This 'Gavotte and 6 doubles' (or variations) was one of my first arrangements for saxophone quartet, written when I was looking for suitable music to arrange and realised that the saxophone lent itself comfortably to the Baroque idiom. It comes from Rameau's third collection of keyboard pieces, the Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin, published in 1728. The Gavotte is the final movement in the first of two sets which combine dance movements with character pieces and has been described as "one of the Baroque's most brilliant variation sets." The original Gavotte was in A major and I felt that the saxes would enhance its lyrical and lively character.
Rameau had arranged similar music for harpsichord and flute and was also the first composer to introduce the clarinet to France, so that the use of a wind instrument was not too sacrilegious. The early history of the Gavotte also appealed to me - the original form of the dance involved a lot of kissing!