........ The one disc that I found outstanding in every regard comes from the Amstel Saxophone Quartet. A CD titled â€œAmstel Peijlâ€ which I fell in love with.
My intuitive notion of a saxophone quartet is that of a rather modern invention, perhaps even a recent fad. The saxophone is a fairly recent instrument of course, but at 160 years it is young only when compared to instruments like the violin or the recorder. And while it is not generally associated with classical musicâ€”Berliozâ€™ efforts notwithstandingâ€”it has been around long enough for Claude Debussy and Vincent dâ€™Indy to write for it. Moreover, the idea of taking four saxophones (usually consisting of BI soprano and tenor saxophones and EI alto and baritone saxophones) for a saxophone quartet, goes back pretty far, too. In French-speaking countries the Belgian invention became a military band staple; elsewhere it was Jazz that adopted and introduced the instrument.
Alexander Glazunov heard the Saxophone Quartet of the French Republican Guards [insert coy French-bashing joke about not winning military battles with saxophones tied around soldiersâ€™ necks here] and composed his op.109 for it. The repertoire hasnâ€™t seen many additionsâ€”certainly not of that qualityâ€”since, so to this day, thatâ€™s what saxophone quartets are busy playing when they are not occupied transcribing the Goldberg Variations. The other piece included on the Amstel Quartetâ€™s CD originally written for saxophone quartet is Philip Glassâ€™ quartet as culled from his concerto for the same setup. Four movements of inspired same-ishness in smoothly-polished perfectionâ€”but not as satisfying as the arrangement of FaurÃ©â€™s PellÃ©as et M\Ã©lisande Suite these four Dutch players commissioned from their pianist-buddy Wijnand van Klaveren, who naturally wrote himself into the piece to great effect.
The title of the disc, â€œAmstel Peijlâ€ refers to the traditional Dutch water marker that has become an international standardâ€”presumably as a signal that this is where the quartet sees itself at and what they wish to be measured against in the future. If youâ€™re Dutch, I assume with water levels lower is betterâ€¦ and the merits of this stocktaking are such that it will be very difficult for any other group to get below that. Itâ€™s a superbly entertaining group and the disc should appeal to any music lover and by no means only those who know that they are interested in the saxophone. . . .
Vurige saxofoons - Dag in de Branding
Cinema Paradiso at the Mainzer Musiksommer
Amstel Quartet thrills with "Classical Zen"
Review of our concert
Die Rheinlandpfalz about our concert in Landau on September 28th
Wagners Ring in 20 Minuten - genial
Balm for the soul ... La vie en rose even is a revelation
A real Caribbean feast for the ears!
5 out of 5 stars for Sax avec Elan! in Elsevier!
Sax avec Elan! Album of the Week on SinfiniMusic!
En Route review Sax & Elan
Review 'Sax Avec Elan' op Musicframes.nl
Recensie 'Sax avec Elan' in Trouw
Recensie Klassiek Zaken 'Sax Avec Elan'
Recensie NRC 'Sax avec Elan'
Recensie Telegraaf 'Sax avec Elan'
Review Gaudeamus concert[s]
Mit dem Saxophon unterwegs in ungewohnte Klangwelten
Elan & Sax
Concert at Sarnia Concert Association, Canada
Amstel Tracks NOW! review
recensie: ZWART LICHT.. . Leeroy draait door
gecertificeerde zuurstofflessen - certified oxygen cylinders
Alles ist Saxophon
review Amstel Tracks NOW! in Opus Klassiek
review Amstel Tracks NOW! in Mania
LUXEMBURGER WORT - Une mosaÃ¯que musicale Ã©tincelante
"Amstel Quartet: The best saxophone quartet in the world." (AVRO Radio)
Met vier saxen naar Hengelo (O)?
CD review Amstel Raga (in German) Pizzicato
CD review Amstel Raga (in German)
CD review Amstel Raga (Dutch with translation)
CD review Amstel Raga (Dutch)
Amstel Peijl Review
Review Amstel Peijl album
review in FanfareMag
Review Amstel Peijl CD
Party im "RÃ¶merbad"
This is how a saxophone quartet should sounds like
CD Feature/ Amstel Quartet: "Amstel Peijl"
Who needs violins, harpischords, organs, and pianos?
ASQ, the Brand! - 1 Gram of Time - Supersonic Award
When the Star Reaches Out for You - Baltica - Supersonic Award
Incredibly beautifully played PrÃ©lude, Fugue et Variation
Recommended Recordings - Straight Lines - Amstel Quartet
In Total Admiration of the Amstel Quartet - Amstel Tracks - Excellentia Award
Amstelâ€™s sensitive dynamic control and energetic sense of ensemb