This was Sax14 for me.What an amazing festival Sax14 was. So many great artists, all on the saxophone, united in the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw. I tried to go to as many concerts as I could, but some I had to pass, due to my own activities and in the end, because I was way too tired!
The Muziekgebouw was bursting with saxophone, with music. Every 15 minutes there seemed to start something else. Either in one of the halls or outside them.
I had the honor to play the opening concert with ASKO-Schoenberg, Aurelia and Artvark Saxophone Quartets. Arno Bornkamp, the artistic leader of the festival asked me to play Donatoni’s ‘Hot’, one of his favorite pieces he told me a few times: the pressure was on :-)
I had mixed feelings after my performance. The piece is very hard and very fast, there’s hardly time to think and reflect during playing. And afterwards only the moments that I wasn’t sure about stayed with me. I had to give a few days. Luckily the Volkskrant wrote a very positive line about my performance. After hearing the radio recording I too could be satisfied.
After me, the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet played JacobTV’s Tipperary Concerto. I only heard this piece during the rehearsal and it was a lovely piece which was played extremely well. Only a short time ago the Aurelia changed their concertmaster and baritoneplayer, but the new Aurelia Quartet seems like they have playing together for years now.
But the thing that I wanted to talk about is the way this festival combined forces, sometimes very unexpected. I was so disappointed I could not be at the James Carter/Vincent David and Lars Mlekusch concert. But as I understand this was a gem in the program. And who would have thought this would be successful combination. Sax14 apparently :-)
Branford Marsalis is someone who is interested in many musical styles, and Sax14 got a hold of him for a recital at the BIMHuis (where I was not present either…), a masterclass and a concert with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Branford put the classical saxophone on the map and this is great for the classical saxophone world. But Sax14 went one step further and just erased the borders between the genres.
Imagine a festival where Vincent David plays his Boulez, Mlekusch his Tenney, Branford Marsalis plays a jazz recital, all level saxophonists play together in a mega saxophone orchestra and that is closed off by Candy Dulfer. Well, it came true.
Sax14 made me think, gave me inspiration.