grand finale of Baltic Music Days will be a concert by the Grammy
Award-winning Latvian Radio Choir with conductor Kaspars Putniņš.
we will have the opportunity to experience a new work by master of
sonic art — Ruta Paidere's “Magnificat”.
Also featured will be the
work of Mārtiņš Viļums, which is "dominated by themes of life and
afterlife, self-immersion, creation, metamorphosis and time." (SKANI) In
the choral setting we will hear his “Lux Aeterna”, in which "Deepness,
wideness, contemplation are significantly developed, though all is
viewed through the prism of self-immersion.” (SKANI)
includes Nomeda Valančiūtė’s "Rain on Thin Glass Legs." In her music,
"with a closer look, we notice inner opposites: open emotions, denial of
beauty, austere structures, crystalline clarity and multidimensional
picturesqueness." (MICL) The concert will also feature the work "Canon
sol” by Rytis Mažulis, "one of the most distinctive figures in
Lithuanian contemporary music" (MICL); as well as "Niehkkoája (The Dream
Stream)" for choir and electronics by Estonian composer Märt-Matis
Lill, whose music is characterized by a "poetic aura and deep
mythological currents" (EMIC).
Furthermore, we will hear Krists
Auznieks’s “Sensus”, which has recently been nominated for the 2023
Latvian Grand Music Award in the category “Best New Work of the Year”.
Auznieks’s music has been praised as "uplifting... stunning...
brilliant" (San Francisco Classical Voice), possessing "astonishing
complexity and beauty." (Broadwayworld).
About the festival:
2021 “Baltic Music Days” has been organized by the Composer Unions of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Each year the festival takes place in a
different Baltic country. The first festival, organized by the Estonian
Composers Union, took place online. The second festival was hosted in
Kaunas, the 2022 European Capital of Culture. This year, 2023, the
festival will take place from March 18-31 in Cēsis and Rīga, Latvia.
Nine concerts are planned for the festival, including the Latvian
National Symphony Orchestra performing at Cēsis Concert Hall, the State
Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga” performing at the Great Guild Hall
in Rīga, and the Latvian Radio Choir performing at the Jāzeps Vītols
Latvian Academy of Music.
A particularly special highlight of the
festival will be a performance by the world-famous percussion ensemble
“Les Percussions de Strasbourg” on March 19, at Cēsis Concert Hall.
The festival as a whole will include 11 world premieres by Latvian composers.
This year, the festival’s overall theme is “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”.
have borrowed this theme from the title of Czech/French writer Milan
Kundera’s well-known novel. We came to this idea at the war’s start — a
war, which unfortunately has not yet ended. A war, which has seeped
into our daily lives, into our subconscious; a war, which makes us
shiver in compassion and demands that we help as much as possible.
for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain
weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain
intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes”*
the war and the empathy, life and music continue, offering
opportunities for sensitivity and joy. It is unbearably heavy and light
at the same time. We have asked the festival’s composers to reflect in
their new compositions: is heaviness truly terrible, and lightness
wonderful? Is lightness positive and heaviness negative? For the moment,
it is only clear that the opposition of heaviness and lightness is the
most mysterious and meaningful of all opposites.
Come and listen to it with us!
*Milan Kundera, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” 1984.
festival is organized by Latvian Composers Union and supported by the
State Culture Capital Foundation, Baltic Contemporary Music Network,
Geothe-Institut Riga, Latvian Concerts, Riga Latvian Society, Concert
Hall "Cēsis", Latvian Radio 3 "Klasika", Riga Cathedral