SIGNUM saxophone quartet | NEWS
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La Folle Journee Nantes – 14 concerts – 14 times Beethoven!

Hello to all!

It has been few days since Berlin concert.- nice memories but life goes on and we are back to work.

In the past days we were busy, preparing our Beethoven Project. The premiere of it will take place tomorrow on 24th January (20:30) at one of our favorite festivals.- Folle Journee in Nantes/ France.

The exact dates and times of the concerts you can see at our Website. – exactly where are you now 😉 – at TOUR section.

 

On the Program:

#BeBEETHOVEN
HAYDN String quartet opus 33 n°1 Hob.III.37
BEETHOVEN/LEITINGER Sonata quasi una fantasia – Adagio Sostenuto from Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27 No. 2*
BEETHOVEN Allegro molto, quasi presto from Quartet, op.18 No.2
NAGAO Ewig Beethoven*
*world premiere in Nantes

 

At this point we would like to mention and to thanks two persons!

Firstly to Jun Nagao who composed a piece especially for us and which is his very personal and intimate reflection on Beethoven music.

Secondly, big thanks and compliment for slovenian jazz man Izidor Leitinger who wrote his very own (jazzy) version of Beethoven’s famous Sonata! Basically a composition, not only an arrangement!

We are excited about the coming days in  France and looking forward to enjoy and to share the music of Ludwig van Beethoven!

Your, SIGNUM boys

Berlin Konzerthaus – Starry Night

Hello from Berlin!

Berlin Konzerthaus is a very special concert venue for us, because there we basically played our first „real“ concert.- apart from playing at House Concerts, Picknicks and Garten Parties back to that time 😉

It was 17.3.2010 and we still remember the big excitment at the hall and of course crazy „Berlin Night“ afterwards.

In beetwen we were back there for two times but it is still huge honor for us and every time like for the first time. Yesterday was it so far again.
On the programme Starry Night with Alexej Gerassimez.

We did not feel nostalgic but were just happy to see so many friends at the hall and we were overhelmed with reaction of enthusiastic audience. This night the crazy party didn’t follow as we had to take early flights back to Köln. – But anyway.- the time for it will come soon again! 🙂

Your SIGNUM boys

John Psathas: Connectome

Dear friends,
happy new year! We hope you had nice time with your families and beloved ones! We are back on track and on 4th January we will premiere the piece of John Psathas  at Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern with wonderful Alexej Gerassimez.
The concert will take place in Ulrichshusen.
Few notes from Composer about the piece:

The new piece is called CONNECTOME
(a connectome (/kəˈnÉ›ktoÊŠm/) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its „wiring diagram“. More broadly, a connectome would include the mapping of all neural connections within an organism’s nervous system.

The piece is in three parts. Each part has its own title and concept, and each part represents a different idea of the kind of future we might have as a species.

Part 1 Pashupatastra
(From the Mahabharata)… he asked for the sacred and deadly weapon Pashupatastra so that neither man or god could prevail over him.  Yet Shiva warns him of Pashupatastra’s powers: Arjuna will not be able to dispose of the weapon or give it back, nor recall the horrible weapon once he wields it.  It has the power to destroy the world.

Part 2 Farewell to the Flesh
This part is a response to the increasing likelihood that we will one day make scans of the neural connections in our brains and nervous systems that are so accurate and complete, we will exist after death as immortal digital consciousness. I thought about this a lot (and have read books about it) and had so many questions;

• When I am code will I still feel emotion? If my emotions are mostly chemical reactions, with no chemicals in software, how will I ever make a choice?
• Will I still be able to laugh, or cry?
• Will I feel fear, empathy, lust, anticipation, disappointment?
• Will I believe I am experiencing touch, taste, smell, hearing?
• Will someone be able to edit me?
• What will life be like if I am no longer flesh and blood? Will it be life?
• Will I be I or will I be AI?

I believe we will all profoundly miss being physical, sensual, beings, and we will be changed into something unrecognizable by that transition. So Part Two is an elegy, a farewell to the flesh.

Part 3 Rom in Space
When we imagine space travel it’s common to think of astronauts and scientists, white space suits, and a lot of shining technology. But I started thinking much further ahead, when all of us get into space. I imagined gypsies (Rom) with the freedom to roam anywhere, and the kind of energy they (and all the rest of us) will bring to the stars. (nb – at one point in Part 3 our Rom space-traveller drops out of hyperspace for a brief romantic liaison….)

We feel truly honored and excited about premiering the piece and giving birth to a new baby! We thanks John Psathas and Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern for their kind help at commisioning the piece.

Your SIGNUM boys

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Dear friends,
soon the year 2019 will be over. It was year of many beautiful musical moments and exciting travels, but on the other hand also the year of some personal losses. Happily we are four of us and we managed to overcome it with being there for each other and with strong friendship and energy!

At this occasion we wish you all Merry Christmas.- to be spend with your beloving partners and family and that 2020 will bring much love, hugs, kisses, honest warm words and above all beautiful music!

Your SIGNUM boys
Blaz, Arik, Alan, Guerino

STARRY NIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME

Hello friends,
on Thursday we are traveling to south of Gernany in order to rehearse for our new Program Starry Night with percussionist Alexej Gerassimez. The three day rehearsal phase will end with the first concert of the project later on Saturday.

