You are presenting the Bach cello suites in quite an exceptional setting, combined with contemporary composers and improvisations. Could you describe your motivations behind all of this? These days, there exists a tremendous focus upon “historic” performance practices. Besides the positive and most valuable lessons that we have learned regarding instrumentation, articulation and musical editions, one tends to forget that today’s listener hears within a completely different sphere to that of one who lived 300 years ago. An authentic listening experience is, despite what we would all like to believe, simply not possible. It is for this reason that I have strived to make a connection with today’s world, by pairing the suites with works by contemporary composers, setting them in an unusual and incisive perspective. This is designed as a modern reflection, with the hope and expectation that we will hear these suites in a different and more genuinely “authentic” manner thereby. Could you disclose a little more regarding your choice of these particular composers like Gubaidulina, Kurtag and Schnittke? The pieces I have chosen do link the suites most effectively. Exactly half-way, between the 3rd and the 4th suite, Per Slava, composed on the B.A.C.H. motive, functions like a centerfold of a magazine. Gubaidulina is a strongly spiritually-inspired composer, sitting therefore perfectly alongside Bach. Kurtag’s Message consolations ends with a high C, forecasting the key of the subsequent Suite no 3, where Britten’s Tema Sacher predicts the drama and darkness of the 5th suite. Together, these relatively short pieces expose an increasing intensity, ultimately vanishing in the high and tenuous sounds of Schnittke’s Klingende Buchstaben. This stands as a metaphor for the celestial yearning so quintessential of Bach, both as man and composer.
Mayke Rademakers first undertook tuition from Hungarian cellist György Schiffer, and graduated with honors under his guidance. From the age of 16, she was a participant in the masterclasses of Andre Navarra at the prestigious summer school of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Her talents impressed Navarra such that she was invited to continue her studies with him in Vienna. This was to last for two years, after which she furthered her musical development (thanks to a Fulbright grant) with Janos Starker in the United States. Returning to the Netherlands, she began to specialize in chamber music with Elias Arizcuren.
Mayke plays a prize-winning instrument made by Saskia Schouten, one of the foremost violin makers of our time.