The Liepāja Concerti were a commission by the city for twelve Latvian composers to present their reflections about Liepāja. The first compilation of Liepāja Concerti was released in 2017 on a recording published by Odradek. The double CD included the works by Rihards Dubra, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Juris Karlsons, Kārlis Lācis and Vilnis Šmīdbergs. The compilation in your hands right now is the second edition of the Liepāja Concerti.
The goal of this disc is to show the world a music that is rooted in the rich soil of Latvian culture, and then invite the world to evaluate whether these sounds also capture the attention of those for whom Latvia is merely a beautiful contour on a map or perhaps nothing at all.
Furthermore – the Baltics’ first philharmonic orchestra was born in Liepāja in 1883. Today’s Liepāja Symphony Orchestra is the spiritual descendant of that first orchestra. Bach had his Brandenburg Concerti; Haydn had his London Symphonies. Now Liepāja has its dozen of Liepāja Concerti.
The cornerstone pieces of this album were created in difficult times – half of the country’s population lost in World War I, the battlefront moving forwards and backwards through Latvia, granting as if by miracle a brief period of independence to three small Baltic countries. The relentless waves of history crashing against one man from the small town of Cēsis, whose thoroughly Latvian roots proved to be surprisingly tenacious. He embraced the finest foreign influences but always remained true to his national legacy. Cultural values created by such men deserve to be cherished and honoured by their nations for a hundred years to come!
Music born of the embrace and inspiration of a rich inner world.
Music created by an extremely sensitive and fragile giant.
Music that, when touched, asks many more questions of us than it provides answers.
Music in which thought impulses flare up and glow upon coming into contact with each other. Then they cool down, allowing recovery and inhaling of the tense atmosphere. But they never grow cold; nothing here is ever tepid.
Music that addresses its time copiously and without compromise. The lightness of creation is not a priority, while the inner voice of truth is.
Music about which there is so much one would wish to ask its composer...
For Kalniņš, each symphony is like an important boundary; he seems to fill each symphony with conclusions and verities he has collected over a longer period of time. This is what makes these works so saturated and significant in terms of content. It is no coincidence that he has used his newest substantial work to look back on the path he has taken
in life up to this point, also touching upon some very intimate memories.
– Imants Zemzaris, composer
Cello Cēsis Festival Highlights by Sinfonietta Rīga and soloists Marko Yllonen, Boris Brovtsin, Kristīne Blaumane, Mario Brunello, Gunta Ābele, Kārlis Klotiņš & Ēriks Kiršfelds features live concert performances recorded in Cēsis Concert Hall in September of 2015, 2016 & 2017. This album features select movements from works for cello and orchestra by Latvian composers Pēteris Vasks and Anitra Tumševica as well as well as Antonio Vivaldi, Johanness Brahms and Franz Schubert.
At this festival we’ve met excellent cellists and heard outstanding, unforgettable interpretations. I believe that’s the most important element of Cello Cēsis, and at each edition of the festival it brings music aficionados and professionals a new discovery or surprise. Some of these musical interpretations can be heard on this album.
Artistic director of the Cēsis Concert Hall