Chris Padilla/Music

Saxophone Playing

Here are some of my favorite saxophone recordings!

Classical sax is my main voice when performing. I've dabbled in jazz, but both traditional-instrumental and experimental-playing are my main vehicles. If you didn't know that classical sax was a thing, you are in the majority! It's fairly niche.

I've played in jazz ensembles, concert and marching bands, saxophone quartets, and mixed insrumentation new music (aka, avant-garde) groups.

On this page are mostly saxophone quartet and "solo" performances with piano. Some classical pieces and some non-traditional pieces. Much of it from my time at UT and UNT.

I've had the pleasure of working with so many amazing musicians! The other performers on these recordings are dear friends.

Big thanks to the incredible teachers I've worked with: Graham Tobin, Dr. Eric Nestler at UNT, and Stephen Page at UT.

All recordings are live and unedited.

Colors That Dance from Hypercolor by David Werfelmann

Performing with MODUS, my grad school saxophone quaret at UT. Very special group of people: Calvin Wong on Soprano, Sarah Hetrick on Alto, Nick McNamara on tenor, and your's truly on bari. Listening to this brings back so many good memories!! Very floaty textures through out this one.


Video on YouTube

This was unbelievably fun! Definitely the artsy-est thing I've been a part of. A full blown multi-media / live dance production as part of an anual festival at UT. Many amazingly talented people worked on the design here. Stephen Rothermel composed the music and produced the electronic track. I'm performing bari here with MODUS


One more MODUS recording!

Very, very special piece for us. Another one by Stephen Rothermel. Really beautiful and lyrical. I'm reading the poem AND starting the performance on bari. No pressure!

Tango Etude No. 5 by Astor Piazzolla

I. Allegro

I recorded this right before diving head first into coding I was working on this during my first year of teaching. This short dance has so much fire and color to it. At the time, I was listening to several violinists, especially Joshua Bell. I worked really hard here to steal their levity, quickness, and nuance. My girlfriend Miranda graciously helped with this recording.

Sonata by Edison Denisov

I. Allegro

II. Lento & III. Allegro Moderato

This piece was a blast!! One of my proudest performances. Quintesential avant-garde saxophone playing. Denisov drew inspiration from 12-tone composition, bebop, and pointalism, bringing it all into one. Dizying and energetic music! The first movement is a dance (try waltzing to that!), the second a meditation that immediately blends into the third — a hard bop. Many of the squonks here are part of the piece, and some of the most beautiful writing for those effects! I had tremendous lessons with my teacher Stephen Page at UT on this. Joseph Dougherty plays piano here exquisitely!!

Concerto by Pierre Max Dubois

I. Lento Espressivo

II. Sarabande

III. Rondo

My first study at UT. A big ol' bucket of notes. The first movement is mostly a solo cadenza. I still hear the second movement in my head — the lyricism really stuck with me. The third movement fits into my Spahgetti Western perception of several saxophone pieces. The amazing Dr. Alex Maynegre performs the piano reduction here.

Der Schönheitsmolch by Joseph Klein

While I was at UNT, the school had gotten a brand new bass saxophone, special ordered from Selmer in Paris. I was VERY fortunate to be one of the first to play it for this one! The title translates to "The Beauty Newt" — based on a story about a creature "keen on all the beautiful things" but who is absolutely repuslive. Dr. Klein's full notes are available on his site.

Concerto for Wind Ensemble by Paul Creston

I. Energetic

II. Meditative

III. Rhythmic

This was a really special opportunity! I was an understudy for a concerto performance with saxophone solo and band. I never ended up playing this in concert, but I got to play and record a dress rehearsal with full band!

I was playing on pure adrenaline!! (I can espeically hear it with how fast I take some of these lines!!) Getting to the rehearsal in the first place was a mad rush that day. This is the most energy I've ever played with. Makes me think of how crazy indestructable we are in those college days!

The legendary Dennis Fisher conducts the Symphonic Band with many great friends in the group!


No sax in this one! This is a chiptune song I wrote on a Nintendo DS in Nitrotracker. I wanted to write something inspire by my sister Jenn's art. This was done some summer inbetween terms at UNT. I can hear influences from quartet music! A little Gorillaz Plastic Beach too, with the siren. Maybe some disasterpeace in there too. My theory knowledge was very minimal, so I'm impressed with how cohesive and interesting this still is after so many years!

Saxophone Quartet by Alfred Desneclos

I. Allegro non troppo

II. Andante

III. Poco largo, ma risoluto

From playing with The Millenium Quartet at UNT, another special group of folks! Sarah Dunbar on Soprano, Jess Dodge on Alto, myself on Tenor, and Kevin Ford on bari. Amazing memories playing with these musicians! The piece itstelf is hauntingly lyrical.

Paganini Lost by Jun Nagao

This one's just fun!! A mix of quotes from the Paganini Violin Caprice No. 24 with prog rock writing and, of course, a classicaly trained trio! Xiao Wang plays piano, Jess Dodge and I sax. Jess took all the high notes!

Concertino da Camara by Jacques Ibert

This is THE classical saxophone piece! My teacher at UNT, Dr. Eric Nestler introduced me to the playing of Eugene Rousseau. He was essentially one of the grandfathers of this type of saxophone playing in the US. Warm sound, vigorous energy, and string-like boyouncy. I was obsessed! A lot of my playing here is the result of chasing that sound.

The piece itself is fun! Another jazz influenced classical work, but this one is very much from a french neo-romantic perspective. This recording is of the second movement ballad and the third movement. I called it the Spahgetti Western movement at the time — that's what the energy sounded like to me, at least! The incomparable Xiao Wang performs the piano reduction beautifully.