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Opus 333, saxhorn quartet



"From time to time, In the vast musical world, curious eccentricities are born. In this era of Big data and the race to find algorithms for probabilities, which computer could have foreseen the birth of a saxhorn quartet?

The conditions required for such an event to take place are particularly demanding. One needs first to find four people who play this unusual instrument. After this, their personalities and artistic motivation must be on the same wavelength and work well together. Then one must pool imagination and creativity to find a suitable repertoire. Overcoming all of these odds, we managed to meet each other, become great friends and have now been living the Opus 333 experience for 5 years and nearly 80 concerts!

This first album «Matriochka  », speaks of these wonderful years of musical experimentation, off the beaten track, when we imagined our quartet as a choir, an organ, a piano, a string quartet, an orchestra... always searching to explore the sonorities, harmonies and unforeseen colours of which our ensemble is capable. During these five years, one concert in particular gave us a great boost: the prelude to a concert given by the Orchestre de Paris at the Salle Pleyel in 2013. At the request of the orchestra, we prepared a programme of music from Eastern European composers. It was on this occasion that our transcription work, tailored arranging and writing, allowed us to cross a barrier and to express our musical identity, rising above the traditional perceptions of our instrument.

The wish to record this programme came very naturally, because it in many ways, founded the ensemble, and also because it is a first for our instrument. Centered around Slavic composers from the 19th century, the program allows us to interpret choral music with Tchaikovsky, music for piano with the American Suite by Dvorak and the huge symphonic repertoire with the overture of Russlan and Ludmilla by Glinka, Moussorgky's Scherzo and ballet extracts from Tchaikovsky.

We finish the album with a homage to the French repertoire, to which the saxhorn is historically linked, with the piece « Être ou ne pas être » ("to be or not to be") by Henri Tomasi. This original work for saxhorn quartet, to which we added a narrator, was also the occasion for us to collaborate with Frédéric Stochl, an exceptional artistic personality, who inspires all four of us with his generosity, his attentive ear and his great talent for breaching the frontiers between the arts.

Through this CD, we are happy to be able to share this adventure with the audiences who know us already, as much as with those who discover our playing for the first time. It is for us, the occasion to create a musical picture of Opus 333, the year of our 100th birthday (by adding up all of our ages!), and to materialise this slightly mad enthusiasm which inspires us to play chamber music in a saxhorn quartet!"

Opus 333

Reviews on -> Libération - France Musique - Musikzen



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