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Suites BWV 1007 - 1012
Johann Sebastian Bach

Raaf Hekkema

Suites BWV 1007 - 1012

Price: € 25.95 18.17
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917276923
Catnr: CC 72769
Release date: 12 January 2018
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25.95 18.17
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917276923
Catalogue number
CC 72769
Release date
12 January 2018

"For those who are familiar with the cello performance of the suites, it will be amazing how close Hekkema comes to the sound of the cello without losing the characteristic saxophone sound. For the non-connoisseurs, enjoy this beautiful music and let yourself be carried away by these serene sounds of Johan Sebastian Bach."

Rootstime, 09-6-2018
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Raaf Hekkema: Since I started teaching at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, I have become more conscious of my self-chosen mission: to create a place for the saxophone within the classical music tradition. One way to do this is to forge a stronger bond between the players and the classical tradition, in the knowledge that the saxophone repertoire too is indebted to the great composers of the past. The most influential of them all is, without a doubt, Johann Sebastian Bach.

The path to this recording was long, windy and fascinating. It started with the awareness that the cello suites provide exceptional playing material for saxophonists. But I long felt that for playing Bach on the saxophone, only the light-sounding soprano saxophone would do—which was, I believed, incompatible with the instrument for which the suites were written. During preparations for my previous CD recording of Bach’s partitas for violin (Challenge Classics, CC 72648), I discovered that the alto sax—fitted with an old-style mouthpiece—could reproduce the refined articulation of the violin. Vintage mouthpieces represent the sound ideal of days gone by. Then came the idea to play the suites on six different saxophones, each of which holds a unique place in the history of the instrument. After that, much time went into working out a usable assignment of transpositions and an appropriate choice of instruments, the resulting sound character being the deciding factor.
Saxofonist Raaf Hekkema weet altijd te verrassen. Zoals met dit album waarop hij virtuoos en gevoelig de zes cellosuites van Bach speelt op zes historische saxofoons. Een bijzondere luisterervaring.

Raaf Hekkema: "Sinds ik begon met lesgeven aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, ben ik me bewuster geworden van mijn zelfgekozen missie: een plek creëren voor de saxofoon binnen de klassieke muziektraditie. Een manier om dit te doen is om een sterkere band tussen de spelers en de klassieke traditie te smeden, wetende dat het saxofoonrepertoire ook veel te danken heeft aan de grote componisten uit het verleden. De meest invloedrijke van allemaal is, zonder twijfel, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Het pad naar deze opname was lang en fascinerend. Het begon met het besef dat de cellosuites exceptioneel speelmateriaal bieden voor saxofonisten. Maar ik heb lang gedacht dat voor het spelen van Bach op de saxofoon, alleen de licht klinkende sopraansaxofoon geschikt zou zijn, wat in mijn ogen onverenigbaar was met het instrument waarvoor de suites oorspronkelijk werden geschreven.

Tijdens de voorbereidingen voor de opname van mijn vorige album van Bachs partita's voor viool ontdekte ik dat de altsax, voorzien van een mondstuk in de oude stijl, de verfijnde articulatie van de viool kon reproduceren. Met vintage mondstukken kun je het geluidsideaal uit vervlogen tijden laten klinken, voordat de saxofoon het symbool werd van een 'jazz-instrument'. Toen kwam het idee om de suites te spelen op zes verschillende saxofoons, die elk een unieke plaats innemen in de geschiedenis van het instrument, zoals de Conn C-melody saxofoon en de Buescher altsaxofoon. Daarna ging er veel tijd zitten in het uitwerken van transposities en een geschikte keuze van instrumenten, waarbij het uiteindelijke klankkarakter de doorslag gaf."
Raaf Hekkema: Seit ich am Königlichen Konservatorium in Den Haag unterrichte, bin ich mir meiner selbstgewählten Mission bewusster: für das Saxophon einen Platz in der klassischen Musiktradition zu schaffen. Eine Möglichkeit, das zu tun, ist es, die Verbindung zwischen den Musikern und der klassischen Tradition enger zu machen im Wissen, dass auch das Saxophonrepertoire in der Schuld der großen Komponisten der Geschichte steht. Der einflussreichste unter ihnen ist zweifelsohne Johann Sebastian Bach.

Der Weg zu dieser Aufnahme war lang, kurvenreich und faszinierend. Er begann mit dem Bewusstsein, dass die Cellosuiten außergewöhnliches Spielmaterial für Saxophonisten bieten. Aber ich hatte schon lange den Gedanken, dass, wenn man Bach auf dem Saxophon spielt, nur das leicht klingende Sopransaxophon wirklich passt – was, so glaubte ich, mit dem Instrument, für das die Suiten geschrieben worden waren, nicht kompatibel war. Während der Vorbereitungen zu meiner früheren Aufnahme von Bachs Violinpartiten (Challenge Classics CC 72648) entdeckte ich, dass das Altsax – mit einem Mundstück im alten Stil – die kultivierte Artikulation der Violine nachbilden konnte. Antike Mundstücke repräsentieren das Klangideal vergangener Tage. Dann kam mir die Idee, die Suiten auf sechs verschiedenen Saxophonen zu spielen, von denen jedes einen ganz eigenen Platz in der Geschichte des Instrumentes einnimmt. Danach habe ich viel Zeit auf eine nutzbare Transposition und angemessene Instrumentenwahl verwendet, wobei der letztendliche Klangcharakter ausschlaggebend war.

