The Eight Sounds
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The Rascher Saxophone Quartet here present a disc of works specifically composed for them. They are joined by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Robin Engelen in the orchestra's first appearance on BIS. With Bach's Brandenburg Concertos in mind, Sally Beamish uses features of Baroque music but also elements from traditional Scottish music. Steven Stucky revels in the sonic possibilities of the saxophone family, while the strings are content mostly to form a modest backdrop. His Music for Saxophones and Strings falls into two sections - the first with a nocturnal, mysterious atmosphere, while the second is faster, skittish and playful. Chen Yi, finally, has been inspired by the ancient music of her native China. The 'eight sounds' of the title refer to the traditional classifications of Chinese instruments. And she uses the saxophones and the strings to recapture her impressions of music she has heard played by Chinese villagers on old traditional instruments.