GRAND CONCERT OF LATVIAN SYMPHONIC MUSIC
The Latvian Symphonic Music Grand Concert has been an enduring part of the Latvian concert scene for 15 years. The tradition that started in 2005 continues in this winter as well – on the 25th of January, the Riga Great Guild stage will bring together the professional symphonic orchestras of Latvia, resound with the music of Latvian authors and showcase a new piece written especially for this concerto. A while has passed since four orchestras have taken a part of this musical celebration, as will once again be the case this year.
The Latvian National Opera symphony orchestra and its lead conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš will start off the night with the 1924 symphonic image Zilais kalns (The Blue Mountain) – one of the first pieces of this genre in Latvian music, authored by the prominent symphonist Jānis Mediņš (1890-1966) whose 130th birthday will be celebrated in Latvia in 2020.
Sinfonietta Rīga and its artistic director Normunds Šnē and the up-and-coming saxophone star Aigars Raumanis will return to the recently premiered Concerto for Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra Temperature of Plastics. Its author, advocate for aggressive beauty Platons Buravickis (1989) describes it as “a cry of nature’s soul and industrial production manifesto.”
The Liepāja Symphony orchestra will bring to Riga Arturs Maskats’ (1957) Liepāja concerto No. 12 for Piano and Orchestra, which has been dedicated to the pianist Reinis Zariņš and, as in its premiere three years ago, the soloist of the concerto will be the outstanding Latvian pianist the concert was dedicated to, and the conductor will be Atvars Lakstīgala. The imagery of the opus is saturated with motives of the genius Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, contemplating the Andalusian natural peculiarities and the passionate relationships of its people.
Marģeris Zariņš (1910-1993) has also found his inspiration in foreign cultures – his suite Grieķu Vāzes (Greek Vases) for piano and symphony orchestra joins the antique and folk-related, even some specks of the impressionistic, and the characteristic witticisms of the composer. This impressive composition will be rediscovered by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, entrusting the piano solo to Vestards Šimkus whose outstanding virtuoso piano performance goes well with the composers music. This collective together with conductor Guntis Kuzma is also responsible for the biggest intrigue of the concert programme – the premiere of the new piece Plūsma (Flow). Its author Rolands Kronlaks (1973) is known in the Latvian concert scene as a specialist of electro-acoustic music and author of striking chamber pieces, making his return to the orchestral scope a long-awaited event. The basis of Kronlaks’ piece is the architecture of sonic pulsation, he investigates the sonic flow and its elemental nature – how it accelerates and relaxes, ebbs and flows, thickens and thins, and influences our perception.
Jānis Mediņš Symphonic poem “The Blue Mountain”
Arturs Maskats Liepaja concerto No. 12 for piano and orchestra
Platon Buravicky Concerto for saxophone and chamber orchestra
Rolands Kronlaks "The Flow" for orchestra (premiere)
Marģeris Zariņš Suite for piano and orchestra “Greek Vases”
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
and conductor Guntis Kuzma
Liepaja Symphony Orchestra
and conductor Atvars Lakstīgala
Latvian National Opera Orchestra
and conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
State Chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga
and conductor Normunds Šnē
Reinis Zariņš, piano
Vestards Šimkus, piano
Aigars Raumanis, saxophone