The C Soprano

 

A  Buescher C-soprano between a Selmer SA III Bb soprano and a GB  Eb sopranino


As clearly shown on the above photo, the soprano saxophone in the key of C (or C-soprano) is a real intermediary between the soprano and the sopranino.
Contrary to the C-melody tenor, this instrument did not benefit of a craze on behalf of the public, and few models were made until 1929, mainly by Buescher and Conn.
We shall note that at that time, different mouthpieces were proposed for the C and Bb soprano saxes. On the photo, a Buescher mouthpiece refaced by Hervé Martin, from an original "blank", a mold of mouthpiece not hand-finished at the time.
The repertory of this instrument remains rather limited, but it is perfectly fit to transcribe oboe music.

Its tone, warm and round as many instruments of this time, stays nevertheless rather close to that of the sopranino and reminds thus a little the oboe, as a matter of fact.
Playing in tune is a delicate stake on this instrument (as on many of the other instruments of conical make and reduced size), because the octave relations are a little too wide. Problem which can be minimised (but not solved) through heavy training, a few clever fingerings, embouchure flexibility, and a good ear ...

A concert recording made in Reims of the Métamorphoses after Ovid by Benjamin Britten (originally for oboe), played on C-soprano.