Thursday, June 8, 2017

Vasks, Pēteris. (1946-) Vox Amoris, Works for Violin and String orchestra.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen: 8-6-2017.
Label: Wergo.
Recording dates: June 2011.
Recording venue: Reformation Church, Riga/Latvia.
Recording engineer: Normunds Šnē.
Running time: 68:42.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Vox Amoris, Fantasia per Violino ed Archi (2008/09)
Tālā gaisma-Distant Light. Concerto for Violin and String orchestra. (1996/97)
Vientuļais Eņģelis-Lonely Angel. Meditation for Violin and String orchestra. (1999/2006)

Performed by:
Alina Pogostkina, Violin.
Sinfonietta Rīga, Juha Kangas.

I am a long time admirer of this composer, and the present CD only strengthens my alliance. You can say a lot about his music, but the thing is that you should actually listening to this highly spiritual religious music. In all pieces there are vivid contrasts, tonal beauty, often diatonic, with a high melodic input. And although his works are modern, they are easily approachable for most. But to understand this music you must listen to it, and if you need a reference, the meditation would be the piece I would go to firstly. For in this work is all what Vasks defines. From a deep meditation to an upwards lifting surge into the realms of religious spirituality. After all that is the very essence of his compositions. The booklet writes in  an eloquent manner, and very well informed, how to understand the music and where the roots are. As a side note I must mention that the first piece is somewhat unevenly recorded. The loudness between the orchestra and violin is a bit of axis. when you turn the volume up because you want to hear the softer passages, the violin comes in much louder. That is painful for your ears, so you must adjust the volume. This is corrected by the engineer in the other works. Sound should be considered as extremely good. As to the performance I have no complains. But you might want to know that Pogostkina's emotional intensity is constantly at a very high peak. No relenting, safe when you land in the Meditation. Her tone is involving and strong in expression. So you may want to listen at one work at a time. The orchestra is a constant joy.



The Leiden Choirbooks Volume III. (De Leidse Koorboeken) Second rerun.

A second rerun of Volume III. The Leiden Choirbooks. Disc 1 & 2. As lovely as with the first hearing. You might read the first review I...