Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet

For many people, Bernd Alois Zimmermann is mainly associated with the Die Soldaten opera, one of the 20th century’s most significant German stage works. And like the opera, the sonata for violin and piano from 1950 is also charged with lots of energy and a variety of different expressions. The explosive rhythm of the sonata contrasts effectively with contemplative sound fields, and influences from both Béla Bartók and Claude Debussy are apparent.

György Ligeti’s six bagatelles are more low-key but constantly surprising, subtle, and sometimes humorous. They are taken from his eleven Musica ricercata, which were originally composed for the piano. Following a request, he made new versions of six of them for a wind quintet and called them bagatelles. Despite the title, they are in parts virtuoso, and here we hear Fabio Oehrli’s arrangements for a saxophone quartet from 2007. Ligeti, who received the Polar Prize 2004, was a guest professor in composition at the Stockholm Music School in the 1960s and 1970s and spoke excellent Swedish.

One of the people responsible for Ligeti being invited to Stockholm was Karl-Birger Blomdahl. He was himself a professor in composition and leader of the modernist-oriented Måndagsgruppen, where he pushed the question of the artistic truthfulness requirement, from his own personal horizon. His opera Aniara, from the late 1950s, is one of the Swedish opera scene’s greatest successes ever. This year, it is fifty years since Blomdahl passed away. Blomdahl wrote a small suite for bassoon and piano before he began using twelve tone techniques. Here, instead, well-developed themes, imitating polyphony between bassoon and piano and thoughtful, beautiful melodies come to the fore.

Eugène Ysaÿe was one of most prominent violinists of his era. He was a student of Henryk Wieniawski in Brussels, where he later worked as a violin professor. Over the course of one single year, 1923, he composed six violin sonatas, each dedicated to a contemporary violinist. He got the idea for this after hearing the Hungarian violin virtuoso Joseph Szigeti playing Bach’s solo sonata in G-minor. The first of Ysaÿe’s six sonatas was written for Szigeti and is also in G-minor.

/Göran Persson

Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet © Maret Solo

FRI 21 SEP 12.15 p.m. Palladium Malmö

Lunch concert

Free entry – first come, first served!
Doors open at 11.15.


Bernd Alois Zimmermann Violin Sonata
Tomo Keller, violin; Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano

György Ligeti 6 bagatelles
Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet

Karl-Birger Blomdahl Liten svit för fagott och piano
Sebastian Stevensson, bassoon; Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano

Eugène Ysaÿe Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 27, No. 1
Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, violin