Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
The Vienna Zeitung hailed the quartet as the "Uncrowned Kings of the Saxophone" and a critic from Die Welt claimed, "If there were an Olympic discipline for virtuoso wind playing, the Raschèr Quartet would definitely receive a gold medal."
The ensemble carries on a tradition established in the 1930s by the pioneer of the classical saxophone and founding member of the quartet Sigurd Raschèr, who animated many composers to write music especially for him. In a similar fashion, the quartet has inspired over 250 composers to dedicate music to them, including, Berio, Bergman, Bialis, Denhoff, Donatoni, Firsowa, Glass, Gubaidulina, Halffter, Haubenstock-Ramati, Kaipainen, Keuris, de Leeuw, Nordgren, Nørgard, Maros, Raxach, Raskatov, Sandström, von Schweinitz, Stucky, Terzakis, Urbanner, Wuorinen, Xenakis and Zechlin.
All of these composers have shared an enthusiasm for the four musicians' unique homogeneous tone quality, virtuosity and dynamic interpretation of new and old music.
Regarding their interpretation of Bach, the well-known German musicologist Ulrich Dibelius wrote, "When the Raschèr Quartet plays Bach, the music takes on a seraphic aura-as if the organ and the string quartet had come together."
Numerous composers have been fascinated with the combination of the Raschèrs and orchestra, which has resulted in more than 20 new works for that combination as well as invitations from many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, American Composer's Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Pilharmonique Strasbourg, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, Berlin Sinfonie Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, SWR Baden-Baden, MDR Orchestra Leipzig, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonie Orchestra Cologne, I Fiamminghi and Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Raschér Quartet is a musical democracy. Therefore, in contrast to many other chamber ensembles, the quartet has no leader.more
Throughout the night, conductor Gil Rose and his protean ensemble gave exciting and exacting performances of these challenging scores. Local composers are lucky to have BMOP around.