On the program :

Alexej Gerassimez : Rebirth
Gustav Holst : Planets
Steve Martland : Starry night

Date : 21.12.2019
Venue : Schloss Elmau

We are thrilled and very excited (not always good 😉 to start a musical journey called „Starry night“ with the concert in stunning atmosphere of Schloss Elmau.

Many concerts of „Starry Night“ are coming up later in the season. For exact dates please see the „Tour“ section at our website!

Greetings,
yours SiGNUM

ZAUBERTRÄUME

Dear Friends,

we are happy to share with you, that we will perform the Siegfried Matthus’s „Phantastische Zauberträume“ for the first time in SIGNUM history.

Composer himself wrote an undertitle to the piece:
„ein saxophonisches Märchen für Saxophonquartett und Orchester“

To be translated : „saxophonic fairy tale for saxophone quartet and Orchestra“

The movements of the piece are:

I Die tapferen Zauberer
1. Zauberspruch
II Sentimentales Ständchen für eine zauberhafte Schöne
III Notwendige Abrechnung mit ein paar bekannten Raufbolden
IV Reise in das Land Phantásien
2. Zauberspruch
V Mitternächtliches Rendezvou mit lieblichen Spukgestalten in einem alten Schloss
VI Schlaf- und Träumliedchen für den kleinen Frank, die kleine Elsa, den kleinen Tom und andere Kinder
3. Zauberspruch
VII Wilder Besenritt gegen die geistreichen Trottel, die arroganten Schönredner und die gefährlichen Dummköpfe.

We are looking forward very much as the piece is very originally orchestrated and is like a travel through many different fairy tales; consisting of many beautiful melodies but also musically „schocking moments“ but above everything – one big magical soundscape.

We will be joined by Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Modestas Pitrenas.
The dates :
12.12.2019 – Klaipeda / Lithuania
14.12.2019 – Vilnius / Lithuania

Greetings from Vilnius,
Yours SIGNUM

THANK YOU FESTSPIELE MECKLENBURG VORPOMMERN

It was and it is so amazing to be part of this FAMILY! Thanks to Artist in Residence Harriet Krijgh for invitation and to all inspiring musicians: Matthias Schorn – clarinet, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian – violin, Magda Amara – piano and Martynas Levickis – accordion, with whom we shared the stage.
We feel honored to be part of this family! Thank you.
#wearefamily

NEW CONCERTO FOR SAXOPHONE QUARTET AND ORCHESTRA BY DANIEL SCHNYDER 2019

Dear friends,

 

we can’t wait to perform new concerto for saxophone quartet and orchestra by Daniel Schnyder on July 4th 2019 in Festspielhaus Erl.
More informations about the concert HERE

 

Daniel Schnyder wrote about the new concerto:

 

My Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra is divided into three movements which are connected by free cadenzas. The first movement is rather pastoral in nature and reflects the origin of the saxophone in French music. In his famous „Bolero“ and „Pictures at an Exhibition“, Ravel brought the saxophone to the ears of the concert audience, listening to the lyrical, romantic and at the same time Dionysian side of the instrument. As we all know, at the same time as Ravel was writing his music, the saxophone became the main instrument of jazz, the new music of that time on the other side of the Atlantic. Without a saxophone, without John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Lester Young, a jazz story is unthinkable. In the music of Gershwin and Ravel these worlds, Europe and America, have met and complemented each other. This transatlantic connection has conquered the instrument a place in the concert hall. Of course, the repertoire is still very young and small compared to violin and piano, and in some cases not properly composed for the instrument. Therefore it was a great chance and a favourite project for me to compose this concerto. I am a saxophonist myself, and both jazz and classical music are in my heart, I am equally at home in both worlds. So in the first movement you hear how these sounds, like the meeting of Ravel and Gershwin in Paris, inspire each other. This, in turn, is in perfect harmony with the „Concerto for Orchestra“, which Bartók wrote in America under the influence of all the new „sounds“ and which, like his sixth string quartet, clearly contains elements influenced by jazz. So for me this is a dream program: it reflects the holistic sound of the 20th century, where music is uncompromisingly at the centre and the exclusions that have poisoned our music world play no role. The second movement consequently plays around the jazz ballad, the American songbook, and uses the extended ramified harmonics, which were taken over from the late romantic period into jazz. The saxophone is probably the woodwind instrument that comes closest to the human voice. This is why the saxophone became the ballad instrument in jazz, at least since Coleman Hawkin’s famous „Body and Soul“ solo, which shook the musical world, the world of „savants“. The last movement is a kind of oxymoron, a musical utopia! On one side is R&B music, the music of the 70s and 80s, funk music, on the other the traditional Europe, fugue and counterpoint. These are two worlds that don’t really „belong“ together. But this idea came to me in my sleep how I could connect the world of Bruckner or rather Buxtehude, the music of repetition fugues, reversals, enlargements, reflections and splits with the funk music of a James Brown. The result is a highly explosive mixture of accumulated musical energy. The baritone saxophone rattles here in a way that no traditional orchestral instrument can do, and the presence and sound dynamic of the saxophone quartet shows all its unique quality in the combination of the elements mentioned above and in its inherent power to assert itself against a large orchestra. I hope that you, dear audience, enjoy this work and that I can surprise you again and again, and that you fall in love with the saxophone, this young instrument.

 

More about Schnyder´s new composition HERE