"Why is this low level saxophonist so well-succeeded with famous cd-labels? It's a mystery, but maybe because he has good and well-placed friends. Anyway, it's a very bad playing, a poor sound, a vulgar technique, and I won't waste my time talking about interpretation, 'cause there isn't any. I own this CD and I find it very useful to show students how they shouldn't play. Or how a great company like EMI can have such bad recordings (hear the Glazunov's cadenza, for instance). For his fans, I can recommend hearing people like Fourmeau, Delangle, or some young saxophonists like Vincent David and Alexandre Doisy, or, if you don't like french saxophonists, you may try Bornkamp (dutch), Sugawa (japanese), Rousseau, Murphy (american), among many others from various countries who really know how to make music with the saxophone."
Not as bad as everyone would have you believe
Daniel Graser | Wappingers Falls, New York United States | 02/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would buy this cd just to hear Harle's arrangement of the Debussy Rhapsody, which gives the saxophone more music. The accompaniment is excellent, consistently. However, Harle isn't consistent. His performance of the Debussy is very epic and dramatic, not subtle or with any amount of nuance but is still a decent performance. The Ibert really isn't good, the articulation was messed with by Harle and it sounds excessively slurred. The Glazunov is OK, but there are much better recordings out there. I will say that Harle's technique is very smoothe and controlled which made listening to most of these tracks a delight. The Bennett concerto was played very well and with the right style, as is the Heath, both are right up Harle's alley (I believe they were written for him). All in all I would say definitely buy this cd and listen to something different. Harle's tone is very different, his technique is great, his altissimo is great, but his articulation is another story. However, the accompaniment by Marriner and the Academy is wonderful."
Daniel Graser | 04/05/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"John Harle performed for our sax studio while I was in college and this recording is a fair representation of what I heard. Unfortunately, what I heard was a performer with a very harsh tone and a lack of articulation that I could only compare to mumbling."
Not as bad as some people say, but not great.
jorg_matos | 03/29/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Hearing some not-too-pleasant things about Harle's playing, I was somewhat surprised by the quality of the recording. It's not as bad of a recording as some people say (largely on account of the superb orchestra), but Harle is hardly the reincarnation of Mule and Rascher. Harle's tone is average (could be a lot warmer and darker), technique is average, interpretations are average. In general, a CD that will sit there while I listen to Gwozdz or Sinta. Harle's soprano playing is awful, so is his altissimo register. Still not as bad as it could be (Harvey Pittel anyone...?)"