Raaf Hekkema - Johann Sebastian Bach: Solo [Hybrid SACD]

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Editor's info:
After Bach's Partitas (CC 72648) and his Suites (CC 72769), one of the most virtuoso classical saxophone players today present Bach Solo, a new solo album containing his own selection of works.
The transcription work made by Hekkema is a rare sample of combining deep fidelity to the score with a superior musicianship.
CC 72648: 5 Diapason: Hekkema rejoices in the playground conquered by his ingenious retouching and his fingers greedy for details. CC 72769: 5 Diapason: Chapeau!

The pandemic in 2020-21 brought little to dispel the gloom among performing musicians. But these months also proved to be a time of reflection and artistic rebirth for many, the arts became a breeding ground for spiritual offspring, and so it proved for me; the genesis of the work you can hear on this album. Finally, there was plenty of time to spend many hours every day working on the project against a background of calm, which made Bach's music all the more comforting!
The prime cut with which I open this album is the Sonata I have assembled from Bach's three sonatas for solo violin. Even though a sonata in six movements may go against musical tradition, I feel it is a very satisfactory solution from a musical perspective.
Soon after this, I cast my greedy eye over the earlier works for organ and harpsichord. The Chromatic Fantasia symbolises early Bach for me; a composer who was heavily influenced by the fantastical style of his idol and predecessor Dieterich Buxtehude.
I made a pilgrimage to my own hero of early music, Ton Koopman. His enthusiasm for my arrangements grew as our meeting progressed. I am deeply grateful to him for his generous assistance.
The Fantasia BWV 922 seemed to be a bigger task altogether. I was keen to let my own creative juices flow in order to adapt the texture in such a way that I could still do the greatest justice to the music's harmonic complexity and sweeping argument.
Before this, however, I had already set about arranging Bach's most famous organ work, the Toccata and Fugue. Generally, I would describe it as a good idea to avoid fugues for what I have in mind, but this one was relatively straightforward for me.
My arrangement of the Partita BWV 1013 is perhaps the simplest of all my Bach transcriptions. All I had to do was transpose this into a key I considered to be better suited to my instrument. I play it on a 1924 curved Buescher soprano saxophone with a matching Buescher mouthpiece. Using historical saxophones may result in a lighter and more transparent sound.
The same argument also applies to the Prelude and Allegro from BWV 998, which I recorded on a straight Buescher alto saxophone made in 1927.

Raaf Hekkema - Saxophone

1. J.S.Bach: Adagio BWV 1001/1 (03:27)
2. J.S.Bach: Allegro BWV 1003/4 (06:36)
3. J.S.Bach: Largo BWV 1005/3 (02:36)
4. J.S.Bach: Allegro assai BWV 1005/4 (05:03)
5. J.S.Bach: Grave BWV 1003/1 (03:40)
6. J.S.Bach: Presto BWV 1001/4 (03:50)
7. J.S.Bach: Chromatic Fantasia BWV 903 (07:43)
8. J.S.Bach: Fantasia BWV 922 (06:06)
9. J.S.Bach: Prelude & Allegro BWV 998Prelude (02:46)
10. J.S.Bach: Prelude & Allegro BWV 998Allegro (03:21)
11. J.S.Bach: Partita BWV 1013I. Allemande (04:08)
12. J.S.Bach: Partita BWV 1013II. Corrente (03:36)
13. J.S.Bach: Partita BWV 1013III. Sarabande (04:15)
14. J.S.Bach: Partita BWV 1013IV. Bourrée anglaise (02:44)

wydano: 2023-03
nagrano: Recorded at: Rembrandtzaal, De Bakermat, Arnhem, The Netherlands

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Challenge Classics
Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Raaf Hekkema
Johann Sebastian Bach: Solo [Hybrid SACD]
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