MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Cello Suites: No. 1 [18:08]; No. 2 [21:13]; No. 3 [22:01]; No. 4 [24:16]; No. 5 [28:13]; No. 6 [33:04]
Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931)
Prelude [3:07]
Györgi KURTÁG (b. 1926)
Message-consolation [2:59]
Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933)
Per Slava [5:39]
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Tema Sacher [1:13]
Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998)
Klingende Buchstaben [5:24]
Improvisations on electric cello. Constant: One [1:49]; Two [4:06]; Three [5:17]; Distant: One [3:53]; Two [4:38]; Three [1:28]; Four [5:47]
Mayke Rademakers (cello)
rec. Podiumkerkje, Grevenbicht, Netherlands, September 2013, February, July 2014.
CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72682 [3 CDs: 60:09 + 60:06 + 60:01]

There are many ways to present music of the baroque era. Here Mayke Rademakers deliberately sets out to wrest this music from the ‘authentic’ school of thought and present it in a more modern sense, one in which she has “… strived to make a connection with today’s world”. This is not just a modern sounding performance but the Bach Suites are interspersed with short and more contemporary pieces. I must say that this approach works. Having the Bach juxtaposed with these modern works makes me refocus. Whereas in the past I mostly listened to the Suites in more than one sitting here I have found myself hearing all six in one go.

Mayke Rademakers’ playing of the Bach is crisp and strong and this is helped by the sound she achieves from her modern Saskia Schouten instrument. It is a different approach than say, that of Janos Starker (BMG RCA Victor Red Seal 09026-61436-2) with whom Rademakers studied with, or Mstislav Rostropovich (EMI Classics CDS 5 55363 2). It is vastly different from my own personal favourite, Sergei Istomin (Analekta Fleur de Lys FL 2 3114-5), who is firmly in the ‘authentic’ school, to the extent that he retunes his cello in the Fifth Suite and even swaps his instrument for a baroque five stringed cello for the Sixth Suite. Indeed when quickly swapping between the recording of Rademakers and that of Istomin, especially in the Prelude of the Sixth Suite, this wonderful music sounds quite contemporary.

I must admit that when it comes to the more modern pieces I only knew the Britten. I find Rademakers' recording of this short piece more rewarding than that by Julian Lloyd Webber (ASV CD DCA 592). I find none of the pieces in this survey to be out of place, with each proving a good sympathetic foil for the Bach, with the positioning of the Penderecki, with its B-A-C-H motive, between the Third and Fourth Bach Suites a masterstroke. It serves as a kind of pivotal point for the rest of the music on this recording.

As to Rademakers' own Improvisations, I found this set of seven pieces to be interesting and thought-provoking. Yes they won’t be to everyone’s taste, especially the sixth and seventh pieces, Distant: Three and four, which is the most progressive of the pieces and almost rock music. However, each of the pieces with a link to the Bach is worth investigating. They add a new dimension.

The Saskia Schouten cello has a beautiful sound which suits Rademakers' performance of the Bach and more modern classical pieces well. The electric cello used for the Improvisations is not specified, but it has a mellower sound than I had anticipated. It is only really when you get to the final two that its more abrasive characteristics come to the fore. The recording is bright and crisp which brings out the qualities of the music and of the performance. The first part of the booklet takes the form of a conversation between Mayke Rademakers and Matthijs Verschoor, who goes on to write notes about the music performed. Whilst I am usually put off by this approach, I found Rademakers’ answers quite open and interesting. A very fine recording.

Stuart Sillitoe



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili