When asked about his origin and background, Carlos Micháns’ favorite answer is: “I am a Dutch composer born, raised and educated in Argentina.” And he adds: “Of course I am a combination of several cultural backgrounds and mentalities, like most people from countries built on immigration. Understandably, many believe to hear a tango or some other South American rhythm in my works, although only after they have heard where I come from.” On his own music he says: “I do believe it to be contemporary and to reflect some aspects of our time more strongly than others, ‘our time’ meaning not just this very instant but the last few decades and even further. After all, we haven’t spent more than a thousand years creating and developing techniques, in order to stick to the latest ones and discard the rest as obsolete.”
The six works selected for this CD are good examples of Micháns’ great affinity with the saxophone. Starting with “Musique pour Saxophone” a solo of 1984, every single quality of the instrument is explored: its rich expressiveness, huge range and astounding technical possibilities. The music, however, remains central en ne- ver succumbs to the often extreme difficulty, as in “Purana”, or The complex, polyphonic texture of the Quartets and of “Trois Visions Tantriques”. With its pure, warm tone, the soprano saxophone sedu- ces us in each dialogue with the other instruments in “Après Minuit”.
The Sirius Saxophone Quartet, one of Holland’s most exciting ensembles of its kind at the moment, decided to mark their fifth an- niversary with a series of concerts, workshops and a documentary film, all leading to a CD-recording of music by Carlos Micháns. What attracted them to the music by Micháns was, besides its challenging technical aspects, the richness of expression, contrasting moods and rhythmical diversity, all of which have an immediate ap- peal to both players and listeners. According to Sirius, “Micháns’ passion for music can be heard in each one of his works, which is greatly appreciated by the audience and often makes of a concert a me- morable experience.” The same can be said about this remarkable CD, thanks to the wonderful collaboration of the Sirius Saxophone Quartet with violinist Amarins Wierdsma, harpist Astrid Haring, percussionist Christiaan Saris and pianist Mariken Zandvliet.
In short, a must for every (saxophone)music lover!