A selection of recent programs celebrating the versatility of the saxophone.
Any questions/suggestions? Contact me at nielsbijl(AT)gmail.com
The Beauty of NOW
Janáček's masterpiece "On an Overgrown Path", interlaced with a selection of original works for soprano saxophone and piano, by outstanding female Australian composers. Works by Katy Abbott, Margaret Sutherland, Jessica Wells, Caerwen Martin and others.
With Georgina Lewis, Piano.
Song & Dance
Celebrating the lyrical qualities and rich history of saxophone repertoire, with dance-era music from one of the first saxophone virtuosi Rudy Wiedoeft, as well as stunning original repertoire like Bozza's Aria, Francaix' Cinq Danses Exotiques and Rodney Bennett's Ballade in Memory of Memory of Shirley Horn.
With Berta Brozgul, Piano.
Chant du Saxophone Ténor
Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata is a fine example of music written for a particular instrument, but immediately gaining popularity in numerous arrangements for different instruments. The Tenor Saxophone turns out to be incredibly multi-facetted, with an ability to shine a new light on romantic masterpieces. This program features Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, Schumann's Adagio un Allegro, Glazunov's Chant du Ménestrel and other works.
With Brian Chapman, Piano.
Numerous editions of baroque music have prefaces indicating that all music is written for diverse instruments. Combining saxophone and harpsichord would therefore be standard practice, was it not that we had to wait until 1840, when Adolphe Sax patented his precious invention, the saxophone. Duo de Fesch focusses on bringing new light to great masters (Händel, Vivaldi, Bach), but most importantly introduce lesser known composers such as Willem de Fesch, Philidor, Dornel and Sammartini.
With Peter Hagen, Harpsichord.
The Sky Below
More than ten years in the making, and first premiered in Australia during one of Niels' many visits to Australia.
Niels' interest in Telemann's solo fantasies started almost three decades ago, when he started his collaboration with master recorder player Ronald Moelker. For many years Niels has been an advocate for new repertoire for tenor saxophone, and this program is a non-stop collage of fantasies mixed with new music by both Australian and Dutch composers such as Folkert Buis, Nicholas Russoniello, Tini Thomsen, Jan Menu and Martin Kay.
Brahms and other Cats
Hard to believe, but it's an actual question in the Dutch version of Trivial Pursuit: which composer was well known for shooting at stray cats with bow and arrow? Answer: Johannes Brahms.
Only quite recently this famous composer was finally cleared of a vicious rumour of being an infamous cat-slayer. Turns out it was fellow composer Richard Wagner, who spread the rumours out of sheer dislike of Brahms' music (and success?).
Master pianist Michael Leslie is a huge admirer of Brahms' clarinet sonata in E flat Major, and is convinced that the piece will come to life even more in a version for alto saxophone and piano. Interested? Have a listen, decide for yourself.
With Michael Leslie, Piano.