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La création du monde
John WILLIAMS (b.1932)
Catch Me If You Can (arr. Jay Bocock for alto sax and band) [6:52]
Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974)
La création du monde [16:13]
Roger BOUTRY (b.1932)
Divertimento for alto sax and wind band [8:48]
Paul CRESTON (1906-1985)
Alto sax concerto, Op. 26b [19:04]
Anders EMILSSON (b.1963)
Salute the Band [11:57]
Ástor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
Escualo (arr. Teho for alto sax and band) [4:03]
Claude Delangle (alto saxophone) (Williams, Boutry, Creston, Piazzolla)
Swedish Wind Ensemble/Christian Lindberg
rec. May 2007 (Milhaud, Emilsson), October 2007 (everything else), Nacka Aula, Stockholm
BIS BIS-CD-1640 [67:57]

Here’s a colorful, sophisticated program showcasing the marvelous alto saxophonist Claude Delangle, who’s collaborated with Piazzolla, Boulez, Berio, Takemitsu, and Salonen and who has been singled out for praise on MusicWeb International before. His new album with the Swedish Wind Ensemble is consistently ear-catching.
 
The appetizer is a suite of three numbers from John Williams’ film score Catch Me If You Can, one of my favorites of Williams - it avoids cliché and captures the movie’s spirit well. Then it’s on to the title work, Darius Milhaud’s La création du monde. Delangle is absent, but some friends of the players join for the string parts. It’s a delightful, jazzy performance with spirited solos.
 
Roger Boutry’s Divertimento for saxophone and band has a seductive French swagger and incredible songlike slow movement which make its appeal instant. Boutry arranged the piece for this recording; it was originally for sax and strings, and the rescoring includes great touches like muted trumpets in the andante.
 
The introduction to Paul Creston’s concerto makes it sound like the American response to Khachaturian (xylophone!), but the solo saxophonist’s lyrical instincts take over the proceedings, including a great duet with flutes. The finale is bursting with wit; it feels like something I know and love and can’t quite put my finger on.
 
Anders Emilsson’s Salute the Band is the odd piece out, a mosaic of ideas: some pulsate, some clash, some have Elgarian pomp, some are tense, some are grindingly dissonant … and Piazzolla’s Escualo is a wonderful encore.
 
With good sound and BIS’s usual classy presentation - although this is not an SACD hybrid - I find this absurdly easy to welcome. Anyone interested in the saxophone or jazzy, snappy modern repertoire will find much to enjoy. It’s a cosmopolitan, sophisticated album to put on while enjoying a glass of red wine and some witty conversation.
 
Brian Reinhart