ROBERT BAKSA: JOURNEYSChamber Music for Flute, Viola and Guitar
Annette Heim, Flute
Bret Heim, Guitar
Christine Bock, Viola
World Premiere Recordings
"I've been listening to Robert Baksa with secret pleasure for more than a decade -- secret because his music is so pleasurable and seemingly ingenuous. He apparently wants to write pieces easily enjoyed, a goal still sure to provoke the laughter of many... Baksa's forms and techniques demonstrate enough skill and art to reward repeated hearings... The performanecs express Baksa's gentle optimism beautifully. Melodies flow with seemingly effortless articulation and rich timbres. Gently, optimistically, and warmly recommended."
Ron Bierman, Music and Vision - September 2010
"...this music should be much better known... [The Heim Duo] are fine players, and they clearly love the music. Violist Bock is a worthy collaborator."
Keaton, American Record Guide - July / August 2010
"Always skillfully and tastefully constructed, impeccably tailored to the instruments at hand, unobtrusive and never jarring... the Heim Duo, augmented in one piece by Christine Bock, all perform beautifully."
Walter Simmons, Fanfare - July / August 2010
"Robert Baksa...writes deceptively simple yet inherently beautiful music, as displayed in the new collection Journeys. The performances are by Annette Heim, flute, and Bret Heim, guitar, two artists from Alabama who've taken an obvious shine to Baksa's music. The series of three sonatas has a fluent grace in the writing and a pitch-perfect ease in the performances. In the disc's finale, Celestials, everything comes together into something more evocative, with movements that depict scenes of weather. Even Baksa's depictions of wind and rain storms are inviting."
Joseph Dalton, Times Union (Albany, NY) - Mar,21, 2010
"One of the great things about producing the Classical Guitar Alive! radio program is that I am always receiving new recordings to broadcast and scores for review... CD by composer Robert Baksa, "Journeys." Features music for solo guitar, flute/guitar duo, and flute/viola/guitar trio, performed by the Heim Duo with violist Christine Bock. This is the kind of music that I am always looking to broadcast - smart, well-written, and accessible music. The ease, melodicism and variety of Baksa makes it sound like he has a rare natural gift for composition. In this way, he somewhat reminds me of another precocious composer, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco."
Tony Morris, Classical Guitar Alive! blog - December 2009
PROGRAM NOTESRobert Baksa is a composer of distinct personality. His music’s broad, passionate intensity shimmers with transparent textures and melodies that exploit the full beauty of an instrument’s sounds. One wants to hear it over and over. Baksa rejects experimentation, cliché and gimmickry. Critics have described his work as “resolutely and stubbornly tonal,” “embarrassingly attractive,” and “unconventionally conventional.” They acknowledge that he is a superb melodist, and that his works possess “impressive contrapuntal effectiveness.” Baksa honors traditional musical approaches, yet the music overflows those forms and vocabularies. His undeniably modern music is rewarding to perform and elicits enthusiastic audience response. The chamber works presented here are chamber music concertante in the very best sense. The guitar is prominent, participating fully in the important thematic material in substantive and sophisticated ways. The music requires the same dexterity and expressive palette from the guitar that it does from the flute and viola.
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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 Baksa’s 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.
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 the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
ROBERT BAKSA (b.1938)