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Incredibly beautifully played Prélude, Fugue et Variation

May 21

In April the Amstel Quartet won the second prize at the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition. Amstel Tracks is the second CD of this ensemble, and the first release of their new label Amstel Records. Recently the Amstel Quartet released a recording with works by Baltic composers, but on Amstel Tracks they chose for less obvious works.

This diverse CD contains works of Beethoven, Franck, Nyman and Pärt, of Marijn Simons and Rabih Abou-Khalil. I was especially surprised by the incredibly beautifully played Prélude, Fugue et Variation of César Franck: originally for organ, but in this version it seems intended for saxophone quartet.

Saxophone quartets are usually classified as either a classical- or more jazz-oriented ensemble. One style always seems to rule out others: when they are good classical players, they can’t play jazz. And vice versa. But the Amstel Quartet has got the groove!