Tenor Saxophone Collective Debut Concert

Supported by the Tenor Saxophone Index
The online repertoire database for original tenor saxophone music.

On Sunday 12th July 2015 to a pack audience the Tenor Saxophone Collective proudly gave their debut concert a featured event at SaxOpen the World Saxophone Congress.

Consisting of twelve established tenor saxophonists from across the globe the ensemble presented 8 world premieres written by composers from within the ensemble for this exciting and unique occasion!

Music by Christoph Enzel, Jenni Watson, Peter Leung, Andy Scott, Matt London, and Matt Styles.

The group were delighted to include two new works by celebrated British composers Simon Holt and Colin Riley!

With a mission statement to champion original music for tenor saxophone the inclusion of these two composers is a real triumph for the instrument adding important new works to the repertoire.

The concert opened straight into a rapturous rendition of Aktor/Reaktor II by Christoph Enzel. Probably best described as classical funk the work is full of driving rhythms, extreme dynamics and character… the perfect opener!

Emergence by Jenni Watson a heartfelt study of colour and nuance, inspired by flocking and migrating birds followed. Through subtle shifting textures moments for each member of the ensemble to pass delicate lines culminated in a radiant resolution to the piece.

A shift in character evoking the chitter-chatter and energy of a busy metropolis by Peter Leung followed. King St Bustle captured the spirit of this famous street in Sydney through syncopated riffs, textures and rhythms full of vigour touched by flavours of Gamelan.

At the heart of this exciting concert was a new solo work premiered by Dutch virtuoso Niels Bijl which brought the audience into an incredible atmosphere of focus. 

mantis by the celebrated British composer Simon Holt reflects all the qualities that makes his work so enthralling and engaging. Inspired by this enigmatic creature the work conjures up vivid imagery of fragmented scurries through twisting and spiralling lines contrasted by intricate shifts of tone and colour leading to an audacious and delicate end! Bijl gave an electrifying and fervent performance of passion and intensity… a tour de force of technique and control!

Following this solo work eight members of the Tenor Saxophone Collective returned to the stage to perform a work inspired by Ted Hughes' poem 'The Warm and the Cold'.

Full of gorgeous and sumptuous harmonies Colin Rileys’ Winter Rounds shows an unparalleled understanding of depth and resonance achievable on the instrument. Set in two alternating sections the ensemble was able to weave Rileys’ lyrical lines through delicate textures off set by a crisp folk-like refrain. The clarity of the writing was striking for such an unusual ensemble demonstrating why Rileys’ compositional voice is such an exciting and fresh one in the contemporary music scene.

The remaining members of the ensemble returned to the stage to perform Vena Contracta by Andy Scott a homage to John Coltrane.

Channeling the spirit of the great man the work looks at some of the varied directions and emotions Coltrane’s music took over his life. Frenetic bebop lines reminiscent of early Coltrane are contrasted by graceful and emotive paired moments if you listened carefully motifs of Giant Steps and A Love Supreme could be imagined. 

Matt Londons’ A Glimpse of Darkness examines tone and the grain of sound achievable by the group. A simple contemplative moment is captured and slowly develops making full use of space and silence. On occasions hesitant and melancholic these ideas shift and develop into something far more profane, strident and unnerving before disappearing into the distance.

To end this unique event It’s Here! by Matt Styles struck in to full flow making full use of all the saxophonic percussive tricks in the book to create a funk inspired finale. Through tight grooves and riffs players whacked out sparing solos building to a collective off set high octane riff to end!

After such a concert an encore was required and the group returned to give a special rendition of Christian Laubas’ infamous Hard each member taking a solo over that multiphonic funk groove.

With over a 150 people in attendance at Salle de la Bourse, Strasbourg, the Tenor Saxophone Collective’s debut concert proved both popular and a musically affirming experience with it’s diverse and innovative programming of quality music. 

This truly international group; Andy Scott [UK], Arno BornKamp [Netherlands], Christoph Enzel [Germany], Erin Royer [Australia], Gillian Blair [UK], Henrique Portovedo [Portugal], Erik-Jan de With [Netherlands], Jenni Watson [UK], Matt London [UK], Nathan Henshaw [Australia], Niels Bijl [Netherlands] and Peter Leung [Australia] and we hope to take this truly exciting and unique project further with future concerts and a recording.

Please look out for future plans and help support the group via the Tenor Saxophone Index website. www.tenorsaxindex.info

                Niels Bijl          Christoph Enzel    Erik-Jan de With   Arno Bornkamp   Andy Scott     Erin Royer      Gillian Blair    Nathan Henshaw   Matt London  Peter Leung   Jenni Watson  Henrique Portovedo