Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rudolf Serkin, Saxophone Player?

I enjoy reading liner notes by Tully Potter because I always learn something new. In the liner notes for the superb new re-issue of the Busch-Serkin Duo playing Bach and Brahms (with Aubrey Brain) on APR, Potter offers the following piece of surprising musical ephemera:
They championed the Bach repertoire available to them, but little of it found its way to records. This wonderful performance of the F minor Sonata, a valuable addition to their discography, may not be recorded in high fidelity but it is inimitably interpreted. The men enjoyed listening to jazz and blues and even attempted to master these forms in domestic surroundings. Serkin bought a saxophone and taught himself to make music on it, while Busch wrote pieces for the instrument, among them his Quintet for saxophone and string quartet. He also wrote works based on spirituals, his favourite American music.

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