Niels Bijl
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Aurelia Saxophone Quartet – Tangón

hifi.nl, May 10th, 2007

Johan van der Linden, soprano saxophone, Niels Bijl, also saxophone, Arno Bornkamp, tenor saxophone and Willem van Merwijk with his baritone saxophone, together form the pick of the bunch national performers of this brass wind instrument invented by Adolphe Sax.

These four brilliant musicians form the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, which has been making a furore since 1982 nationally and overseas, not least with striking recordings.

Saxophones can sound glowing, passionate, fiery, intimate or romantic and sometimes melancholic. Composers such as Bizet, Debussy and Glazunov recognised these versatile qualities but scarcely used it and wrote only a few compositions for the instrument. This is in contrast to famous jazz musicians who embraced the saxophone and always played with enormous joy and expression, making the instrument laugh and cry.

That the saxophone can also be played in Latin-American music with colour and warmth I proven by a recent cd from the Aurelia Quartet: “Tangón”. Fifteen innovative inventive short pieces, tango’s and related styles. Great master Astor Piazzolla has to be represented and in a number of these works Juan Pablo Dobal and bandoneonist Ville Hiltuda enrich the idiom with verve. Not all of the pieces on this cd are equally strong, but the whole is definitely a gain for music lovers that wish to enjoy music that falls between the classical and the modern.

This live recording from these four fantastic saxophonists and their two collegues is relaxing music, of generally excellent quality.

Text: Ferd Op de Coul