Since its formation in 1969, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet has appeared regularly at the major concert halls in Europe, Asia and the U.S. The Vienna “Zeitung” hailed the quartet as the “Uncrowned Kings of the Saxophone” and a critic from “Die Welt” claimed, “If there were an Olympic discipline for virtuoso wind playing, the Raschèr Quartet would definitely receive a gold medal.”
The ensemble carries on a tradition established in the 1930's by the pioneer of the classical saxophone and founding member of the quartet Sigurd Raschèr, who animated many composers to write music especially for him. In a similar fashion, the quartet has inspired over 350 composers to dedicate music to them, including, Aho, Berio, Bergman, Bialas, Dean, Denhoff, Donatoni, Firsowa, Franke, Glass, Gubaidulina, Halffter, Kagel, Kaipainen, Kancheli, Keuris, de Raaff, Maros, Moe, Nilsson, Nordgren, Nørgard, Rosenblum, Raskatov, Sandström, Stucky, Terzakis, Tüür, Wuorinen, Xenakis, and Chen Yi. All of these composers have shared an enthusiasm for the four musicians' unique homogeneous tone quality, virtuosity and dynamic interpretation of new and old music. Regarding their interpretation of Bach, the well-known German musicologist Ulrich Dibelius wrote, "When the Raschèr Quartet plays Bach, the music takes on a seraphic aura—as if the organ and the string quartet had come together." Numerous composers have been fascinated with the combination of the Raschèrs and orchestra, which has resulted in more than 40 new works for that combination as well as invitations from many of the world’s leading orchestras.
In addition to the Raschèr Quartet’s numerous solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s leading orchestras, the Quartet has performed with many various instrumental and vocal combinations, including the Calmus Ensemble in Leipzig, the BBC Singers, both the WDR and NDR choirs, RIAS Kammerchor, the Schwedish Radio Choir, as well as the Estonian Chamber Choir. Luciano Berio, Sofia Gubaidulina, ErkkiSven Tüür, Giya Kancheli, and Maricio Kagel are only a few of the powerful names in the list of composers who have written expressly for the RSQ in this combination. In the meantime, more than forty works alone for the combination of saxophone quartet with choir have come into existence. With the premiere of Lera Auerbach's "72 Angels", an epic stand-alone concert work commissioned by seven european choirs, in the Autumn of 2016 and conducted by Peter Dijkstra in Amsterdam, a milestone in this genre has been securely set.
SACRUM NON PROFANUM - Hommage à Stanisław Moniuszko - Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48