It has been noted (including in the liner notes to this CD) that the tenor saxophone seems to have been ignored in the field of classical music, especially compared to the alto saxophone. This is a particulary puzzling fact given the popularity of the instrument among Jazz soloists. Bijl makes an eloquent argument throughout this recording that the tenor saxophone is worthy of closer attention from classical saxophonists, composers and audiences alike.
There are four original works for the tenor saxophone including the Concerto By Robert Ward, the Ballade for Tenor Saxophone by Frank Martin and the Poem by Walter S. Hartley. Perhaps, the most unfamiliar piece is the Evening song by Dmitri Smirnov, a work that is particularly beautiful in its range of sonorities, a virtuoso demonstration of the profound delicacy of sound that the tenor saxophone is able to produce.
The last tracks are the Concerto for Tenor Saxophone by American composer, Robert Ward. This work gives an opportunity for Bijl to show off his superb technique, flawless negotiating the technical passages of this lively attractive piece.
The performers on this CD form a close and sympathetic collaborative bond throughout the repertoire. The recording itself possesses a great dynamic range and excellent clarity from stat to finish.
I recommend this CD for all lovers of classical saxophone and especially to those who are interested in the tenor saxophone, an instrument that this Cd should assist to make more common on the concert platform.
The Australian Clarinet and Saxophone, Volume 11, No 1, March 2008