Saxophonia I

Composer: Henry Koch

Saxophonia 1 was composed in Dresden in 1990, the year of German reunification. It was spring and at that time the city was experiencing a certain anarchy. East German laws were still in force, and in practice more or less enforced since the system had changed in November, while the new laws were not yet in place. We spontaneously opened cafes and bars without bothering with procedures. These places, often open all night, allowed people to meet, talk, drink, dream, flirt. Throughout the spring and summer, the city was in a state of perpetual celebration and I worked towards the debut of my saxophone quartet scheduled for October. The exceptional atmosphere in which I was immersed proved to be an incredible stimulant for the imagination and creation. East Germany would soon be swallowed up by its neighbours to the west. We would then be faced with a new system where we would once again find laws, the police, the bureaucracy. The knowledge of this foreseeable future sharpened our will to live fully during this ephemeral period. At that time, changes were happening so quickly that a lot of things turned upside down. And so, the premiere of the piece could not take place. However, in 1996 I was lucky enough to attend a Quasar concert in Rotterdam. Seduced by the quality and energy of the musicians' playing, I decided to offer them my saxophone quartet.