En Toute Amitié



Recorded saxophone duos are relatively rare, and to find a duo like Serge Bertocchi and Jean-Michel Goury is even rarer. This is an intense duo that can and does function as a full concert entity in itself. Their sound can easily fill a concert hall and their intensity is extremely moving at the very least. In this century the scope and color of the saxophone has changed and drastically enlarged. Techniques that did not exist for the instrument fifty years ago are now commonplace. With giants such as Sigurd Rascher and Marcel Mule setting the pace and setting the course, the successive generations have expanded and developed the original precepts. The saxophone has become a multi-lingual, multi-cultural tool  for the artistic development of music. Jean-Michel Goury and Serge Bertocchi show with ease their artistic mastery of the saxophone with all of its diverse developments. You will become enmeshed in the grammar of contemporary music for the saxophone and amazed at how much music just two people can create. The artists present a world of unusual colors for the saxophone refined to the n'th degree and performed flawlessly. The duo has avoided keeping its penchant for contemporary classical music and the saxophone in an ivory tower but has thrust both, as much as possible, into the public's ears and, hopefully, a well deserved position on center stage. One half of the Duo is Jean-Michel Goury. His music studies were pursued in Bordeaux's Conservatory with Jean Marie Londeix where he attained three gold medals. He has done three workshops with Daniel Kientzy at the IRCAM. He received the Young Soloists' Prize in Aixles-Bains. Jean-Michel Goury is currently a teacher in Boulogne-Billancourt's Conservatory. He has performed as a soloist throughout the world. The other half, Serge, is equally impressive in credentials. He has worked with such personalities as Deffayet, Seffer, Drouet, Kientzy, Sylvestre, and Jeanneau. Serge Bertocchi  won the first prize at the Paris CNSM. He has won many prizes throughout Europe. He has been a teacher at the Amiens Conservatory since 1985. He has appeared throughout Europe as a soloist and has worked also in the theater and jazz idioms. Once you slip the CD into your machine none of this rhetoric will matter, your ears will do the talking. This ensemble is one phenomenal Duo. Truly, you have to hear this CD for yourself before you will believe the rest of the article. This "Duo" of Bertocchi and Goury is phenomenal, incredible, and whatever superlatives you can come up with, and this is just for the craftsmanship. The artistry and musicality is even better. The sense of ensemble is unbelievable; the two must have one mind. Combine the difficulty with the complexity of their repertoire and it is breath taking. The hours it must have taken to work this material to a performance level is inconceivable. Both of these artists are complete masters of the horn. From quarter tones to micro tones, from altissimo to multiphonics, this has got it and they make it sound disgustingly easy. Everything they do sounds extremely fluent no matter what the real difficulty might be. This is the hallmark of the real artist. The struggle is only for interpretation and understanding; everything else is afore drawn conclusion. There is a poetic intensity to each of the selections that is extremely moving and provocative. The opening selection is ADRIA (1986) by Christian Lauba. This piece sparkles in the light with almost a blinding glare at times. The artistry of the performers is absolutely breath taking. You have to hear it to believe it. Get used to this phrase, it will be used frequently in this column. This duo exhibits a gargantuan amount of control in the creations of these pertinent sound images. The second selection, Dialodia, by Bruno Maderna, is quite different in mood, but no less challenging. The duo switches from two altos to two sopranos with no change in the superb quality of performance. In fact the duo manages to cover all of the saxophones in the course of this CD. Each of the saxophones is played superbly with all of the attributes that are peculiar to each of the respective horns. The CD's program is organized in such away that each selection leads us to the next with a strong sense of continuity throughout the complete CD. The other composers on the recording are: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Etienne Rolin, Ryo Noda, Marius Constant, Marie-Helene Fournier, and Francois Rosse. The duo of Goury and Bertocchi is an amazing duo who are world class performers of the first order. If you ever wondered how musical some of the modern effects can be for the saxophone then this will answer all. The duo brings all of  the concepts into a performance reality that forces the listener to say, "I can't imagine it being done any other way." So to Jean-Michel Goury and Serge Bertocchi all that can be said is "fantastic." This CD is a must for all music lovers and especially for saxophonists. It is the bible of the contemporary saxophone.

         Paul Wagner & Joe Viola CD review


(Saxophones En Duo)

Serge Bertocchi Jean-Michel Goury

Christian Lauba  Adria

Bruno Maderna Dialodia

Karlheinz Stockhausen  Knabenduett

Etienne Rolin  Caccia

Ryo Noda Murasaki no fuchi

Marius Constant  Traits

Marie-Helene Fournier Oxydes

Francois Rossé  Quartz