Robert Baksa: Journeys - Chamber Music for Flute, Viola and Guitar
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The HEIM DUO has been featured on the internationally syndicated program Classical Guitar Alive. Pan Magazine of the British Flute Society called their performance of Robert Baksas Celestials a dazzling performance of a dazzling work! The Duo was invited to perform at the 2004 National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, California, and presented a series of concerts of American and British works for flute and guitar in London and the surrounding area in summer of 2006. Annette Heim holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied with Robert Cole. She also studied with Thomas Perazzoli and Max Schoenfeld, and has performed in master classes with Paula Robison and Eugenia Zukerman. Annette is currently a flutist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in Alabama. Bret Heim holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Arizona where he studied with Thomas Patterson. He has performed in master classes with Eliot Fisk, Pepe Romero, David Leisner and David Tanenbaum. Mr. Heim has performed concertos of Rodrigo, Brouwer, Villa-Lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Giuliani with orchestras across the United States, and is currently an Associate Professor at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
CHRISTINE BOCK enjoys a reputation as one of the Midwest s most sought-after violists. She has appeared as soloist with the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, and South Bend Symphony, and has performed at New York's Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Ms. Bock is current principal violist of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Chamber Orchestra. Also active as a pedagogue, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Millikin University for 18 years, has been on the faculty at Knox College and Andrews University. As a member of the South Bend Symphony String Quintet, she performed in numerous concerts for young audiences. Ms. Bock holds a Master of Music degree in performance from Northwestern University and is currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois where she studies with Rudolf Haken.
ROBERT BAKSA was born in New York City to Hungarian parents but grew up and was educated in the Southwest, graduating with a BA in Composition from the University of Arizona. Mr. Baksa has composed nearly 600 works in a variety of forms, including two operas, numerous art songs, choral music, keyboard works and much chamber music. His sonatas for woodwind instruments have been particularly widely performed and his choral works have long been a part of the repertory. Baksa s one-act opera Red Carnations has been performed as an introduction to opera by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera and St Luke's.
Top Customer Reviews
The guitar and flute performers, Bret and Annette Heim, have musicianship and technique to burn, and lend sincerity and warmth to these scores. Christine Bock, violist, who joins the others in "Journeys (2005)," has a rich, rhapsodic sound, allowing this recent composition to steep a bit in the sound-world of Debussy's Harp-Flute-Viola sonata. The music also allows Mr. Heim the leeway of sounding both like John Williams and Ralph Towner.
It is a symptom of our dyspeptic times that some might be discomfited by the congeniality of these works.Read more ›
So it is with considerable excitement that I recommend a marvelous new recording of the music of the American composer Robert Baksa by the Heim Duo. This husband and wife team (Annette on the flute; Bret on classical guitar), is based in Mobile, Alabama. Their playing is precise and passionate; intimately intuitive and wondrously complementary. The music, all of it written over the last decade or so, is both exuberant and memorable, but never predictable.
Baksa's music is hard to categorize. He uses a tonal and modal vocabulary that is fresh but completely approachable. After numerous playings this ingratiating disc has wired into my musical consciousness in a remarkably satisfying and permanent way. Programmatically, the disc is also successful. In the two-part opener, the Heim Duo is joined by an equally sensitive and facile performer, violist Christine Bock. A Sonata and a Suite for flute and guitar called Celestials bookend a solo guitar sonata and there never seems to be a point where interest wanes, a credit both to the composer and the performers.
Now that a particularly harsh mid-Atlantic winter is fading, the optimism, verve and evocative nature of this disc beckons spring like return of the songbirds. Sumptuous music that is at times pastoral, other times vigorous, this is perfect music to enjoy the earth's reawakening.
"Journeys" is a scintillating treasure. Folk music devotees as well as classical music enthusiasts should find this disc thoroughly enjoyable. I have no hesitation in urging all discerning listeners who enjoy chamber music featuring flute and guitar to investigate this disc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The quality of musicianship represented by the Heim Duo and Christine Bock is reflected through their commitment to Robert Baska's compositions as if they were one's own. Read morePublished on January 14, 2010 by J.L.Janson