To the Muse

Asya Fateyeva & Saarländisches Staatsorchester


For "To the Muse," Asya Fateyeva has reinterpreted French works by Claude Debussy, Paule Maurice, Henri Tomasi, Bertrand Plé, and the medieval Troubadours. The theme of longing runs through the entire album like a red thread: for example, Henri Tomasi's Concerto for Alto Saxophone is based on a forbidden love story between a nun and a monk; and in Paule Maurice's "Tableaux de Provence," the landscape evokes memories of a friend who will never be near her again. Fateyeva and her fellow musicians use this material as inspiration for free arrangements of the pieces – in new orchestrations for saxophone, hurdy-gurdy, cello, vibraphone, and darbuka. Fateyeva is joined by Matthias Loibner (hurdy-gurdy), Bo Wiget (cello), Emil Kuyumcuyan (vibraphone, darbuka), and the Saarland State Orchestra under Sébastien Rouland. Another facet of sound is shown by Fateyeva in the "Venetian Choral Night": here, together with the NDR Vocal Ensemble, she uses the saxophone in polyphonic vocal works. "The saxophone can be anything. It leads me further and further and shows me a new side every time," says Asya Fateyeva about her instrument.


Time Travel

Asya Fateyeva & lautten compagney & Wolfgang Katschner

Songs by Henry Purcell and The Beatles


This programme takes Asya Fateyeva and the lautten compagney on an exhilarating journey through three centuries of resonant musical history.

Henry Purcell, the most renowned English composer of the Baroque era, was already celebrated as the "ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS" in the 17th century. His style is unique in English music, blending catchy melodies with grooving rhythms. His music was the pop of London circa 1690.

The Beatles released their first single in 1962. With their fresh blend of Rock'n'Roll and Liverpool Beat music, they quickly gained fame and creatively shaped the modern pop culture of the 20th century.

Adolphe Sax patented his new instrument in Paris in 1846. The resultant saxophone took a leading role in Jazz and Pop music. However, it can also produce wonderful effects in Early Music.

With their characteristic sound of historical instruments, lautten compagney creates a new auditory experience, making the boundaries between styles and eras permeable. For the first time, they collaborate with the young saxophonist Asya Fateyeva, considered a rising star of the classical music scene. Traditional classifications such as Serious Music or Pop Music are irrelevant here. Asya Fateyeva and the lautten compagney rock Henry Purcell and the Beatles together.


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Asya Fateyeva


On her first chamber music album with Berlin Classic, saxophonist Asya Fateyeva revisits the golden era of her instrument: the 1920s when it was seen as the voice of modern salon music and played alongside other instruments as an equal in art music. At the same time, however, a threatening future loomed on the horizon. The album is a blend of danceable urban rhythms, cultural-political ostracism, and musical pioneering spirit.


The album "Jonny" by Asya Fateyeva is named after Ernst Krenek's contemporary and jazz opera "Jonny spielt auf". A work that encapsulates the zeitgeist of the 1920s, its creation and performance history reflect the cultural peculiarities of that era. The colorful saxophonist illustrated by Arthur Stadler for the cover of the piano score was a symbol of the work's exotic and simultaneously self-reflective modernity.


The 421 performances in 45 different cities within the first season on one hand, and the use of the image of the saxophonist on the poster for the 1938 "Degenerate Music" exhibition on the other, underscore the significant role of this work. However, Asya Fateyeva's focus isn't limited to Ernst Krenek: "I am particularly fascinated by how different composers use music as their own language and worldview. It almost feels like there are a few centuries between them. With Adolf Busch, Paul Hindemith, and Anton Webern, the saxophone appears as a medium, a sound means to an end. Erwin Schulhoff, Kurt Weill, and Ernst Krenek particularly use it as an expression of the zeitgeist and as a mouthpiece for bitterness, sarcasm, and an ambivalent relationship to life and death in the 1920s."


Her chamber music partners in crime include Emma Yoon and Florian Donderer on violin, Yuko Hara on viola, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, Stepan Simonian on piano, and Shirley Brill on clarinet. "What’s great about a chamber music recording is that it's very intimate. We all have a balance, the tasks are evenly distributed. It's not like I'm a soloist and there's an accompaniment. Every musician and every personality are thus very important." This concert-tested collaboration, the dialogue, and interest in the different musical expressions of the time are evident. "It's a kind of panorama – I find it very beautiful that you open a window in time and see how brave people were to explore new paths during this period," says Florian Donderer. "What's unusual is the saxophone in chamber music. The saxophone is still not quite present and maybe not always taken completely seriously…"


Asya Fateyeva has long seen it as her mission to highlight the saxophone in classical music. With "Jonny," she takes a look at the historical moment when her instrument was on the verge of joining the established canon of instruments.


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Asya Fateyeva & Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn & Ruben Gazarian

Works by Sergei Prokofiev, Jules Massenet, Léo Delibes


Even purists would be swayed, wrote the Berliner Zeitung about Asya Fateyeva's second release "Bachiana," where she arranged Bach compositions for the saxophone – an instrument that didn't exist during Bach's lifetime.


On "Carneval," the soloist embarks on unusual paths again. This time, she delves into the world of carnival, its dramas, characters, and the constantly surprising human entanglements within. According to Fateyeva, the saxophone is exceptionally well-suited for this: "The title 'Carneval' describes the spirit of the saxophone. It likes to dress up, experiment, explore different styles, and slip into the roles of other instruments."

Thanks to its versatility, Asya Fateyeva on "Carneval" manages to tell a wide array of stories – about love, friendship, and even death. Like in an opera staging, she has cast soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones as characters, demonstrating how closely her instrument can mirror the human voice. "Massenet, Bizet, and many other composers used the saxophone to achieve a special, vocal-like timbre," says Asya. With "Carneval," she traces the history of her instrument, which appeared in the orchestra pits of Paris shortly after its invention in the 19th century. "The saxophone was quickly brought into musical theatre, experiencing the full bloom of costuming," notes Asya.


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Asya Fateyeva

Works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Heitor Villa-Lobos

On the album "Bachiana," featuring works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Heitor Villa-Lobos, Asya Fateyeva showcases not only her virtuosity as a saxophonist but also her talent as an arranger. She is splendidly complemented by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, under the direction of principal conductor Ruben Gazarian, who accompanies the soloist with both inspiration and careful attention.


"Ever since I was a child, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach has greatly inspired me. I started with piano and later switched to saxophone – and his music was always there. I think most musicians feel similarly; Bach's universal language knows no boundaries, and when one encounters his music, there's a sense of touching something infinite," reflects Asya Fateyeva.

Asya Fateyeva

Works by Fernande Decruck, William Albright, Jean-Denis Michat, and Jacques Ibert


From the first, yearningly caressing notes of Fernande Decruck's sonata, the young saxophonist Asya Fateyeva captivates us: In GENUIN's Primavera Edition, which continually presents us with outstanding soloists, all of them winners of the German Music Competition, she breaks all boundaries: With Jacques Ibert's carefree Saxophone Concerto, the musician soars with such ease, as if its technical challenges were non-existent. And in Jean-Denis Michat's Concerto, her saxophone allures with an Arabic lilt – in an equally breathtakingly virtuosic manner! Captivating discoveries, brilliantly performed!