Amstel Quartet Amstel Peijl

While people will argue about whether jazz, R&B, free-improv or some other music genre's saxophone players have the "best" sound, one thing remains indisputable: the saxophone family ― soprano, alto, tenor and baritone ― command an astonishing range of sonorities. They can sound like an oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, euphonium and more, making writing for a saxophone quartet like winning the lottery, sound possibility-wise. The Amstel Quartet clearly revel in the challenges provided by the works written, or adapted, for saxophone quartet by three master composers: Gabriel Fauré, Alexander Glazunov and Philip Glass. And whether it's the fluttering filigrees of Fauré's "Pelléas et Mélisande," the lush orchestral voicing of Glazunov's much revered "Saxophone Quartet Op. 109" or the carefully shaded consonant/dissonant pulsing and ripples of Glass's "Saxophone Quartet," the Netherlands-based group's meticulous attention to coloration and dynamics makes each piece speak eloquently. Regardless of your saxophonic sound preference, Amstel Peijl is an ear-opening delight. (CAG)