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt and published in 1902.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 45s
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Jupiter - from "The Planets" - Gustav Holst arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

I think Holst is one of the great underrated composers - just listen to "Hammersmith" to find out what I mean, or any movement of "The Planets" suite.

In general, I tend to write selfishly, writing what I would like to play and I always enjoy a challenge. "Jupiter" is so exciting but could such a large-scale work possibly reduce down to a quartet and still be effective? Well it seems so, with it becoming one of my most popular arrangements - others enjoy a challenge too!

"Jupiter" is also available for Saxophone Octet and Saxophone Choir.

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PDF icon Hard 7m 41s
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Lohengrin Prelude and Wedding March - Wagner arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

"Here Comes the Bride" - eventually! There is a long section before the famous March emerges (over 3 mins). This arrangement will work as a concert piece, or as music for a wedding. The piece may be cut to size if the betrothed just wants to walk up the isle to the "March", or may be used elsewhere in the service complete. The first section is a real challenge. I haven't tried to use disguised breathing in the triplet sections as different players will manage differing amounts. Arranged for AATB, the range for the first Alto is high with some optional harmonics, but later on the range is really too low for soprano, so although I have provided an alternative Soprano part it is best to use 2 Altos if you can.

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PDF icon Prelude - Very Hard
March - Easy
8m 36s
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Overture to the Marriage of Figaro - Mozart arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone - (Also Alto 3 part instead of Tenor)

Any orchestral transcription for a small ensemble is a challenge, but "The Marriage of Figaro" fits almost effortlessly into the repertoire for Saxophone Quartet, and what a joy to play! Technically this is not too tricky although some neat tonguing is required and some one-handed page turns. The range of the quartet influences the selection of key and although compromises must be made, the voicing of the parts produces a musical balance and will certainly entertain both audience and players. There is an Alto 3 part available as an alternative to the Tenor.

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PDF icon Hard 4m 03s
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Rondo from Abdelazer - Purcell arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone (optional Soprano part provided)

One of the most distinctive gems of English music, which ideally suits the blend of the saxophone quartet. The Alto 1 part is the only one which could be described as taxing because of the high range. As an alternative, I have included a Soprano Saxophone part in the set. Purcell's theme was used by Benjamin Britten in his "Young Persons' Guide to the Orchestra" and more recently in the film "Pride and Prejudice".

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PDF icon Easy 1m 39s
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Sheep May Safely Graze - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

A beautiful, peaceful aria from Bach's Cantata BWV 208. This sounds particularly luscious on saxophones. The Tenor is the soloist for most of the time with the pair of Altos giving sweet solace, whilst the Baritone must play almost subtone for the duration. "Freely transcribed" includes the occasional rich harmonies although not as wild as Grainger's wonderful "Blithe Bells". (there is no alternative Soprano part)

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PDF icon Moderate 5m 50s
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Wedding March - Mendelssohn arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Alto (or Soprano), Alto, Tenor and Baritone

Classic wedding music, but have you heard it all? The complete movement is a very well balanced piece and serves as good exit music for the long walk that is marriage! The arrangement was conceived for AATB but a Soprano part is available although it is very low - plenty of lots of bottom 'Bb's.

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PDF icon Moderate 5m 48s
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William Tell Overture - Rossini arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone

An arrangement for Saxophone quartet of the final section of the Overture to William Tell. I had my doubts when embarking on this project about the possibility of saxophonists tonguing fast enough to make it performable at an exciting speed, especially the 1st Alto part, but then I worked at my double-tonguing. I had always believed that double-tonguing was not widely used on saxophone but as I was the one having the play the 1st Alto part, I worked at it (a lot!) and found it very possible. My colleagues in our quartet had no difficulty with their parts so, after many performances, "I commend it to the house".

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PDF icon Hard for 1st Alto
Easy for the rest
3m 17s
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CHRISTMAS SAXOPHONE QUARTETS TOP
Ding Dong Merrily on High - Trad. arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Alto (or Soprano), Alto, Tenor and Baritone
holly icon

This arrangement of Ding Dong Merrily on High gives a less traditional slant to the harmonies. It may be played as a concert piece or with singers, but verse 3 should be purely instrumental. Intended for AATB, an alternative soprano part is provided.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 03s
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For Unto Us a Child is Born - Handel arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - Alto (or Soprano), Alto, Tenor and Baritone
holly icon

For Unto Us a Child is Born from "The Messiah" is frequently performed at Christmas, and this arrangement is fun to play and not too difficult, although Alto 1 needs to be a bit nifty around the high notes. This arrangement is best suited to AATB but I've included a Soprano part in case you want to play SATB but if you do, you also need the SATB 2nd Alto part instead of the original Alto 2 part.

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PDF icon Moderate 4m 13s
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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Trad. arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone
holly icon

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen is my favourite Christmas arrangement for Saxophones! It covers a range of styles from a heavy gutsy start, to lyricism and delicacy in the various verses. It can be played as a concert piece or as an accompaniment for a congregational carol. It works well with doubled parts the more the merrier - but care must be used to maintain the balance all the parts are so enjoyable to play it is easy to get carried away!

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PDF icon Moderate 2m 32s
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Personent Hodie - Fantasia - Trad. arr. Alun Cook
Saxophone Quartet - 2 Altos, Tenor and Baritone (optional Soprano Part for Alto 1)
holly icon

This Christmas Carol is based on an old German melody made popular by Gustav Holst. It has a strong driving melody and is usually sung by the men of a choir. This arrangement uses the melody quite loosely and exploits its ambiguous rhythmic feel. A soprano part is available although its range necessitates some compromises. If you would a like a shorter version (or wish to avoid the Fugue), a judicious cut may be made from the last beat of the bar before letter G to the upbeat to letter J.

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PDF icon Moderate 4m 52s
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