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The Forbidden Saxophone - relates to the horrific events that took place during World War 2. It includes wonderful music written by composers who for long could not present their work due to restrictions imposed by the Nazis. For this there were various reasons and being a Jew, like Haas and Milhaud, was the most obvious one. For Hindemith “atonality” was one of the problems combined with having a Jewish wife. Schulhoff was probably one of the easiest for the Nazis to put on the list of degenerate composers since he also was Jewish, Communist and composed some pieces influenced by “Americanized” jazz music as well as created other types of non German provocative music. In addition to this he took Soviet nationality in 1939 and was arrested the day after the termination of the German-Soviet pact in 1941.

By presenting this CD, I want you to discover some wonderful music that will take you from a (still) joyful Paris to the jazz clubs of Berlin but also on a trip to a Brno recently invaded by the Nazis.

I hope that you will enjoy this collection of music and that you will help preventing tragedies like the holocaust ever to happen again.

The forbidden saxophone on YouTube

Pavel Haas - Suite op17

Manuel Rosenthal - Saxophon´-Marmalade

Complete review from Saxophone Journal

"Thorell´s performances on this CD are refreshing, and performed with a clear sense of musical direction and a lovely saxophone tone."    Frank Bongiorno/Saxophone Journal

".. a very convincing rendition of this movement with precision, clarity and a nice range of emotion, as well as dynamic contrast." Frank Bongiorno/Saxophone Journal (regarding Paul Hindemith Sonata 2nd movement)

"Thorell´s sensitive soprano saxophone plauing on this transcription is both delicate and foreceful in order to portray the range of emotions found in Haas´Suite." Frank Bongiorno/Saxophone Journal

"Johannes Thorell has provided the listener with an album of thoughtful, beautifully performed and entertaining music. Congratulations must also be given for the fine collaborative music making of his collaborative artist, Magnus Sköld. This is a well executed, lovely and enjoyable album.” Dr Frederick L. Hemke

"...Thorell och Sköld fångar perfekt den fräckhet och livsglädje som finns i musiken." Per Nyhlén/OPUS

"Jag hoppas att denna duo återkommer med fler tematiska skivor: just den här typen av cd behövs det fler av." Per Nyhlén/OPUS

"...produktionen är angelägen och musicerandet på hög nivå." Staffan Storm/Sydsvenskan

”Thorell spelar själfullt och engagerat med en kärnfull klang i saxofonen som i vissa register påminner om engelskt horn.” Måns Uggla/Nerikes Allehanda

"Med uppenbar känsla för stil."


"Häpnadsväckande skickligt och sensibelt spel såväl från pianisten som från Träblåsaren."


"Thorell har en lyrisk och uttrycksladdad ton och samstämmigheten mellan honom och pianisten Magnus Sköld går inte att ta miste på." Staffan Storm/Sydsvenskan

"...ett högintressant program med musik av tonsättare som drabbades av nazisternas förföljelse under 30- och 40-talen." Staffan Storm/Sydsvenskan

"....njutbart och respektingivande" Henrik Halvarson/Helsingsborgs dagblad

"Johannes Thorell spelar övertygande tillsammans med pianisten Magnus Sköld.." Stig Jacobson/HiFi & Musik

"Thorell och Sköld spelar läckert: känsligt, ibland lekfullt, genomgående med övertygande uttryck." Per Olov Backman/Corren