Saxophone Concert: Syrene Quartet


Around two weeks ago, I got invitation for a saxophone concert. It has been a while for me going to a classical concert, something around 4 years ago. Moreover, it was my first time for a saxophone concert. So I was super excited.

I originally plan for a night date with my dad since he likes classical music but never been into such a music concert. But he turned me down for a business deal (really dad…?!). Half-brokenheartedly, I ended up go to the concert with an old high school friend.

The concert held in Dutch Embassy, Erasmus Huis. It was a concert by quartet group from four young Dutch ladies who first became acquintance when they were studying conservatories in Amsterdam and Utrecht, the Netherlands.

They started the concert with introducing themselves and the different type of saxophone that they were using:

  • Femke Ijlstra played Soprano saxophone
  • Lotte Pen played Alto saxophone
  • Annelies Vrieswijk played Tenor saxophone
  • Aukelien Kleinpenning played Barito saxophone

As the starter, they opened the concert playing Jean Baptiste Singelee famous work dedicated for quartet saxophone, Premier Quatour (1858). The Belgian was one of the first composers to treat the saxophone as a serious classical instrument. Together with his longtime friend, the inventor of Saxophone, Adolphe Sax, they developed the four principal members of saxophone family.

20140201-105537.jpg Opening with the 1st saxophon quartet piece

The second piece was the first string quartet by Joseph Hayden opus 1 no. 2 (1962 – 1964). The composer who born in Austria is known as ‘Father of Symphony’ and ‘Father of String Quartet’. At that time, saxophone was not exist, thus the group needed to translate the piece which originally for combination of two violins, viola and cello into sexophone notes.

The next one was Sergei Rachmaninoff famous Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (1934). It often plays for solo piano and symphony orchestra. The Rhapsody inspired by the combination of devilish violinist and the hellish pianist. Aukelien Kleinpenning made the arrangement for saxophone note for this concert.

The fourth piece was Mozart most famous String Quartet No. 19 (1785). The quartet was dedicated to Joseph Haydn, it reflects the two great composers true friendship and mutual admiration which Mozart expressed into the music.

20140201-121627.jpg During Haydn String Quartet op 1 no. 2

The fifth piece was saxophone quartet of Song for Tony (1994) by English composer, Michael Nyman. The music was dedicated to his friend, Tony Simmons, who had died in a long and heroic fight against cancer.

The last one was from George Gerswhin’s Rhapsody in Blue (1924). The music inspired by the combination of classical music with jazz influence which later brought the American composer gained reputation as one of the most popular composers in American history.

As encore, the quartet group suprised as with one Indonesian traditional song from Papua, Yamko Rambe Yamko. With the song’s cheerful note, the audience joyfully  joined to sing along.

After the concert finished look around the room. I was quite surprised that 70% of the audiences were young people. I never know that classical music has good reputation in Indonesian young generation. It such a musical night, and I was nothing but got inspired by music.

20140201-122144.jpg Ayu with Syrene Quartet

*Image taken during the concert