Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pēteris Vasks - Viatore (Normunds Šnē)


Information

Composer: Pēteris Vasks
  1. Musica adventus, for string orchestra: I.
  2. Musica adventus, for string orchestra: II.
  3. Musica adventus, for string orchestra: III.
  4. Musica adventus, for string orchestra: IV.
  5. Viatore, for string orchestra
  6. Concerto for English horn and orchestra: I. Elegy I
  7. Concerto for English horn and orchestra: II. Folk Music
  8. Concerto for English horn and orchestra: III. Elegy II
  9. Concerto for English horn and orchestra: IV. Postlude

Sinfonietta Rīga
Normunds Šnē, cor anglais (6-9) conductor

Date: 2008
Label: Wergo


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Review

PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****

Pēteris Vasks’s music is a beguiling mixture, poised somewhere on a tightrope between Sibelius and Arvo Pärt, with modal string writing that recalls Vaughan Williams and exotically inflected melody that hints at a Baltic Hovhanness. Whatever you might say about the spiritual value and meaning of his music – and personally I don’t find it quite as profound as Vasks’s most enthusiastic admirers claim – this much-praised Latvian’s mastery of the string-orchestra medium is patent, and the three pieces on this new release all exude beautiful and sometimes ravishing sounds. The 1998 Cor Anglais Concerto seems nearest to classic status, a piercingly evocative essay in elegiac pastoral with restrained folk elements, fully exploiting the rich, sombre tones of a solo instrument bafflingly unexploited by other composers. Normunds Šnē, here both soloist and conductor, released a previous recording of it (conducted by Krišs Rusmanis) on Conifer: this new version is slower, and better. Musica Adventus is an orchestration of Vasks’s Third String Quartet; the tone-poem Viatore (‘Traveller’) is presumably an arrangement of an identically-titled organ piece which I haven’t heard: it has the authentic Sibelian ‘journeying’ ostinatos and sense of the landscape emerging and fading in the half-light. Enthusiasts for this composer need not hesitate: it’s an excellently recorded and beautifully performed disc.

-- Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine

More reviews:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Sept08/Vasks_viatore_WER67052.htm
http://www.allmusic.com/album/peteris-vasks-viatore-mw0001408942
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/CDs-Vinyl/Peteris-Vasks-Viatore-Sinfonietta-Riga-Normunds-Sne/B0019OOJ2G

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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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Normunds Šnē (born 10 November 1960) is a Latvian conductor. He studied chamber music with Tamara Fidler (St. Petersburg Conservatory) and with Heinz Holliger in Bern. Šnē has gained regards as an oboist in several national and Baltic region competitions. His musical talent was always very versatile. From his teens for more then ten years he was also a sound engineer, guitar player and oboist of various Latvian rock and new age groups. There are two main trends in Normunds' repertoire: the Baroque and Vienna classics, and the 20th century music.
http://www.music.lv/Conductors/Normunds_Sne/

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