Arts > Music documentaries 42 min
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For many music lovers, the saxophone is the instrument of the 20th century. For others, it’s a source of evil. Even Hollywood saw it as “blatantly sexual.”

The saxophone was often considered a force of seduction that must be suppressed at all costs – “The Devil’s Horn”. This allegedly wanton instrument was banned by both the Nazis and the communists, forbidden in tsarist Russia and imperial Japan and ultimately condemned by the pope himself.

The saxophone can purr gently or roar wildly. It took just a few years for it to conquer the worlds of classical music, showbiz and military bands. What was attractive to composers and arrangers was a red rag to others, who saw it as the devil’s work and sought to ban it. Even in the dream factory of Hollywood in the 1950s, the saxophone was black-listed as “blatantly sexual.” It was developed in the mid-19th century by Adolphe Sax, a gifted and obsessive instrument maker with an almost incredible biography, full of setbacks and mortal dangers. Larry Weinstein tells the story of the “Devil’s Horn” – often overheard according to mythology – from Adolphe Sax’ workshop through the legendary jazz and bebop eras to the “sanitized” performances of the classical music world. It is a modern-day fairy-tale combining documentary and theatrical elements, with fascinating archive footage and a gripping narrative.

A documentary from : DW Documentary

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