Hommage à Sax
In November 2014 the world of music will celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Adolphe Sax. This special occasion has inspired the Belgian Saxophone Ensemble to create a programme to present the musical history of our most recent acoustic instrument. Hommage à Sax follows the journey the saxophone has made to take its unique place alongside the other instruments of the world, and then looks at the current status and future potential of the saxophone.
After exploring its history we present the works of those significant contemporary Flemish composers who spotlight the rich sonority of this instrument. The artistic director of the Belgian Saxophone Ensemble, Cezariusz Gadzina, has chosen the programme with great care. The concert opens with Chant Sacré by Hector Berlioz, the first piece ever where the saxophone was used. This is followed by the first saxophone quartet ever written, Premier Quatuor, Op. 53, by Belgian composer Jean-Baptiste Singelée. But the history of the saxophone would not be complete without one of the most popular pieces in its repertoire, namely Scaramouche, in which Darius Milhaud emphasises its romantic side for light music. The choice of new compositions is not accidental either. The new pieces by Hanne Deneire, Gerard De Clercq, Bert Joris, Jef Neve and Cezariusz Gadzina show how the saxophone suits different musical styles and structures.
The Belgian Saxophone Ensemble handles all these challenges very comfortably. Indeed, its artistic goal is precisely to break down the boundaries between different styles of music. Its sound ranges from the neoclassical to the experimental, with space in between for improvisation.
So all in all Hommage à Sax is an intriguing and exciting rendez-vous with the saxophone …