A whole life, from birth to death, or the whole world, from the rising of the sun to its setting: nothing less than this is Bach's Goldberg Variations for saxophonist Peter Vigh. With the Aria at the beginning and at the end, a circle closes, and in between all sorts of things happen. Vigh orchestrated the monumental cycle for his Berlage Saxophone Quartet and has now recorded it on Super Audio CD. The quartet tells of the ups and downs of existence with a sensitive sound: an experience that is as entertaining as it is deeply moving.
Whether children playing (Variation 17) or a funeral procession (Variation 21): the associations that Bach's music evokes are intensely savoured through the individual perspectives of the four Berlage artists. Ten different instruments are used and provide a colourful range that is second to none. And especially in the polyphonic parts, the work gains a new degree of transparency through the distribution among several players.
To achieve this, the four Dutchmen went back to school: Guided by baroque specialist Walter van Hauwe, they intensively studied historical playing practice. And so one hears how surprising sounds with speaking articulation, elegant ornamentation technique and striking phrasing combine with the very highest pleasurable playing culture.
With this new release, Lars Niederstrasser, Peter Vigh, Juani Palop and Eva van Grinsven once again demonstrate their extraordinary stylistic range. After "Saxofolk" and "In Search of Freedom", this third production by the Berlage Saxophone Quartet on the MDG label opens up completely new sonic horizons, especially since the outstanding acoustics of the historic monastery hall on the SACD are particularly