Fo[u]r Alto - Microtonal Music for Four Alto Saxophones

Fo[u]r Alto is the quadruplication of the Alto Saxophone into a unified body of sound. Since the formation of the ensemble in 2008 the four Berlin saxophonists Frank Gratkowski, Christian Weidner and Florian Bergmann have developed a unique sound speech.
Collective improvisations are combined with compositions of Gratkowski, who employs different compositional techniques. Some of these are based on principles found in electronic music but are applied here in a strictly acoustic way. Other techniques include harmonies and melodies which are generated from analysis of Tam-Tams and speech patterns and then transformed. The compositions also make use of intervallistic concepts, various extended techniques on the saxophone and dense, shimmering sheets of sound, which are created by layers of multiphonics specific to the Alto Saxophone.

Fo[u]r Alto played numerous concerts in Germany, Austria, Greece and the Netherlands.
In Autumn 2012 the english Label LeoRec released their first CD “4 Compositions by Frank Gratkowski”.


Frank Gratkowski

Frank Gratkowski

alto saxophone, composition
Salim Javaid

Salim Javaid

alto saxophone
Leonhard Huhn

Leonhard Huhn

alto saxophone
Florian Bergmann

Florian Bergmann

alto saxophone


Live in in Bonn 2023
Live in Berlin 2019
Live Dresden (Germany) 2010
Live Cologne (Germany) 2010
Live Dresden (Germany) 2010
Live Cologne (Germany) 2010

Foto Downloads with click and then press top right


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please visit the german site for concerts


Some pressquotes

"The four alto saxophonists Christian Weidner, Frank Gratkowski, Benjamin Weidekamp and Florian Bergmann combine refinement with intensive body experience. (...) Nature and machine were described by fanfare sounds and overtone structures, storm compositions whipped through the room and a gong was finally felt in an off-tuned context."

"For most of the listeners this was a new experience that was beyond our usual listening habits. (...) Later the four saxophonists separated in a darkened room and played a sound installation. It was an impressive end to a highly interesting evening."

"Gratkowski had studied intensively the vibrational patterns and acoustics of tam tams so that the long, almost never ending tones of the quartet reminded one more of an electronic experiment than four woodwinds. (...) Like this textures were formed that seemed almost tangible in the full concert hall."

"Four alto saxophones scan the world of their sounds for unknown depths, elevations and gaps. Fine microtones and multiphonics filled with friction create a soundsphere that is not infrequently reminiscent of the texture of electronic music. Their concentration on the moment and on the nuanced structure of the pieces affords a rare insight into the microscopically fine texture of sound."

Anton Lukoszevieze, 08/2011

A marvellous sounding together like a melodic consonant Niblock in some ways A buzzing of sounds, consonant, close moving parts, unison but not. Now, complex heterophony, good, choruses really. Strangeness of close harmony. Cadence, almost, strange, melancholy, but very centred, good. A constant band of changing beatings, in an almost lyrical fashion. Like a melodic Tenney, very good indeed. Accents, stresses, to central kind of pitch.


All compositions by Frank Gratkowski (GEMA)

Recorded March 2022 by Fo[u]r Alto in Berlin, Germany

Mixed and mastered by Pedja Avramovic

Cover art and design by Markus Dorninger and Stefan Schönegg

1. Um-H – 15:13
2. Harmonics – 33:05

buy and listen


Recorded on April 4th and 5th 2011 by Walter Quintus.
Mixed and masteres by WAlter Quintus.

All compositions by Frank Gratkowski (GEMA)

Special thanks to Reinhard, Gabriele and Hayden.

Cover art by Gabriele D.R. Guenther
“Questions & Answers” (detail)
mixed media/ found objects on canvas on wood – 160 x 61 cm

Artwork photography by Achim Kaufmann
Foto by Gehe 8, Frontcover design by Manon Kahle

1 TamTam 4a – 15:20
2 Molto Fluttuante – 11:38
3 Likewise – 4:37
4 Sound 1 – 31:10

Liner notes by Reinhard Kager as PDF



Download some scores
Most of the dynamics are missing in the scores but the recording should clarify them.

If you need parts, let me know and I’ll send them by email. Also, please let me know if you want to perform one of the pieces.


Frank Gratkowski
Stresemannstr. 27
10963 Berlin

Telefon: +49-30-23365321
Mobil: +49 (0)172 26 25 649
Voicemail/Fax :+49-3212-123 7 444


Florian Bergmann
Berthelsdorfer Str. 9
12043 Berlin