Author Topic: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)  (Read 25817 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #100 on: June 14, 2021, 05:13:44 PM »
I would like to stick my head in quickly and add that Distant Light is a masterpiece, and I honestly don't think I've heard a Vasks composition I didn't enjoy.

Stick away, Greg! Just watch out for the light sockets. ;) But, yes, Distant Light is an incredible piece.
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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #101 on: June 15, 2021, 01:52:03 AM »
Well, it’s not like Vasks came and said he hated Jews and homosexuals. He’s entitled to his opinion just as you and I are both entitled to our own. Coming from a religious background myself, I understand where the composer is coming from, but one mustn’t get caught up in another man’s worldview, we simply have to bear witness to our own experiences and try to better ourselves with each passing day. That’s all I’m saying about any of this as I don’t want to derail this thread any further. God knows I’ve derailed too many today as it is! :P

I agree. Not with the assertion that you have derailed too many threads, because I don't know whether that is true or not :). I agree that the worldviews of those we read, hear or observe can be merely noted as we engage with their art. If we didn't, I would be unable to listen to those dreadful Masses which litter history. Musically wonderful at times, but lyrically very robust in what they espouse and exclude, and not necessarily my cup of tea ideologically.

Each to their own :)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #102 on: June 15, 2021, 03:10:16 AM »
Stick away, Greg! Just watch out for the light sockets. ;) But, yes, Distant Light is an incredible piece.

It's not like I said it belongs in the dustbin.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #103 on: June 15, 2021, 03:17:07 AM »
I agree that the worldviews of those we read, hear or observe can be merely noted as we engage with their art. If we didn't, I would be unable to listen to those dreadful Masses which litter history. Musically wonderful at times, but lyrically very robust in what they espouse and exclude, and not necessarily my cup of tea ideologically.

I’m always glad I never learnt Latin. ;)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #104 on: June 15, 2021, 04:42:54 AM »
I’m always glad I never learnt Latin. ;)

Tempora mutantur
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline Brian

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #105 on: June 15, 2021, 04:53:39 AM »
It's not like I said it belongs in the dustbin.
;D ;D

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #106 on: June 15, 2021, 06:00:49 AM »
I agree. Not with the assertion that you have derailed too many threads, because I don't know whether that is true or not :). I agree that the worldviews of those we read, hear or observe can be merely noted as we engage with their art. If we didn't, I would be unable to listen to those dreadful Masses which litter history. Musically wonderful at times, but lyrically very robust in what they espouse and exclude, and not necessarily my cup of tea ideologically.

Each to their own :)

Absolutely. I concur.
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #107 on: June 15, 2021, 06:02:47 AM »
It's not like I said it belongs in the dustbin.

Upon further reflection, I realize my opinion of the Skalkottas VC was rather harsh, but, at the same time, it’s still not a work I enjoy and I should’ve just left it at that.
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #108 on: June 15, 2021, 06:03:39 AM »
Upon further reflection, I realize my opinion of the Skalkottas VC was rather harsh, but, at the same time, it’s still not a work I enjoy and I should’ve just left it at that.

Fair enough.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #109 on: June 15, 2021, 07:31:41 AM »
Tempora mutantur

Yeah I like that, had it in a Japanese restaurant. :P

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #110 on: September 03, 2021, 01:45:02 PM »
First listen to any music for almost a couple of days due to work pressures. What a great release this is. Vasks is rapidly becoming one of my favourite composers. Nice synopsis below which does justice to my first play through. Looking forward to living with it over the next few days with the accompanying works.

