BACH AS IF IT WAS WRITTEN FOR SAX, (HET PAROOL) ERIK VOERMANS
30 October, 2014
***** (Highest Ranking)
24 November, 2006
Artistic Quality 10, Sound Quality 10
Have you ever stopped to think what Paganini’s violin caprices would sound like on the saxophone? Or, to be more specific, what they’d sound like in the hands of an instrumentalist whose technique does not know the meaning of “impossible”, whose tone is unfailingly even, beautiful, and controlled beyond belief, and who seems never to take a breath?
PAGANINI CAPRICES, GÖRAN FORSLING
24 June, 2006
Let me say from the outset that not for a very long time have I been so captivated by a disc. Paganini’s caprices, the pinnacle and ultimate challenge for even the best endowed violinists played on saxophones! Is it a joke? Not a bit of it. This is serious, honest music-making that has you sitting flabbergasted. I would think that even a sober Charlie Parker would have stumbled before reaching the finishing tape – but not Raaf Hekkema.
PAGANINI CAPRICES, LUISTER, PAUL JANSSEN
10 June, 2006
Raaf Hekkema is gek. En daar mogen wij blij mee zijn. Want anders hadden we nooit Paganini’s beroemde caprices in een versie voor saxofoon gehad. Moet dat dan, zult u zeggen? Nee, maar het is wel een aanwinst voor het repertoire, zo leren we van de cd die getuigt van Hekkema’s toegewijde monnikenarbeid.
PAGANINI CAPRICES, DAVID VERNIER
15 May, 2006
Web Recording of the month
You might think this is some kind of gimmick, an indulgence performed by someone with entirely too much time on his hands and not enough legitimate repertoire of his own to practice–but no musician this talented spends six years working on some kind of clever trick, even one as interpretively dazzling and technically impressive as this.
PAGANINI CAPRICES, HELMUT ROHM
10 March, 2006
Schon immer dürften ambitionierte Instrumentalisten in musicis den Ehrgeiz gehabt haben, ihr Saiten-, Tasten-, Schlagwerk- oder Lippenspiel auch wirklich kultiviert zu beherrschen; auf dass die technische Seite des Musizierens vergessen werde und Musik in ihrer Idealität erblühe.
RAAF HEKKEMA, MAARTEN MESTROM
15 February, 2002
[..] amazing virtuoso performance of saxophonist Raaf Hekkema in his own arrangement of Paganini’s Second Violin Concerto
[…] Hekkema redraws the boundaries of his instrument in a way that will bring blushes of shame to many saxophonists. He uses for instance the “top tones”, the highest tones of the saxophone, as a completely natural extension of the range of his instrument. In the lyrical passages he showed a sweet-voiced, full, round and pure tone. With this performance with the NNO, Hekkema manifested himself as one of the most prominent classical saxophone soloists.
Maarten Mestrom | Zwolsche Courant, February 15 2002
RAAF HEKKEMA, JEANNETTE VAN DER KRUIJFF
22 October, 2001
Hekkema shows great ingenuity when it comes to translating the violin idiom to his own saxophone. When the music requires it, he sings in his instrument which starts to resonate as if an entire choir has joined him; and after this enigmatic play with overtones, he suggests pizzicato’s that cannot be distinguished from the real thing. […] The performance of ‘La Campanella’, which has rarely been surpassed, left the audience with its mouth open in elated disbelief.