The saxophone and a mediaeval lover's journey

Vocal ensemble Crux and saxophonist Natalia McGough at this weekend's Galway Early Music Festival

THE SAXOPHONE is an instrument indelibly associated with jazz, a musical form created by African-Americans in the early 20th century, so what is a saxophone doing at a concert at the Galway Early Music Festival?

The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840. Along with jazz, it is also heard in classical music, such as concert bands, some post-Romantic orchestral works, chamber music, and solo repertoires. It is also part of rock music - David Bowie was a saxophonist.

The saxophone post-dates the Mediaeval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, but will still form part of a concert entitled Romance & Reverence, featuring music from the late Middle Ages to the late Renaissance, taking place tomorrow at 8pm in St Nicholas Collegiate Church.

Dublin-based vocal ensemble Crux will sing of love and commitment, joined by soprano saxophonist, Natalia McGough. The concert programme follows two lovers as they navigate the rise and fall of life and love in a fickle world, all doors to which – and from which – are firmly manned by the Church in rituals of music and ceremony for weddings, births, celebrations, and funerals. Featured composers include Perotin, Machaut, Landini, Byrd, and Tallis.

The Galway Early Music Festival takes place today, tomorrow, and Sunday. See www.galwayearlymusic.com

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