The Oboe Concerto is book-ended by two pastoral movements. The first movement consists of extended oboe melodies accompanied by tremolos in the strings, while the woodwind imitate bird song, designed to aurally evoke a morning scene in Latvian nature. The middle movement strongly contrasts to the other movements, with arioso passages in the style of fiery folk dances. The concluding pastoral movement begins dramatically, then gradually dissipates into the peaceful sounds of nature reminiscent of the first movement.

https://en.schott-music.com/work-of-the-week-peteris-vasks-oboe-concerto/

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2021, 06:04:11 PM »
Sounds lovely, foxandpeng. 8)
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline Brian

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #112 on: September 03, 2021, 06:15:32 PM »
Cross post from the listening thread;



I don't love the recorded sound, which spotlights Albrecht Mayer's oboe until it sounds practically huge. But I do like the music well enough. The first movement "Morning Pastorale" is Vasks at his happiest ever, with almost none of the serious spiritualism which undergirds a lot of his music. It's also not as explicitly nature-descriptive as some of the string quartets. It's just...happy. The scherzando central movement is, unusually, the biggest and longest. That's where I am so far, so I can't comment on the final 20 minutes of this very long (33 minute) oboe concerto. But so far the scherzando, too, sounds...well...really happy.

The booklet quotes Vasks saying that with the oboe in particular, he is not a fan of non-traditional playing techniques or unusual sonorities. Additionally:

“In my view, the oboe is a pastoral instrument – drama and tragedy do not first come to mind when thinking about the oboe sound and its possibilities. Overall, the concerto could be viewed as akin to a human life with its beginning, period of maturity, and departure. However, I would prefer to think of it as something more like a long cosmological day which lasts, say, a hundred years....It says this is how we live here and this is what my country sounds like. Major keys are usually not one of my areas, but the Oboe Concerto is possibly one of my brighter works.”

By the way the final movement is probably my favorite, a gentle and autumnal fade out.

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #113 on: September 09, 2021, 06:43:54 AM »
In case you are interested or haven't seen this, The 2021 Vale of Glamorgan Festival have an online concert of two of Vasks' SQs coming up -
7.30pm, Monday 13 September 2021, via their YouTube Channel. Free, but donations encouraged, I guess.

Online broadcast from Cardiff University Concert Hall by the Solem Quartet.

Pēteris Vasks   String Quartet no. 2, Summer Tunes   25'   
Pēteris Vasks   String Quartet no. 3   29'   

Featured artists Solem Quartet provide the perfect introduction to one of the world’s most prolific and influential living composers, Pēteris Vasks, in his 75th birthday year.

We’ve had a long relationship with the Latvian, who was Composer in Residence at the Festival back in 2006 and featured heavily in our seasons celebrating music from the Baltic States.

Vasks is mindful of the natural world and the environment. He has said, “I experience God and pray to him in the forest, on the seashore, everywhere, because the world as God created it is so beautiful.” This is clearly heard in his ethereal and meditative music. His String Quartet No.2, written in 1984 and titled ‘Summer Tunes’, epitomises this focus.

This concert will be streamed live on the Vale of Glamorgan Festival YouTube channel.

Pre-concert talk – 7.15pm – Steph Power


http://valeofglamorganfestival.org.uk/peteris-vasks-string-quartets/

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #114 on: September 10, 2021, 01:23:06 AM »
First listen to any music for almost a couple of days due to work pressures. What a great release this is. Vasks is rapidly becoming one of my favourite composers. Nice synopsis below which does justice to my first play through. Looking forward to living with it over the next few days with the accompanying works.

The Oboe Concerto is book-ended by two pastoral movements. The first movement consists of extended oboe melodies accompanied by tremolos in the strings, while the woodwind imitate bird song, designed to aurally evoke a morning scene in Latvian nature. The middle movement strongly contrasts to the other movements, with arioso passages in the style of fiery folk dances. The concluding pastoral movement begins dramatically, then gradually dissipates into the peaceful sounds of nature reminiscent of the first movement.

https://en.schott-music.com/work-of-the-week-peteris-vasks-oboe-concerto/

I'm enjoying it (found a recording on youtube)!  So glad that I read your posting!  :)  For those who want to check it out, there's the world premiere here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS69CPA2cwc  Is this the same as the recording on the CD?  Anyone here know?

