Music Days will host the great Sinfonietta Rīga with conductor Normunds
Šnē. Listeners will again have the opportunity to experience a striking
recent opus — Jānis Petraškevičs's impressive chamber symphony “Echoing
Distances” for percussion and chamber orchestra. The piece is a
collaboration with the excellent percussionist Guntars Freibergs, who
writes: "In terms of expressivity, Jānis’s work is much more nuanced and
sensual, more sensitive than most of the percussion repertoire."
concert notably features a new work for orchestra by Platons
Buravickis, whose music can both whip you into a frenzy and move you
with beautiful, colorful landscapes. In his composition “Spark”, Platons
offers a reflection on this word’s rich layering of literal and
figurative meanings. A spark is the beginning of inspiration, fire,
ignition. The spark is the celebration and the explosion, the source of
future events that we are yet to experience, "from which, I hope, will
be kindled the hearth of equality, peace and science, which will reveal
to us the way to the worlds beyond", says Platons, inviting us to
We will also hear music by the Estonian composer Madli Marje
Gildemann, praised as a “rising young star". (Bachtrack) In her work
“Transpiration”, she explores evaporation in the plant kingdom and
offers a musical glimpse into a process that remains elusive to the
human senses in everyday life.
Lithuanian composer Justine
Repečkaitė's compositions have been praised as "life cycles of sonic
figures…Processes are quite plant-like, truly organic: withering,
germinating, unfolding, wilting, bursting into bloom, blossoming."
(Lithuanian National Radio) One of her most famous works, “Chartres”,
has already been performed by several ensembles, including the BBC
Philharmonic, and features "intense richness of color" (Ben Lunn, Music
Sun), inspired by the proportions found in medieval art and the
spectacular rosette-shaped stained glass windows in Chartres Cathedral
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