Centenary of Finland and Latvia




Rock Church, Helsinki

This concert of the State Choir Latvija will mainly contain a selection of pieces from the choir’s Latvian Composers for Latvia’s Centenary project, in which around 100 Latvian composers over two years were encouraged to write new choral works, dedicating them to one of five elements – earth, water, love, sky (air) and fire. These choral works are also each composer’s personal dedication to Latvia on its centenary. Long-time vocal coach of the choir, Ansis Sauka, has turned to a starry, romantic mood in his song; talented percussionist Rihards Zaļupe dedicated his opus Sauciens vējā (A Cry Into the Wind) to the memory of his deceased friend, a kitesurfer. Popular music icon Raimonds Pauls has created miniature pearls, and a folk song epic about the element of the sea was revealed in the work of Andris Kontauts. Young Latvian sound artist and audience favorite Jēkabs Jančevskis touched on the theme of eternity. Meanwhile, frontman of the pop group The Sound Poets, Jānis Aišpurs, has taken as the basis of his song the legendary Ojārs Vācietis poem about his country’s backbone. Ēriks Ešenvalds, one-time member of the State Choir Latvija and now world-famous composer, as always conjures beauty with his sounds – in dewdrops, in the rivers of light formed in the aurora borealis. Alongside these new pieces are selections of 20th-century choral music – Finnish master Einojuhani Rautavaara’s masterpiece Canticum Mariae Virginis and Latvian music virtuoso Pēteris Vasks’ impressive Māte saule, in which the love of a mother and the Sun are timelessly blended.

October 16, 2017