Seeing Sirenes are most comfortable in he water, the Syrènes dive yet again in the deep and resurface with an ode to their most beloved composer, Georg Friedrich Händel. And they bring a completely new approche to his famous work Water Music. Water being a constant element, seemingly never changing, but always flowing and moving, is the symbolic link between present and past
Armed with their modern instruments, intertwined by a spectacular choreography by Anne Suurendonk and enriched with soundscapes (with live improvisation) by Celia Swart, this 300 year old piece reveals itself to a modern swirldance at the water surface.
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), Water Music (1717)
Suite no. 1 in F-major (HWV 348)
Suite no. 2 in D-major (HWV 349)
Suite no. 3 in G-major (HWV 350)
Celia Swart (1994), Underwater (2018)
Improvisation for tenor and baritone saxophone
Improvisation for soprano saxophone
Improvisation for alto saxophone
The saxophone came to existence in a very special way: it was invented by a single man, Adolphe Sax. Other instruments have developed in the course of centuries, the saxophone was was suddenly there. But to master the art of quartet playing, this isn’t achieved in a short time. Here the Syrenes are inspired by old traditions regarding this specific form of chamber music.
There’s a couple composers in history that really defined the (string or saxophone) quartet. Syrène has bundled a view of their famous pieces in one concert. Pieces which shaped quartet playing, pieces that redefined chamber music.
Syrène Saxophone Quartet was the first saxophone quartet to be admitted to the prestigious Dutch String Quartet Academy. Under the guiding supervision of artistic leader Marc Danel, Syrène studied the pieces of the masters of string quartet: Händel, Mozart and Beethoven
Sonata à Quattro nr. 1 (1725), Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Premier Quatuor (1857), Jean-Baptiste Singelee (1812-1817)
I. Andante, Allegro
II. Adagio sostenuto
III. Allegro vivace
String Quartet opus 1, no. 2 (1751), Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
I. Allegro molto
String Quartet no. 1 (1799), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
I. Allegro con brio
Canzona (1969), Robert Heppener (1925-2009)
Introduction et Variations (1938), Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937)
A prelude can be an indepent composition, but originated as the opening of a piece. That’s why Syrène Saxophone Quartet’s Prelude Parade is a concert with a lot of oportunities for a first impression. And therefore we wanted to ask our audience the question: “What first impression would you like to give to others?” The anecdotes we’ve collected will serve as introductions to the preludes in the concert.
Syrène Saxophone Quartet doesn’t shy adding famous pieces not origionally composed for saxophone. That’s why they perform their own version of Frederic Chopin’s “Raindrop prelude” and George Gershwin’s ‘Three Preludes”. The sirenes bring an ode to the prelude which develops from an amuse to a complete gran dessert
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Holberg Suite: Prelude (1884)
arr. A. Vrieswijk
Claude Debussy (1862-1918), from: Preludes book 1 (1910)
arr. A. Vrieswijk
César Franck (1822-1890), Prelude and Choral (1884)
arr. Ruth van de Putte
Pierre Vellones (1889-1939), Prelude et ronde Francais (1929)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Prelude and Fugue no. 16 in g minor BWV 885 (1744)
arr. A. Vrieswijk
William Albright (1944-1998), Fantasy Etudes: Prelude (1993)
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Preludes op. 28 (1839)
arr. M. Toxopeus
Georges Gershwin (1898-1937), Three Preludes (1926)
Death and the Maiden
Dimmed candles, foxed books, decaying skulls and withering flowers. The vanity, worthlessness and emptiness of our earthly excistence is being visualised in a musical master piece. The Syrène Saxophone Quartet is taking you back to the 19th century, to the moment Franz Schubert wrote ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen’. You will be hearing Schubert’s music in a unique arrangement for four saxophones. In collaboration with the intriguing imagery of photographer Heidi de Gier the sirenes explore the ancient theme of impermanence, of ‘vanitas’.
After writing 67 innovating string quartets Haydn wrote the following words: “Hin ist alle meine Kraft! Alt und schwach bin ich.” He never finished his 68th quartet, it has only two movements.
All of England was in mourning after the death of their beloved Queen Mary II. At her state funeral one could hear the solemn music of Henry Purcell. Music that was heard once again only 8 months later, at Purcell’s own funeral.
“Der Tod und das Mädchen” is about death asking a fearfull young woman to trust him: he will not harm her when she falls asleep in his arms.
Fresh & Sweet with a Bite
Every season Syrène Saxophone Quartet creates a concert for the chamber music enthusiast who whishes to explore the landscape of the classical saxophone. These concerts will consist of: original repertoire, famous classics, new arrangements and a strong finale to complete the concert.
Enter our smokey café in the hart of New Orleans through the old-fashioned revolving door. Scott Joplin is playing the honky-tonk piano in the corner. George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein are smoking a cigar at the bar and absorbing the music. But not only classical composers are getting inspired, before long jazz music is coming up. Phil Woods finds his true saxophone sounds while drinking a bourbon at our regular table. He writes down his thoughts on paper.
There’s lots of live music in our café. Everything on the saxophone, because jazz, classical music with jazz influences and even that ‘ragged’ predecessor of jazz just sound so good on the sax! Also the modern, popular American sound of Michael Nyman is great on saxophones and is a beautiful addition.
SAKSOFON I ROSSII
Russian composers embracing the saxophone
Syrène Saxophone Quartet is throwing a Russian themed party to celebrate the saxophone. Including the beautiful late romantic music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, – one of the first Russian composers to use the saxophone in his symphonic compositions-, and a hidden gem by female composer Elena Firsova.
Alexander Glazunov composed his ‘Canzona Variée’ like it was a string quartet after being struck by the saxophone quartet during his stay in Paris. Syrène will now give her own interpretation of this masterpiece of the saxophone literature.
The grand finale is Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’. This piece is best known in the orchestration by Maurice Ravel, in which Ravel used the alto saxophone. In Syrènes own transcription of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece all recourses will be used by using eight saxophones!
Saksofon I Rossii can be seen as a toast to Glazunov’s 150th birthday. He was one of the leading Russian composers really to embrace the saxophone. NAZDROVJE!
Unfortunately their admiration wasn’t always reciprocated by their beautiful subjects. In the program ‘The Muses’ Syrène will demonstrate what composers were capable of when mesmerized by their unrequited love. In the 14th century Guillaume de Machaut was left lonesome and in love by Péronne d’Armentières, who was 40 years his junior. Many centuries later Frédéric Chopin was heavily infatuated by the Ukranian Delfina Potocka. She was his former piano student and their friendship lasted a lifetime: two days before Chopin’s death she sung an aria by Händel for him at his request. And also Gabriel Fauré was deeply in love, his muse was Marianne Viardot. For four years she strung him along before she conceded to marry him. But then she broke off the engagement at the last moment.
Luckely, all this heartache resulted in beautiful music. And the pieces will be presented by the Syrenes with intriguing texts, in which they will try to place themselves in the shoes of the muses.
La Nouvelle Vie
Feel the atmosphere of Christmas with four Sirenes of winter. The ladies of the Syrène Saxophone Quartet will transform a regular concert into a winter wonder land. You will enjoy beautiful classical pieces by Bach, Saint-Saëns and Van Klaveren intertwined with well known Christmas carols. The Syrène Saxophone Quartet will bring you a warm winter concert to end the year in style.