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This CD presents a cross section of a cappella choral works by Cannes Classical-awarded composer Pēteris Vasks (b. 1946), performed by the acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir under the direction of Sigvards Kļava.
Following on from their successful recording of liturgical Vasks compositions (“Beautifully performed, a rare outing for Vask’s choral music” – Gramophone ‘recommends’), the Latvian Radio Choir once again draws on the Baltic countries’ extraordinary choir music tradition, focusing here on secular repertoire.
The title piece on this disc is Plainscapes, written in 2002 for mixed choir, violin and cello on commission from Gidon Kremer. Meditating on the inspiring beauty of the Latvian lowlands, it uses vocalises to celebrate nature’s cyclic miracles.
Birth (2008) for choir and percussion pays tribute to the sun as a symbol for life.
Peteris Vasks: Ziles zina (The Message of the Titmouse)
Ziles zina (The Message of the Titmouse)
Peteris Vasks: Klusas dziemas (silent songs)
I. Nosapi parsapi
II. Dusi dusi
III. Tris mezi
IV. Paldies tev vela saule
Peteris Vasks: Musu masu vardi (Our Mother’s Names)
Musu masu vardi (Our Mother’s Names)
Peteris Vasks: Skumja mate (Sad Mother)
Skumja mate (Sad Mother)
Peteris Vasks: Vasara (Summer)
Peteris Vasks: Lidzenuma ainavas (Plainscapes)
Lidzenuma ainavas (Plainscapes)
Peteris Vasks: Mazi silti svetki (A Moment of Celebration)
Mazi silti svetki (A Moment of Celebration)
Peteris Vasks: Piedzimsana (Birth)
“this, the second volume from Ondine, focuses on superb performances by the Latvian Radio Choir of the secular side of his trance-inducing, largely homophonic four-part compositions, regarded by Vasks himself as 'food for the soul'...The newest work here, Birth (2008), for mixed choir and percussion, is likely to send Vasks fans into ecstasies of delight”
“Intensity and integrity are the hallmarks of Vasks's style...The most compelling piece is the album's title-track, Plainscapes...Although almost too harrowingly beautiful to listen to, I do recommend this magical piece, which together with its companions is performed with consummate perfection by this outstanding body of singers.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.