On the album “Starry Night”, a new release from Berlin Classics, Alexej Gerassimez and the SIGNUM saxophone quartet explore new musical terrain. The unprecedented combination of percussion and saxophone quartet offers an innovative and inventive voyage in sound. Its focus is on infinity: it places familiar classics like Holst’s “The Planets” alongside contemporary works like Gerassimez’s own composition “Rebirth”. “Starry Night” shows off the five virtuosos in all their musical versatility and love of experimentation, as they journey through the cosmos and visit distant galaxies.
In choosing the repertoire, the musicians took their inspiration from the great questions that have face humanity: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going to?
Musically, the pieces lead us into deep space, but also into the depths of human subconsciousness – into our dreams, fears and longings. A realm of contrasting experiences opens up, familiar and amazing, comforting and stimulating, romantic and other-worldly.
“Starry Night” presents a many-faceted programme, including the composition “Rebirth” by Gerassimez and the commissioned work “Connectome” by New Zealand composer John Psathas, which explores three future scenarios for humankind in its three movements. Will the human race one day overcome its seemingly insoluble social problems, leave planet Earth and populate outer space?
The arranged John Williams pieces “Flying Theme” from the film E.T. and “Cantina Band” from Star Wars are just as extra-terrestrial in their musical ambience. Further destinations on this journey into space embrace the heavenly bodies Uranus, Venus and Jupiter from Gustav Holst’s suite “The Planets”. Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” brings Alexej Gerassimez and the SIGNUM saxophone quartet back to earth, from which they look up into the sky again at what they have just experienced.
The five musicians are universalists of the new classical era. Gerassimez is as musically versatile as his instruments. He captures our imagination with a repertoire that ranges from Classical through Jazz to Minimal. His own compositions are characterized by idiosyncratic sounds and the love of breaking through sound barriers. The SIGNUM saxophone quartet is powered by new challenges and just such encounters of the musical kind as are to be heard on“Starry Night”. The multi-prizewinning ensemble plays on the great stages of this world – as a quartet, with choir, with orchestra or in the family show they created themselves.