Music: Symphonic Saxophonist

Not by his expression (surprised) but by the sounds (symphonic) he emitted from his instrument, his listeners in Washington, D.C. this week could tell that Sigurd Rascher was no saxophonist of the baser sort. With the National Symphony and Conductor Rudolph Ganz behind him, Saxophonist Rascher's proops and pralalas were strictly serious. And so was Sigurd Rascher, for he is the man who rescued the saxophone from the barrelhouse.

Although many composers gave it a try, the saxophone's voice always seemed too brash for the other reeds, too reedy for the brasses. Sigurd Rascher, a clarinetist in his youth, switched to the...

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