Friday, August 18, 2017

Pēteris Vasks - Pater noster (Sigvards Kļava)


Information

Composer: Pēteris Vasks
  1. Pater noster
  2. Dona nobis pacem
  3. Missa: I. Kyrie
  4. Missa: II. Gloria
  5. Missa: III. Sanctus
  6. Missa: IV. Benedictus
  7. Missa: V. Agnus Dei

Latvian Radio Choir
Sinfonietta Rīga
Sigvards Kļava, conductor

Date: 2007
Label: Ondine
https://www.ondine.net/index.php?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=3220

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Review

Beautifully performed, a rare outing for Vasks’s choral music

In the booklet interview, Peteris Vasks notes that during the Soviet rule in Latvia composition of sacred choral music was heavily discouraged. Personal necessity as well, it seems, also put him off writing the Pater noster his Protestant minister father kept asking for. Instrumental music was of greater importance.

When he did write a Pater noster (1991), it was in a simpler, more consonant style than much of his earlier work, expressively close to the “holy minimalism” common to a number of Baltic composers, but Vasks’s triadic style – which he feels essential for sacred music – shares little with them. A short, peaceful meditation, it is reverentially performed by the Latvian Radio Choir. So, too, is Dona nobis pacem (1996), inhabiting the same evocative sound world. Trouble is, where Pater noster says what it needs to in under seven minutes, Dona nobis pacem says half as much in more than twice the time. Despite being beautifully sung and played, I found it unmoving.

The Missa (2000, rev 2000-05) is a different matter. True, the expressive idiom is the same, but Vasks here invests his ideas in more musically satisfying forms. The use of string orchestral accompaniment reminded me in places, the Sanctus especially, of English music and sounds a touch like what I imagine an early Mass setting by Tippett might have sounded like. There are sympathetic echoes (no doubt coincidental) of Howells in the Benedictus and overlong Agnus Dei, too. Despite what the back cover states, none of the set texts is included.

-- Guy Rickards, Gramophone

More reviews:
http://www.classical-music.com/review/vasks-8
http://www.allmusic.com/album/peteris-vasks-pater-noster-mw0001867336
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/CDs-Vinyl/Peteris-Vasks-Pater-Noster/B000U1ZJQ4

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Pēteris Vasks (born 16 April 1946 in Aizpute, Latvia) is a Latvian composer. He trained as a violinist and a double-bass player and played in several Latvian orchestras before entering the State Conservatory in Vilnius in Lithuania to study composition with Valentin Utkin. He started to become known outside Latvia in the 1990s, when Gidon Kremer started championing his works and now is one of the most influential and praised European contemporary composers. Vasks's compositions incorporate archaic, folklore elements from Latvian music with the language of contemporary music.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%93teris_Vasks
https://en.schott-music.com/shop/autoren/peteris-vasks

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Sigvards Kļava (born 1962) is a Latvian choral conductor. Sigvards Kļava began working with the Latvian Radio Choir in 1987 and was appointed its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in 1992. As one of Latvia's most prolific choral conductors, Kļava has collaborated with every leading choir and orchestra in the country, performing standard repertoire and conducting most premieres of new choral works by Latvian composers. He has recorded over 20 CDs with the Latvian Radio Choir. He teaches at the Latvian Academy of Music and the Choral College of the Riga Lutheran Cathedral.
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigvards_K%C4%BCava
https://www.ondine.net/?lid=en&cid=3.2&oid=3225

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