On the Good Friday, an immensely important time in the Christian world, the Riga Cathedral will echo with music that speaks of the events of the Holy Week and invites to contemplation, strengthens and lets the heart blossom in Easter exultation. The Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Rīga and its conductor Sigvards Kļava will fill the vaults of the Cathedral with two superb opuses – the local master Juris Karlsons’s Adoratio and the most notable Scottish composer today James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater.
The music of James MacMillan is the meeting point of vibrant and moving emotion, a splendid rhythmic language and a meditative nature with a pronounced interest in spirituality. These same qualities can also be used to describe the masterpiece Stabat Mater; its premiere in the London Barbican centre a couple of years ago earned a standing ovation. Juris Karlsons’s 2011 opus is also profoundly moving; he says this about the work: “Adorations are symbolic prayers at Christ’s grave from the Good Friday to the morning of Easter Monday. The piece uses sacred texts praying to God to help us in our uncertainty and helplessness. The composition is written like meditation, with several waves of growth. At the moment of the central culmination, God’s answer can be heard: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves .. and turn from their wicked ways .. then will I hear from heaven .. and will heal their land.” These words from the scripture are so relevant right now. The finale of the piece shines with the light of hope. Just as the Easter morning…”