Phoenix Sax go live with Haydn


Phoenix Sax have just completed their second recording, this time complete with a live video!

Eight members of the now 16 strong orchestra have recorded an arrangement of Haydn’s 39th Symphony, featuring all seven of the different types of sax played by the orchestra – from the tiny sopranino through the more commonly seen soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones to the huge bass sax and truly enormous contrabass.

The symphony was written by Haydn in 1768, originally for strings, two oboes, four horns and a bassoon. It has been arranged for saxophones by the orchestra’s bass sax player, Jonathan Shaw.

We are particularly pleased that Doris Schierer, one of two new virtual members to have joined us during lockdown, has been able to take part in this recording.

“I saw the orchestra’s first recording project online and, having watched it, I really wanted to be part of the group,” said Doris. “It was great to have a project to work on during lockdown – and now, having met my fellow players on the video session, I can’t wait to get to know everyone in person, just as soon as we’re able to meet for rehearsals!”

Visit our YouTube Channel or click on the embedded video below. We hope you like it.

This piece features eight of our members:

  • Helen Jones – Sopranino
  • Doris Schierer – Soprano
  • Jane Smith and Kathy Davison – Alto
  • Stephen Bashforth and Anne Hanson – Tenor
  • Liz Pearce – Baritone
  • Jonathan Shaw – bass and contrabass

Franz Joseph Haydn was born in relative poverty in 1732 in what is now Bratislava. His 39th symphony was written around 1768 in the musically intense ‘Sturm und Drang’ (storm and stress) style. This is a surprising choice for Haydn who was reportedly a jovial, humorous character, prone to a practical joke or two!

View media

BBC TV East Midlands Today, 23 September 2020, 6.30pm
BBC Radio Leicester, 23 September 2020, 3.20pm
Harborough FM, 25 September 2020
Harborough Mail, 1 October 2020