The Syrène Saxophone Quartet consists of four women that have named themselves after the Sirenes from Homer’s Odyssey: see goddesses that seduce see men with their bright singing. Syrène wants to invite the listener with her music and wants to make the sounds of the classical saxophone known to a divers audience. It is their energy, their musical quality and their strong communication, that makes them so beloved with their listeners.
The Syrènes have studied at the Dutch conservatories of Amsterdam and Utrecht. And they were the first wind ensemble to be welcomed at the prestigious Dutch String Quartet Academy. The Syrène Saxophone Quartet had played on all the major Dutch stages besides many international stages.
Syrène’s motto is ‘fresh, sweet & strong’, a short way to phrase all their talents: Spicy, with a female touch en very gifted. The Syrènes are at most in their element when they engage in quartet playing.
‘Tell me, O Muse…’ This is the opening line of Homer’s Odyssey. Many artists followed him in calling to their muses for inspiration. Many composers were among them.
Unfortunately this admiration wasn’t always answered by their beautiful subjects. In the program ‘The Muse’ Syrène will demonstrate what composers were capable of when mesmerized by their unrequited love. In the 14th century Guillaume de Machaut was left lonesome and in love by Péronne d’Armentières, who was 40 years his junior. Many centuries later Frédéric Chopin was heavily infatuated by the Ukrainian Delfina Potocka. She was his former piano student and their friendship lasted a lifetime: two days before Chopin’s death she sung an aria by Händel for him at his request. And also Gabriel Fauré was deeply in love, his muse was Marianne Viardot. For four years she strung him along before she conceded to mary him. Nevertheless the broke off the engagement at the last moment.
Good for you, all this heartache resulted in beautiful music. And the pieces will be presented by the Syrènes with intriguing texts, in which they will try to place themselves in the shoes of the muses.
Syrène strikes back: part I Haydn
Syrène Saxophone Quartet was the first ensemble ever, not consisting of string instruments, to be excepted at the Dutch String Quartet Academy. Besides this wonderful enrichment in their performance practice this is also a possibility to enter a new world of repertoire. It was amazing do discover how well the string quartets of Joseph Haydn suit four saxophones. “This might have been done before, but never in the way Syrène does it”, according to Hans van der Boom – Radio 4. But you will hear this for yourself in the program ‘Syrène strikes back: part I Haydn‘.
Saksofon i Rossii
Russian composers embracing the saxophone
Syrène Saxophone Quartet is throwing a Russian themed party to celebrate the saxophone. Including the beautiful late romantic music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, – one of the first Russian composers to use the saxophone in his symphonic compositions-, and a hidden gem by female composer Elena Firsova.
Alexander Glazunov composed his ‘Canzona Variée’ like it was a string quartet after being struck by the saxophone quartet during his stay in Paris. Syrène will now give her own interpretation of this masterpiece of the saxophone literature.
The grand finale is Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’. This piece is best known in the orchestration by Maurice Ravel, in which Ravel used the alto saxophone. In Syrènes own transcription of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece all recourses will be used by using eight saxophones!
Saksofon I Rossii can be seen as a toast to Glazunov’s 150th birthday. He was one of the leading Russian composers really to embrace the saxophone. NAZDROVJE!
Syrène Ragtime Café will invite you in with groovy bass lines, syncopated melodies and an accompaniment that will be just a little bit to early or to late: ragged time.
Enter our smokey café in the hart of New Orleans through the old-fashioned revolving door. Scott Joplin is playing the honky-tonk piano in the corner. George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein are smoking a cigar at the bar and absorbing the music. But not only classical composers are getting inspired, before long jazz music is coming up. Phil Woods finds his true saxophone sounds while drinking a bourbon at our regular table. He writes down his thoughts on paper.
There’s lots of live music in our café. Everything on the saxophone, because jazz, classical music with jazz influences and even that ‘ragged’ predecessor of jazz just sound so good on the sax! Also the modern, popular American sound of Michael Nyman is great on saxophones and is a beautiful addition.