The listening is entertaining...interesting and diverse music from a wide variety of sources.
The Duo for Violin and Clarinet by Hans Bakker is a very good piece that provided much interest. Bakker studied in Utrecht, the Netherlands and worked a great deal in church music and choral directing. He has written many works, but spread out gradually over time. This particular, three movement work, is a strong and very interesting piece requiring concentration from both players and offered some nice harmonic interest and engaging little melodies. This is a very nice piece and I would like to hear more....
For me, the "slices" that I enjoyed the most were those by Beeler, Fletcher and Bakker. Each work has some appeal, though, and this is a nice collection. Navona sticks to its mission statement in providing interesting and diverse music from a wide variety of sources. Many thanks too for the interactive (enhanced) CD, on which the composer's notes, scores and some photos are included. Great job in the production and sound department as always!
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition, October 2012
What a delightful disc this is!...a splendid CD, and the performances by all concerned are first-rate.
Fanfare Magazine, November/December 2012
Slices, A Cross-Section of Classical Works for Small Ensemble
Here is a good idea: a series of modern miniatures for various small chamber configurations. Slices (Navona 5874) covers seven relatively unknown composers of international provenance (Reynard Burns, Lionel Sainsbury, Hakan Sundin, Hans Bakker, Alan Beeler, Christina Rusnak and William A. Fletcher). The music is mostly scherzo-like--lighthearted, not lightweight. I suppose you could say that many have a neo-classical post-Stravinskian feel to them. There's a short piece for solo violin (Sainsbury); a duet for flute and clarinet (Sundin); violin and clarinet (Bakker); then there are four quartets played by various combinations of instruments (two works for piano, viola, clarinet and flute by Beeler, two works by the Moravian Philharmonic Winds: flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, by Rusnak and Fletcher, respectively) and a quintet for the Moravian Philharmonic Winds--flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and horn--by Burns). The works fit together well, are played well, and have a rather sunny, early morning disposition for the most part. This is a disc that may be easy to miss, but it is singularly appealing.
Grego Applegate Edwards - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, Monday, September 24, 2012
As a cross-section of classical works for small ensemble, Navona's Slices contains strict tonality and some chromaticism but is firmly on the conservative side of the musical fence. Alan Beeler's impressionist quartet moves through numerous keys and mixed meters with ascending and descending figures but still relies on a recurrent feeling of wistful repose supplied by a tonal grounding. The Duo for Violin and Clarinet by Hans Bakker is one of the chromatically colored pieces, but even its III is a dance not far from the traditionally flavored 'Vivace' of Reynald Burns's Carnival scored for woodwind quintet. The quick-spirited Avalokiteshvara's Taxi by William Fletcher concentrates on imitation and passing arpeggiated figures through the woodwind quartet.
LAMPER - American Record Guide: Page 284, November/December 2012