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An American In Paris

Maurice Ravel / Ma mère l’oye

Béla Bartok / Dance Suite

George Gershwin / An American in Paris

Kurt Weill / Suite from the Threepenny Opera

Dimitri Shostakovich / from 24 Preludes op. 34

On stage, next to the piano, three different saxophones will be waiting: soprano, alto and tenor. In this program the Duo presents their own arrangements for these in- struments combined with the piano.

The tenor gives a dark swing to Bartok’s Dance Suite. The alto makes the multiple personalities in the Pre- ludes by Shostakovich more vivid. The soprano melts together with the piano and create an unexpected imitation of the Balinese sounds that are hidden in Ravel’s Suite.

Finally, all three saxophones are used in Gershwin’s An American in Paris, expanding the sound palette of a tra- ditional duo setting.


Béla Bartok / Dance Suite

Erwin Schulhoff / Hot Sonate
György Ligeti / Mysteries of the Macabre
Paul Hindemith / Sonate
Ursula Mamlok / Rückblick

1938 is an ominous year, the beginning of the soon-to-come chasm. Paul Hindemith is about to leave Europe. In a letter he uses the phrase “Niemand kann alles wissen” expressing his distress about the turn that things seem to have taken. The initials of this phrase (NKAW) transcribed in Morse Code can be heard signalling in his Sonata.

The German composer Ursula Mamlok is going to follow the same route as Hindemith. In her work “Rückblick”, she brings to memory the un- settling sounds of the night of the November Pogrom.

It is hard to imagine that, just a few years earlier, cosmopolitan Europe was brimming with avant-garde movements. The works by Schulhoff and Bartok offer a vivid example. The 40s then shred time and culture into two pieces. Ligeti’s sound-world, dark and doomed, sarcas- tic and macabre, is a completely different kind of music.


Dimitri Shostakovich / from 24 Preludes op. 34

Kurt Weill / Suite from the Threepenny Opera

Arvo Pärt / Spiegel im Spiegel

Bela Bartok / Dance Suite
György Ligeti / Mysteries of the Macabre Mark-Anthony Turnage / Two elegies framing a shout

It is the nature of both saxophone and piano to transform their sound to the extremes: the depth of the timpani, the pizzicato of a double-bass, the scream of the human voice.

The neo-primitive sounds Bartok’s Dance Suite (arranged by the Duo), Ligeti’s ear-corrupting Mysteries of the Macabre and the grotesque humor of Kurt Weill’s musical drama among other works, give an excellent opportunity to the saxophone and piano duo to show how far they can go from their traditionally expected sound.

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