Sample of "Bolero" from the National Saxophone Choir album, "Sax Circus".


All the hypnotic colour of the original – but with far more sax appeal.
Ravel, M
SS AAA TTT BB (+opt. Sno, Bs/Tbx, Perc.)
7 minutes
4, 5, 6



Ravel was a progressive orchestrator, and included parts for sopranino, soprano and tenor saxophone in his original orchestral score. (The sopranino part is often transcribed for soprano nowadays.) This arrangement takes Ravel’s vision to its logical conclusion (or so saxophonists would argue) and allocates the rest of the orchestra to the remainder of the saxophone family, with tenors performing a vital role as side drum substitutes.

Commissioned by Ida Rubinstein, the choreographed 1928 premiere saw her take the role of the table-top gipsy dancer who gradually captivates four men with her mesmerizing display. The first concert performance took place in 1930, but the lure of the obsessive Bolero rhythm still holds sway (as Torvill and Dean can attest), and players should always aim for a sense of theatre in their performances.

Nigel Wood’s original arrangement of “Bolero” was for saxophone quartet (also available from Saxtet Publications) and was first recorded on Saxtet’s “Montage” album.

The E-Edition PDF bundle comes with the following parts:

Standard parts
Soprano Saxophone 1
Soprano Saxophone 2
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
Alto Saxophone 3
Tenor Saxophone 1
Tenor Saxophone 2
Tenor Saxophone 3
Baritone Saxophone 1
Baritone Saxophone 2

Optional parts
Sopranino Saxophone
Bass Saxophone (alternative to Eb Tubax)
Eb Tubax (alternative to Bass Saxophone)
Percussion (Bass Drum, Cymbals, Tam-Tam)

“Bolero” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.


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