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Radio 3 New Generation Artists - Episode 1

BBC Singers - Sax Appeal

Friday 14 June 2013, 16:31

Graeme Kay Graeme Kay Producer, R3 Multiplatform

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In an unusual musical event, next Monday evening the BBC Singers are collaborating with the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet in the British premieres of three of the many pieces the quartet has commissioned from living composers.

The Estonian Erkki-Sven Tuür sets a Latin prayer - Meditatio - by St Anselm of Canterbury; Giya Kancheli has based his piece Amao omi on a variety of sacred texts from his native Georgia, while in Little Red Fish, Belfast composer Ian Wilson sets words by the Austrian Expressionist poet and artist Oscar Kokoschka.

Alongside these pieces, the BBC Singers perform two contemporary works for unaccompanied voices by Per Nørgård and Knut Nystedt, while the Raschèr Quartet demonstrate that four saxophones are just as well suited to the music of the Baroque as to contemporary scores, in performances of Henry Purcell's Fantasia no 7 (Z.738) and J S Bach's Contrapunctus IV from The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080).

Founded in 1969 by one of the modern pioneers of the instrument, Sigurd Raschèr, the quartet are renowned for their virtuosity - and a German critic has written, 'If there were an Olympic discipline for wind playing, the Raschèr Quartet would definitely receive a gold medal.'

The concert is broadcast from St Paul's, Knightsbridge, live on Radio 3, beginning at 730.

Here's a foretaste, with the BBC Singers and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet rehearsing part of Ian Wilson's piece with conductor James Morgan, at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios.

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Rehearsing Ian Wilson's Little Red Fish with the Rascher Saxophone Quartet, and conductor James Morgan



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