Hans Bakker / Choir Kühn

Recensie Seeking & Finding

Seeking & Finding (Navona)

Hans Bakker and Howard Richards combine familiar choir idioms with a few unexpected turns to craft an approachable experience that isn't entirely tired and predigested... Hans Bakker's pieces derive inspiration, melodically, more from plainchant than Richards's. Pater Noster I splits the choir into distinct sections trading phrases before coming together for a glorious perfect authentic cadence.

Canto 33 is darker, but still quite tonal and includes more polyphony. It does include some unexpected intervals and the depth of tonal language they add contributes greatly to how enjoyable the piece is.

American Record Guide - Seeking & Finding
January/February 2013, p. 221/222

"Today a look at the choral music of Hans Bakker and Howard Richards, in a collection entitled Seeking and Finding (Navona 5877).

Neither composer is particularly well-known. Both show an affinity to and sensitivity towards the choral medium. Each contributes seven short a capella works, Bakker covering both sacred and secular subjects, Richards strictly secular.

Both work imaginatively in a tonal, modern idiom. If I had to choose I would have to say I prefer Bakker slightly over Richards. The Kuhn Choir under Marek Vorlicek do a quite reasonable job performing these works and the sound is good, matter-of-fact and not especially resonant."

All-in-all an interesting and captivating collection that should appeal to all who favor the modern choral mode.

by Grego Applegate Edwards (classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com)

Een Amerikaanse release van het Kühn Choir Prague met een zevental stukken van componist Hans Bakker. Koorwerken met teksten van onder anderen Dante en Giordano Bruno. Het zijn stemmige werken, en zeker goed besteed aan liefhebbers van Arvo Pärt.

najaar 2012 buma-stemra magazine, Pag. 11 RELEASES by Erik Verzijl

There are subtleties and conviction in the choral works of Hans Bakker (born 1945) and Howard Richards (1927-2010) as well. Five religiously themed pieces by Bakker and seven more-secular ones by Richards make this an interestingly contrasted CD, with Bakker's texts coming from the Latin Mass, the Bible and Dante, among others, while those used by Richards are intriguingly drawn from James Joyce and Kahlil Gibran. The underlying connection among all the works is the search for enlightenment, and the impression left by the disc is that there are many paths to it - although there is more certainty in Bakker's pieces and a greater sense of the quest (and of nature as an integral part of the search) in the works by Richards. The Kühn Choir displays considerable fluidity and lucidity in interpreting all these pieces, and Marek Vorlíček leads the singers with unobtrusive skill. There is enough difference between the Bakker and Richards settings so that listening just to the Bakker tracks at one time, then just to the Richards ones at another, enhances the experience of the music: both composers evoke emotion and the experience of becoming (or trying to become) enlightened, but they do so in distinct and complementary ways.

Mark J. Estren at INFODAD - October 11, 2012