Halfway through the 19th century instrument-builder Adolphe Sax surprised the music world with the invention of the saxophone. The instrument was an immediate success. In the years that followed many composers (e.g. Berlioz, Bizet) saw the endless possibilities of this instrument and employed it in orchestral works and chamber music. In no time the saxophone became very popular, becoming immortal through its frequent use in the rise of Jazz in the 1920s.
It is striking that many of the Jazz pioneers chose the tenor saxophone (e.g. Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins), the tenor is also a favourite of plenty of prominent composers in compositions for symphony orchestra (e.g. the Bolero of Ravel, Romeo and Juliet of Prokofiev). The tenor saxophone can, without a doubt, be seen as the most lyrical member of the saxophone family, but strangely enough this is not clearly reflected in chamber music. However, there are still a number of gems where the lyrical qualities of this instrument are very effectively revealed.