Artist(s)

Raaf Hekkema

Multiple prize-winner Raaf Hekkema has an adventurous spirit. Whether he plays Paganini’s violin concerto with orchestra, explores microtones on the saxophone, unravels the inhumanly complex mathematical musical puzzles that Conlon Nancarrow wrote for the pianola – Hekkema doesn’t bat an eye. Performing mainly his own arrangements, he gives approximately 100 concerts per year the world over. Hekkema has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and has given many international masterclasses. The solo CD ‘Paganini Caprices for Saxophone’ (MDG, 2006) earned him the German Echo Klassik ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ title. His compositions and arrangements are published by Schott Music, CalefaxEDITION and through his website. He has released three Bach albums with Challenge Classics: Bach Partitas (2014), Bach Suites (2018) and...
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Multiple prize-winner Raaf Hekkema has an adventurous spirit. Whether he plays Paganini’s violin concerto with orchestra, explores microtones on the saxophone, unravels the inhumanly complex mathematical musical puzzles that Conlon Nancarrow wrote for the pianola – Hekkema doesn’t bat an eye. Performing mainly his own arrangements, he gives approximately 100 concerts per year the world over. Hekkema has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and has given many international masterclasses. The solo CD ‘Paganini Caprices for Saxophone’ (MDG, 2006) earned him the German Echo Klassik ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ title. His compositions and arrangements are published by Schott Music, CalefaxEDITION and through his website. He has released three Bach albums with Challenge Classics: Bach Partitas (2014), Bach Suites (2018) and Bach Solo (2023). To this end, he has had lessons with early music specialists such as Vera Beths, Lucy van Dael, Roel Dieltiens and Ton Koopman. For his artistic merits Hekkema was admitted to the Society of the Arts of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020.
Hekkema is co-founder of Calefax Reed Quintet (since 1985), for whom he has arranged and composed hundreds of works, many of which have been recorded. Calefax’s repertoire spans nine centuries, Western and non-Western, from improv to contemporary classical. Additionally, the quintet has initiated projects with distinguished artists from the theatre, dance, film, animation worlds as well as those with diverse musical backgrounds. Calefax has taken lessons from, or worked with, experts in the field of early music, including Paul Van Nevel, Bartold and Sigiswald Kuijken, Jan-Willem de Vriend and Frans Brüggen. The ensemble plays at prominent concert venues worldwide, from South America to Japan, appears regularly on international radio and television, and has issued more than 20 albums. Calefax has also been the recipient of various prizes and distinctions. Thanks to the decades-long co-operation with the members of Calefax, all of whom studied with prominent wind players from the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Hekkema’s playing has taken on a musical character unlike any other saxophonist’s. Raaf Hekkema teaches classical saxophone at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague.
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Composer(s)

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.  Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.  
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Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.


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Press

For those who are familiar with the cello performance of the suites, it will be amazing how close Hekkema comes to the sound of the cello without losing the characteristic saxophone sound. For the non-connoisseurs, enjoy this beautiful music and let yourself be carried away by these serene sounds of Johan Sebastian Bach.
Rootstime, 09-6-2018

Raaf Hekkema previously recorded Bach's Partitas on saxophone, which led to many positive reactions. Once again he has succeeded in surprising the listener.
Luister, 13-4-2018

Hekkema is a great musician who brings a 'monstre sacré' as Bach's suites for cello solo - the litmus test for every great cellist - to new life on an unusual instrument. It provides interesting perspectives because these works are so genius that they effortlessly exceed the limitations of the instruments. For short, a wonderful result.
Kerk & Leven, 02-4-2018

A fascinating album in which Raaf Hekkema manages to approach the sound of the cello.
Mania, 09-3-2018

Raaf Hekkema stays much closer to the original in his arrangements. This is very impressive and worth listening to in the fast movements.
kulturradio, 15-2-2018

His arrangement of the score is such that he kind of gives the impression of playing double stops. A technical tour the force. And as for breathing: it looks, or rather: sounds as though he has a quiet long pump providing from a side entrance all the air needed to do the job without bothering the listener with unwanted noises. Again, it all points at superb skill and masterly breath management.
HRAudio, 04-2-2018

Hekkema plays several saxophones on the CD. "I also wanted to explain the history of the saxophone and its builders through these cello suites.
Dagblad van het Noorden, 02-2-2018

Each of the suites is given a unique character through the operations. Very special, very broadening. A real must.
Stretto, 27-1-2018

I also wanted to highlight the history of the saxophone and builders through the cello suites.
Het Parool, 13-1-2018

Play album Play album
Disc #1
01.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Prelude
02:24
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
02.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Allemande
04:17
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
03.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Courante
02:29
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
04.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Sarabande
02:26
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
05.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Menuett I & II
02:58
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
06.
Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007: Gigue
01:45
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
07.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Prelude
04:03
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
08.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Allemande
03:43
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
09.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Courante
02:07
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
10.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Sarabande
04:23
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
11.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Menuett I & II
02:30
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
12.
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Gigue
02:41
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
13.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Prelude
02:58
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
14.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Allemande
03:35
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
15.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Courante
03:21
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
16.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Sarabande
04:10
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
17.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Bourree I & II
02:57
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
18.
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009: Gigue
03:04
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema

Disc #2
01.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Prelude
03:40
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
02.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Allemande
03:34
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
03.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Courante
03:28
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
04.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Sarabande
04:32
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
05.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Bourree I & Bourree II
04:42
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
06.
Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Gigue
02:42
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
07.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Prelude
05:18
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
08.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Allemande
04:30
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
09.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Courante
02:03
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
10.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Sarabande
03:45
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
11.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Gavotte I & II
04:01
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
12.
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Gigue
02:06
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
13.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Prelude
03:57
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
14.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Allemande
07:24
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
15.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Courante
03:40
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
16.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Sarabande
04:07
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
17.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Gavotte I & II
03:43
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
18.
Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012: Gigue
03:47
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Raaf Hekkema
show all tracks

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