“Debut” – Signum Saxophone Quartet – GRIEG: Holbergs Suite; ESCAICH: Tango Virtuoso; BARTOK: Six Roumanian Dances; SHOSTAKOVICH: Two Movt’ for String Quartet; ITURRALDE: Pequena Czarda – ARS

by | Dec 17, 2011 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“Debut” – Signum Saxophone Quartet – GRIEG: Holbergs Suite; ESCAICH: Tango Virtuoso; RAVEL: Le Tombeau de Couperin; BARTOK: Six Roumanian Dances; SHOSTAKOVICH: Two Movt’ for String Quartet; ITURRALDE: Pequena Czarda – ARS Prod. multichannel SACD 38 094, 62:26 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:
There’s a nice HD video online of the Signum Saxophone Quartet preparing for this disc, but unfortunately the dialog is all in German without English subtitles. Though this is their first recording effort, the Signum Quartet proves the equal of any of the many international saxophone quartets. They point out that the Grieg and Ravel works are closely related due to the their Baroque suite form coming from Bach and Telemann, but also a musical language of dissonant chords, often without resolution. The Eschaich tango piece bows hearably to Piazzolla, while the composer maintains a tonal outlook based on rhythm and melody. Bartok’s use of some of the folk music he had collected on his forays with Zoltan Kodaly and a cylinder phonograph in his Roumanian Dances, which he wrote for piano and but also arranged for orchestra. There is also a popular violin and piano version.  The second Shostakovich movement is his Polka from The Golden Age ballet, a fine example of his musical satire.
This is an auspicious debut recording for the Signum Quartet, and the clean and detailed multichannel sonics display the individual virtuosity of the four members to perfect effect.
—John Sunier

Related Reviews
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
Logo Pure Pleasure