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I've always considered the saxophone to be an extremely versatile instrument / Classical Music Sentinel

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The sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet releases their first Deutsche Grammophon album - Echoes. Featuring inventive arrangements of music by composers from Dowland to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's "Sarajevo", this sax quartet launches the recording marked by a concert on DG Stage, streamed from the Berlin Meistersaal.

SIGNUM saxophone quartet's recording showcases the full potential of the saxophone – a modern instrument but one more than capable of capturing the echoes of the past. Two of its tracks, arrangements of works by the hugely successful contemporary composers Joep Beving and Max Richter, were pre-released as digital singles, complete with e-videos. "Ab Ovo" (arr. Knoth), from Beving's album Prehension, and Richter's "On the Nature of Daylight", from The Blue Notebooks, are out now.

Classical Music Sentinel's Jean-Yves Duperron writes.....I've always considered the saxophone to be an extremely versatile musical instrument that can sound right at home within any type of musical setting. Of course, most people associate the sax with some of the great jazz musicians like Dexter Gordon, Phil Woods or John Coltrane. But consider this: Maurice Ravel's Bolero would not sound as good without its inclusion of soprano and tenor saxophones. The first movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams' 9th Symphony would not sound as haunting and enigmatic were it not for its use of two saxophones. Or The Old Castle from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition just wouldn't sound the same were it scored for a different instrument rather than the alto saxophone. So based on the type of piece, saxophones are more than adequate for classical music.

For example, in Max Richter's On the Nature of Daylight, the Signum Saxophone Quartet demonstrate how a group of saxophones can sound like an old pedal-powered reed harmonium. At the other end of the spectrum is the liquid momentum they produce in the Philip Glass Quartet. Or just like The Old Castle, Joep Beving's haunting melody over a hypnotic pulse is something that stays with you all day. 

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