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Louis Mayeur : his life and works for saxophone based on opera themes Greenwood, Nancy Lynne

Abstract

The thesis for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Instruments consists of an in-depth analytical or historical study culminating in a lecture-recital with an accompanying document (enclosed). The lecture-recital took place on April 6, 2003. The subject of the lecture was: "Contemporaries of Adolphe Sax and their Influence on Early Saxophone Literature". This document singles out one particular performer, Louis Mayeur, and his compositions for saxophone which were based on popular opera themes. Louis Adolphe Mayeur, a student of Adolphe Sax, was an early virtuoso of the saxophone. Through his training at the Paris Conservatory and his French military band experience he became very well known in Paris as a soloist. He was a member of the Orchestre de l'Opéra and he demonstrated the saxophone on tours and recitals arranged by Adolphe Sax. In these respects he was important to the promotion of the fledgling saxophone. Mayeur was also an outstanding clarinetist, having earned a first prize in clarinet at the Conservatory, and he was highly regarded as a bass clarinetist. His conducting career involved military bands as well as civil musical ensembles. He was a prolific composer whose works totaled approximately 371 pieces for many different genres from solo compositions to works for military band and orchestra. Unfortunately, this man who was so much a part of the Paris musical scene in his day has been somewhat overlooked by musicologists. His music has been preserved carefully in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, but with very few exceptions, his works are out of print and not easily accessible. A list of Mayeur's works for saxophone is included in this thesis. Special attention has been drawn to those solos based on opera themes. The intent of this document is to bring his music to public attention and to revive the memory of a man who is significant to the study of saxophone history.

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