Although constructed and patented in 1846 by Belgian constructor Adolph Sax for philharmonic stages, the saxophone is still an exotic phenomenon. From the mid-nineteenth century it began appearing in the orchestra in such works as George Bizet's ‘L'Arlésienne’, ‘Sinfonia domestica’ by Richard Strauss, and Maurice Ravel's ‘Bolero’, but it was in the 20th century that it gained much more popularity in jazz.
Saxophones in several sizes, from the smallest soprillo and sopranino, through soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor, baritone, bass and to the double bass, began to be combined into small groups. By 1857, Belgian composer Jean-Baptiste Singelée had already written the first saxophone quartet, and later on numerous transcriptions began to be made for such a makeup. The cast of four saxophones is also successfully enjoyed in contemporary music, as evidenced by three compositions created in the second decade of the 21st century, which will be performed by the Keuris Quartet.
‘Mambo!’ by Christian Lauba, a French composer born in Tunisia, was ordered in 2018 by the Keuris Quartet. The piece combines the rhythms of Latin music and pop influences with more abstract contemporary sounds.
Canadian composer Thierry Tidrow, currently active in Cologne, undertakes in his first saxophone quartet from 2015, ‘So be it’, as in the theatrical composition ‘Manifeste Assi’ written at the same time, the current political topic - the conflict in Ukraine.
Guillermo Lago is a composing pseudonym of Dutch saxophonist, co-founder of the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, Willem van Merwijk. ‘Ciudades’ (Cities) is a series of compositions for a saxophone quartet which began in 2011 and are still being created. They are inspired by various cities important to the artist - among them, Cordoba, Sarajevo, Addis Ababa, Montevideo, Cologne and Tokyo.
The concert of the newest compositions for the saxophone quartet will be supplemented by a slightly older song from 1970, ‘Saxofoonkwartet’ by Tristan Keuris. Getting to know the saxophonist Ed Boogaard inspired the Dutch composer to reach for a cast of four saxophones. The work uses extended techniques of sound extraction, and also the lyrical possibilities of the instrument.
Sax & Keuris
Chamber HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48