Amstel Quartet

Amstel Tracks Now!

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917253429
Catnr: CC 72534
Release date: 13 January 2012
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1 CD
Notify when available
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72534
Release date
13 January 2012

"The dutch-luxembourgian Saxophone-Ensemble 'Amstel Quartet' is one of the best in the world"


About the album

The idea is simple. After concerts, there is always someone from the audience who comes to talk to us and asks if we have recorded this or that piece. We have heard this repeatedly over the years, so we decided to combine all of the pieces that we and the audience like on one album. The other common link among these pieces is that all have been arranged or composed for or by us. There only one exception: the Rivier, a traditional saxophone quartet, but because we feel such a strong connection to this piece, we decided to make it as well. Before the release of the Amstel Tracks” we did not think it was such a strong concept, but we were wrong. The album turned out to be the most personal and successful Amstel Quartet CD. The concept of personal taste and emotional links to the works we play turned out to be much stronger than any concept on paper. Thus, we hope that Amstel Tracks Now! will live up to the expectations of all our fans. After we finished the recording, we realised that releasing this album would mark our fifteenth anniversary.
Het meest kleurrijke saxofoonkwartet ter wereld
Het Amstel Quartet speelt muziek van onder andere Bach, Brahms, Ravel en Tan Dun. Amstel Tracks NOW! is het meest succesvolle en persoonlijke album van het Amstel Quartet. Persoonlijke voorkeur en een emotionele band met de gespeelde muziek zijn duidelijk te horen. "Een prachtig programma, muzikaal subliem opgebouwd en gespeeld met absolute toewijding. De pure schoonheid van timbres, de samenhang van het spelen van de leden van het Amstel Quartet, hun symbiose van kleuren en spirituele implicaties transformeren hun interpretaties in rolmodellen van muzikaliteit." Remy Franck, Pizzicato, januari 2012.

Na een concert krijgt het Amstel Quartet regelmatig de vraag van iemand uit het publiek of ze ook dit of dat stuk opgenomen hebben. Dat gebeurde zo vaak dat ze besloten Amstel Tracks NOW! te maken. Een verzameling van muziek waar het publiek dol op is, maar ook het kwartet zelf. Daarbij komt dat de stukken allemaal gearrangeerd of gecomponeerd zijn door of voor het Amstel Quartet. Alleen het stuk van de Franse componist Jean Rivier vormt hierop een uitzondering. De saxofonisten voelden zo'n sterke band met dit stuk, dat ze het ook op het album wilden opnemen. Het Amstel Quartet wint regelmatig prijzen voor hun altijd verrassende, opzwepende, educatieve, innovatieve en swingende optredens.

Das bunteste Saxphon-Quartett der Welt

Das Amstel Quartett ist "das bunteste Saxophon-Quartett der Welt": Alte Musik, neue Musik, volkstümliche Musik, Weltmusik...erlaubt ist, was gefällt! Aber nur unter einer Bedingung: Die ausgewählte Musik muss gute Musik sein, fesselnd und unter allen Umständen bereichernd.

Die quicklebendigen Musiker kennen keine technischen Beschränkungen und Musikgrenzen existieren nur, um überschritten zu werden. Das hat den Vier Bewunderung in aller Welt eingebracht und es überrascht nicht, dass eine Live-Darbietung des Amstel Quartetts einem Pop-Konzert ähnelt. Sie suchen den direkten Kontakt mit dem Publikum und überzeugen durch ihre unglaubliche Energie und Präzision der Ausführung. Eine ungewöhnliche und aufregende CD!


“The most colourful saxophone quartet in the world”, that is the Amstel Quartet. Old music, new music, popular music, world music, anything goes with Remco Jak, Olivier Sliepen, Bas Apswoude and Ties Mellema.
On one condition: the music played by the Amstel Quartet is good music, gripping music, and presented in a way that complements, enriches and clarifies the music. Technical limitations do not exist, and musical boundaries are there only to be crossed. This has earned the foursome a host of admirers all over the world. Not surprisingly, a performance by the Amstel Quartet is like a pop concert, full of energy, sincere contact with the audience, and the music is always exciting and moving.

The Amstel Quartet’s programmes are always surprising, uplifting, educational, innovative and swinging. Of course, the saxophone is a young instrument, and the saxophone quartet is mainly an ensemble of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but Bach would take his hat off to the Amstel Quartet, if he heard them play his work. That is, after all, what modern-day composers such as György Ligeti, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Peteris Vasks and Arvo Pärt have done. And it is no coincidence that artists from other disciplines, and even other cultures, enjoy working with the quartet. Dance, mime, theatre, film, an Indian tabla player, everything is possible as long as it does justice to the music played by the quartet.

The strength of the Amstel Quartet lies in quality of the individuals, which, brought together, produces quality far beyond that. The foursome found each other in 1997 after a tour with the National Youth Orchestra, and from that first encounter sprung a rapidly streaming river. Virtuosity, breaking new ground and unparalleled perseverance have since become key words. Baritone saxophonist Ties Mellema made a full comeback after a serious accident involving his right hand, even winning the Dutch Music Prize in 2010.

The Amstel Quartet as a whole also regularly wins awards. The Concert Artists Guild Management Award, The Kersjes Prize, the Gaudeamus Interpreters Concours, to name but a few achievements that demonstrate the international recognition the quartet receives. This is why the four musicians continue to express their love for the saxophone and the unique versatility of the saxophone quartet as a perfect unit, with original CDs, a scintillating series in the Amsterdam Felix Meritis, performances in beautiful halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie in Luxemburg, Carnegie Hall in New York and extensive tours through Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan and the United States.


The dutch-luxembourgian Saxophone-Ensemble 'Amstel Quartet' is one of the best in the world

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