Niels Bijl



Storytelling of the highest order

Michael Lichnovski, Conservatorium of Melbourne, September 1st, 2010

This has been one of my favourite discs of 2010. The Abbado/Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Mahler 1 DVD is as well. It took me a while to understand why I thought of them together, but I think it has almost exclusively to do with the honesty in the performance. There is never a sense that I’m listening to the saxophone (all too rare for concert saxophone recordings), just music. And as we know, that is not only a complement to your freedom of expression, but also to the underlying decades of work on technique, articulation, timbre variation and most importantly the education that goes into understanding musical form as the ultimate goal.That a performance can so clearly trace an interpretive arc across the entire 53 minutes, seven composers and multiple centuries is truly storytelling of the highest order.