Some weeks ago, I wrote a post on my blog about the recording of the album Dreamlover for the German label Solo Musica, with the complete production for saxophone (solo and other chamber music formations) by Albena Petrovic-Vratchanska, composed between 2006 and 2021.

The compact disc was issued at the end of February 2022 and you can also listen to it on some digital platforms from the beginning of March. If you acquire the physic format (as well as you buy books, you could also buy discs), you will have a pretty booklet with beautiful pictures, detailed comments on the works (texts of the songs are also included) and performers: pianist Romain Nosbaum, soprano Cynthia Knoch, the saxophone quartet Kebyart and myself.

When I met Albena for the first time in Rotterdam in May 2016, I couldn’t imagine that I would be recording almost the 80% of a disc with her integral works for saxophone, five years and a half later. In 2017, Albena composed Dreamlover, a piece for baritone saxophone solo that has been gradually turning into the version you will listen to in the album.

In 2018, Albena composed the opera Dyptich, featuring the alto saxophone that appears on stage in two preludes which were extracted for the album as two pieces for alto saxophone solo) in addition to a Concerto for baritone saxophone, piano and string orchestra, with an open (or free) cadenza in a Classical style, arranged for duo with piano in 2021. I am honoured to have premiered all these works.

I love to work with composers that conceive their works as something ductile, liable to be implemented with the contributions of the performers. In this case, an apparently “simple music” lets me allow my imagination to run free to find analogies in other art disciplines as literature, theatre, painting, etc.

You can also see this in the older work for saxophone by Albena Petrovic, her quartet (composed in 2006), as well as this unusual duo for soprano voice and baritone saxophone (composed in 2021 and still not premiered, just the moment I am writing this post). You will appreciate a very genuine approach to the saxophone in these works.

As I already said in the interview issued at Spanish magazine Revista Ritmo in February 2022, music by Albena Petrovic is really lyrical, even with some theatrical gestures, that could seem simple and superfluous in a first listening but containing a strong expressiveness (from a refined sense of irony to a deep discouragement) you will discover more and more as you listen to her music.

Listen to this album. You will be surprised!

Joan Martí-Frasquier

Barcelona, March 2022

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