Upcoming concerts
Saturday, 17 October 19:00
Concert hall Cēsis

The Latvian Radio Choir

Conductor Sigvards Kļava

Programme: Jāzeps Vītols, Emīls Dārziņš, Emils Melngailis, Jānis Mediņš, Pēteris Barisons

The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) celebrates its 80th birthday this year! The choir’s early concerts were mainly focused choral arrangements of traditional Latvian folk songs and original pieces by Latvian authors, so Daybreak - the celebratory program that starts this special year, is both a symbolic bridge to the beginnings of the LRC and a look back at the pieces created at the dawn of Latvian musical culture that has now become our choral classics…

From Jāzeps Vītols’ Diena aust (The Day Is Dawning) to Alfrēds Kalniņš’ Šūpļa dziesma (Lullaby) and from Jāzeps Mediņš’ Vasaras Vakars (Summer Evening) to Emīls Dārziņš’ Sapņu Tālumā (In Distant Dreams)… The choral gems included in this celebratory program not only poetically reflect the course of the day – from a nuanced description of sunrise to an emotionally painted serene evening, and nocturnal dream images – but also illuminate the great spectrum of emotional experience and undercurrents of the soul…

These scenes could also hardly be painted without the verses that inspired our great masters… In this programme, the great poet Aspazija offered inspiration to the national treasure Jāzeps Vītols (Vasaras Vakars) and the delicate romantic Emīls Dārziņš (Ciānas Bērni (The Children of Zion), Sapņu tālumā) who also shares the world view of Jānis Poruks (Ja uz Betlēmi es ietu (If I Went to Bethlehem)); the patriarch of Latvian professional music Jāzeps Vītols has used the verses of Fricis Bārda (Bērzs Rudenī (Birch Tree in Autumn)), Teodors Zeiferts (Saule Austrumos (Sun in the East)), and Jānis Esenberģis (Diena aust), while the master of romantically tense harmony Pēteris Barisons has turned to the words of Jānis Ziemeļnieks (Mūzai (For a Muse)) and Kārlis Ieviņš (Zilie Sapņu Kalni (The Blue Hills of Dreams)); the impressionistically-inclined Jānis Zālītis has dressed Rainis’ poem Kad Nakts (When the Night) in sound, and the songs of his friend Emilis Melngailis are filled with folk song motifs that are also dear to Alfrēds Kalniņš – one of the most prolific and multifaceted Latvian composers…

The images and atmosphere, the intonations and harmonies are woven into these Latvian choral classics are deeply coded into our consciousness – perhaps more than we even realize. It is important to return to these otherworldly and indispensable values, especially now with when the world around us is ever-changing, and the wondrous world of these songs ignites our imaginations anew, coming to us in unexpectedly fresh, nourishing and invigorating ways.