Most saxophone literature written for the concert stage in the latter half of the twentieth century until today includes passages into the extended register (above high F) or the altissimo register. This varies widely, from a single note or two just creeping slightly beyond F to extended sections that climb dizzying heights up to four octaves or more. Gone is the time in the history of the saxophone when it is acceptable to "trim" the register requirements of a significant work to fit the limitations of the performer. No serious violinist, flautist, or singer would dare walk onto a stage and take a section down an octave or just not play the last two notes of a cadenza! Nor should we.
Dr. Noah Getz has given us an entirely new perspective on studying the altissimo range. We have all labored over high note sections in a particular piece, but there have been few/any newly composed etudes that focus on this register. Stratosphere contains 20 etudes that will challenge every saxophonist, even those who have "mastered" the altissimo.
Keep in mind that this is NOT a progressive method for developing the high register. We have other books for that, namely the venerable Rascher Top Tones and the Rousseau Saxophone High Tones. These books present the high register from the ground up and are necessary prerequisites to Dr. Getz's volume. Of interest is a brief history of the altissimo registers, and a concise, 7-page discussion of the elements needed to successfully perform the high register. Then follows the 20 etudes in various styles that provide the instructional core of the book. We will present more detailed information on the etudes as time permits, but the first thing that is obvious is that they are notated with ledger lines which will force the player to become comfortable reading so high!
Stratosphere has just been published by Advance Music out of Germany, so copies in the USA are limited. We have several at ClassicSax.com with more on the way. I am sure that this book will become a standard text, much like the Rascher and Rousseau books, for advanced altissimo study. Order your copy today.