One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 

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

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger