Another foursome made an even more personable impression the following afternoon. If the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet isn’t a legend outside Sweden, it should be. Two genial old guys, two younger ones (Per Hedlund and Jörgen Pettersson pictured right), a lovely manner of presentation, and a programme of winners, starting with the racy show-offiness of Sten Melin’s Ticophobia and, at the heart of the programme. The elegies of Paula af Malmborg Ward’s Desire encapsulated pierced the soul, prefaced by a speech in which she spoke of standing alongside her parents and understanding that they were still full of longings that their bodies would no longer permit them to realise. Whether this spiel was necessary to the performance I don’t know, but for me it enriched the poignant baritone saxophone solo in the piece. Known quantity Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Lamentatio haunted, too.
The Arts Desk (theartsdesk.com) Sunday, 23 February 2014 by David Nice.
Press from South Africa July 2006
From: Cue, Saturday 1 July 2006
Fresh airs from four saxes
Fine notes in low-key style
Review: STOCKHOLM SAXOPHONE QUARTET
By Brett Pyper
Cue contributing editor
The Stockholm Saxophone Quartet is a New Music institution. Originally formed in 1969, the present members have played together for 20 years, making for a prodigious level of ensemble playing and a depth of common musical reference that is barely disguised under the group's modest, informal presentation style. Returning to the New Music Indaba after their sold-out performances in 2002, the Quartet used their opening concert to air – pun intended – several South African works framed by two virtuosic signature pieces, and had the audience shouting for more.
The opening piece, Daniel Nelson's Full Throttle, pitted the four saxes against one another with minutely displaced, breathtakingly precise rhythms, dizzying interlocking parts and a dose of swing to boot. This could hardly have been contrasted more markedly than with No. 1 from Johannesburg-based Claire Loveday's Three Piece Suite, a subtle, elusive and elemental piece that explored the saxophone's non-pitched sonorities (air blown freely through the instruments, the scampering cIicking of keys and deIicately blended tones).
Durban-based Jürgen Bräuniger's 13 Very Short Movies 4 Saxophones 0 Electronies (sic) presented a kaleidoscopic, tongue-in-cheek parade of chords, notes sung while played and coIIoquial South African excIamations. Carlo MombeIIi's Observations from the Hideout, written for the Quartet's last visit, filters various local soundscapes through an abstract, angular, jazz-inflected idiom.
The final piece on the programme, Italian Maurizio Pisati's Sax Stories (1998) lined the Quartet up in single file to form, in the composer's conception, "a long, unique instrument," a metaphor that could be taken as characteristic of this remarkable ensemble as a whole. Don't miss their Re-Imagining Mozart concert on Sunday.”