PD

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #115 on: September 10, 2021, 05:40:10 AM »
I'm enjoying it (found a recording on youtube)!  So glad that I read your posting!  :)  For those who want to check it out, there's the world premiere here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS69CPA2cwc  Is this the same as the recording on the CD?  Anyone here know?

PD

It does look like it, doesn't it? Haven't heard the YouTube version but the cast looks the same. The sense of beauty is palpable in the Oboe Concerto - I think I read somewhere that what Ma Vlast was to Smetana's homeland, this is to Latvia. Not sure I am necessarily fully on board with such a grand comparison yet, but there is certainly a deeply felt quality to the music. Vasks' redemptive pastoralism and positivity is pretty darn inspiring. God in the gaps, beauty in everything. Whatever your take on his worldview, he seems to be riding the zeitgeist of internalised spirituality through the natural world really effectively. Certainly leaves me in a good place.

I am really taken with Vestijums and Lauda too. 

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #116 on: September 10, 2021, 06:50:52 AM »
It does look like it, doesn't it? Haven't heard the YouTube version but the cast looks the same. The sense of beauty is palpable in the Oboe Concerto - I think I read somewhere that what Ma Vlast was to Smetana's homeland, this is to Latvia. Not sure I am necessarily fully on board with such a grand comparison yet, but there is certainly a deeply felt quality to the music. Vasks' redemptive pastoralism and positivity is pretty darn inspiring. God in the gaps, beauty in everything. Whatever your take on his worldview, he seems to be riding the zeitgeist of internalised spirituality through the natural world really effectively. Certainly leaves me in a good place.

I am really taken with Vestijums and Lauda too.
Hi Fox.

I found this on Ondine's website as part of their information about the work, composer and CD:

"Vasks’ writes: “The Oboe Concerto is possibly one of my brighter works.” The Concerto has two pastorale movements echoing the Latvian landscape with hints to Latvian folk music. However, the Concerto portrays something much deeper that Latvia’s beautiful nature. Vasks comments: “The concerto could be viewed as akin to a human life with its beginning, period of maturity, and departure.” The Concerto received its premiere on October 5, 2018, at the Large Guild Hall in Rīga, one month before the culmination of Latvia’s centenary celebrations. Albrecht Mayer and the LNSO performed the work under the baton of Andris Poga, as on this recording."

That sounds, to me, to be saying that their recording of it for the CD was done at a different date and time.

Here's the link to the CD on their website:  https://www.ondine.net/?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=6776

The little bit that I heard on their website of those other works was intriguing.  :)

PD

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #117 on: September 10, 2021, 10:30:05 PM »
Hi Fox.

I found this on Ondine's website as part of their information about the work, composer and CD:

"Vasks’ writes: “The Oboe Concerto is possibly one of my brighter works.” The Concerto has two pastorale movements echoing the Latvian landscape with hints to Latvian folk music. However, the Concerto portrays something much deeper that Latvia’s beautiful nature. Vasks comments: “The concerto could be viewed as akin to a human life with its beginning, period of maturity, and departure.” The Concerto received its premiere on October 5, 2018, at the Large Guild Hall in Rīga, one month before the culmination of Latvia’s centenary celebrations. Albrecht Mayer and the LNSO performed the work under the baton of Andris Poga, as on this recording."

That sounds, to me, to be saying that their recording of it for the CD was done at a different date and time.

Here's the link to the CD on their website:  https://www.ondine.net/?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=6776

The little bit that I heard on their website of those other works was intriguing.  :)

PD

Cheers, PD. The more performances available, the better, for me. Can't get enough of his music, atm.

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2021, 10:04:26 AM »
Vasks is such a fabulous composer. I’m still not too keen on Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, but I need to revisit these works.
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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2021, 10:20:15 AM »
Cheers, PD. The more performances available, the better, for me. Can't get enough of his music, atm.

The Oboe Concerto is superb, fox. I have enjoyed the new Ondine disc immensely.
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók