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20298651
20298651
20298651

Ali Ben Sou Alle: Le Retour : Polka for soprano saxophone and piano

By Ali Ben Sou Alle

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Piano Accompaniment, Soprano Sax - Intermediate
Composed by Ali Ben Sou Alle. Arranged by Paul Wehage. Romantic Period, Repertoire, Recital. Score, Solo Part. 19 pages. Published by Musik Fabrik (S0.141091).

Item Number: S0.141091

One of the most enigmatic figures in the history of the Saxophone, Ali Ben Sou Alle (Charles-Valentin
Soualle) was born in 1820 in Arras, France. After receiving his first prize in Clarinet at the Paris Conservatory
in 1844. he served as the director of music of The French Marine Band in Senegal, and then was named first
clarinet solo at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. However, after the Revolution of 1848, Soualle was forced to
flee France to England where he settled in London, playing in the Orchestra of the Queen's Theatre. His
songs and piano pieces were published in London.
While in London, Soualle met another exiled French musician, Louis Antoine Jullien, who conducted a light
music series in London. Jullien encouraged Soualle to take up the saxophone, and after modifying the
instrument by adding a single octave mechanism (the modern system used today) and keys for the lower
register, Soualle became known as a virtuoso and began touring performing solo recitals (or mono-concerts,
as they were called at the time). He performed in all the European capitals and then traveled to Australia,
New Zealand, Manilla, Java, through China and then to India where he finally settled in Mysore, becoming
the director of the Royal Music for the Maharadjah. It was during this period that he converted to Islam and
changed his nmae to Ali ben Sou Alle (or "Ali, son of Soualle"). He subsequently travaled to Ile Maurice,
to French Polynesia, the Cap of Natal and the Cap of Good Hope. All of these voyages were subjects of
musical works which Soualle entitled "Souvenirs de..." and may perhaps have been part of a collection known
as "The Royal Album" which was presented to the Prince of Wales after a royal concert. Soualle returned to
Mysore in 1858 and was almost killed in the Indian Revolution.
Around 1860, Soualle returned to France for health reasons and began publishing his own music. On March
27 1865, he performed a command performance for the Emperor Napoleon III at the Tuileries Palace in the
presence of the entire Imperial Family. After 1865, nothing more is known about him.
"Le Retour: Polka" was probably written to celebrate Soualle's return to France in 1860. After a short
introduction, the work has an opening aria which finishes with a cadenza. This leads into the main section
of the work which is a lively Polka in a modified Rondo form.

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