Author Topic: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)  (Read 21639 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #80 on: April 09, 2020, 01:35:08 PM »
Does anyone know what Vasks is currently working on? Any new works coming up?

Offline relm1

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2020, 02:49:35 PM »
Does anyone know what Vasks is currently working on? Any new works coming up?

There was this but it looks like it recently happened.
https://www.laphil.com/musicdb/pieces/5166/hymnus-world-premiere-la-phil-commission

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2021, 02:16:26 PM »
I thought I knew most of Vasks's works but I discovered Vox Amoris recently:



What a beauty, it's one of those piece you ask yourself: 'why isn't this played constantly on classical music radio?'. It's a genuine swoon and not one of the schmalzy pieces usually go under that heading.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2021, 02:42:58 PM »
I thought I knew most of Vasks's works but I discovered Vox Amoris recently:



What a beauty, it's one of those piece you ask yourself: 'why isn't this played constantly on classical music radio?'. It's a genuine swoon and not one of the schmalzy pieces usually go under that heading.

Yes, that is a great CD. I should revisit it sooner than later. Alina Pogostkina won the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 2005 in Helsinki.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2021, 02:45:57 PM »
The Naxos Flute music disc was a bit disappointing after the first listening.

Hah, I had already forgotten about this disc. That's how bad my memory is. Apparently it didn't impress me on the first try. I should revisit it.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #85 on: June 08, 2021, 01:27:10 AM »


Listening to this recent release. The Symphony for strings Voices is quite a dense and moving piece. It's good to have an alternative recording, and this one is simply stunning. The Viola Concerto is next. The cover art suits the music in a most appropriate way as well.

Listening to this now. I've been in Vasks for the last couple of days, and I'm sold. He says about his approach:

'Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.'

Whatever your take on spirituality, there is a wholesome, potent beauty about Vasks that is rejuvenating and meditative.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #86 on: June 08, 2021, 03:56:18 AM »
Listening to this now. I've been in Vasks for the last couple of days, and I'm sold. He says about his approach:

'Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.'

Whatever your take on spirituality, there is a wholesome, potent beauty about Vasks that is rejuvenating and meditative.
High up on my wish list - marvellous cover image.
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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #87 on: June 08, 2021, 05:27:30 AM »
High up on my wish list - marvellous cover image.

For me, at least, there is a real Barberian quality to the opening Andante of the Concerto for Viola & String Orchestra which is just beautiful. By the time the second movement started, with its Vaughan Williams echoes of folk song and melody, I was really taken. I enjoy dissonance in contemporary music, but when Vasks writes that, it is to complement and lead to the consonance that seems to be his ultimate goal in everything I have heard from him so far. It is music that seems to pull at your trouser leg to get your attention, and tell you to just stop and listen and breathe. Robert Reilly has an article about Vasks in CRISIS Politics, Culture and Church, October 1997 that made me smile:

'Anyone who thinks modern classical music always sounds either like an explosion in a boiler factory or sonic wallpaper should listen to the music on these CDs.'

His symphonies 2 & 3 seem to be slightly more complex to me, as a novice listener, but even there Reilly seems to have a point. 

As you say, the cover image is excellent. It captures some of the serenity present in the music, which isn't a bad thing at all :)
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2021, 11:32:59 AM »
Listening to this now. I've been in Vasks for the last couple of days, and I'm sold. He says about his approach:

'Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.'

Whatever your take on spirituality, there is a wholesome, potent beauty about Vasks that is rejuvenating and meditative.

A quite good disc indeed. That quote is true as well, very human in the end, and that's one of the things I find appealing in his music. There is much poignancy and melancholy that never get cloying.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #89 on: June 14, 2021, 10:45:20 AM »
Listening to this now. I've been in Vasks for the last couple of days, and I'm sold. He says about his approach:

'Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.'

Whatever your take on spirituality, there is a wholesome, potent beauty about Vasks that is rejuvenating and meditative.

I’m quite taken with a lot of Vasks’ music. I also believe in his philosophy and sadly concur that our society has lost its way and is on the path to extinction. Anyway, enough doom and gloom --- his music has always provided a comfort to me. You should definitely check out his SQs. They are fantastic.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #90 on: June 14, 2021, 12:11:38 PM »
I’m quite taken with a lot of Vasks’ music. I also believe in his philosophy and sadly concur that our society has lost its way and is on the path to extinction. Anyway, enough doom and gloom --- his music has always provided a comfort to me. You should definitely check out his SQs. They are fantastic.

Very much on my list. I've been quite moved by what I've heard so far, and look forward to deepening my understanding. I imagine the SQs to be quite accessible, but do you suggest an order to approach them?
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2021, 12:49:59 PM »
Quote from: Vasks
'Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals.

Gawd, I hate it when my colleagues pontificate like this.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2021, 01:00:41 PM »
Very much on my list. I've been quite moved by what I've heard so far, and look forward to deepening my understanding. I imagine the SQs to be quite accessible, but do you suggest an order to approach them?

I rarely would suggest anyone listen to something in order or anything such as this since I think it’s counterintuitive to enjoying the music itself. Pick one of them and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. I will say that I haven’t been impressed with any of the symphonies from Vasks I’ve heard. I think he’s a marvelous composer of string music, but when you begin adding in other instruments, it doesn’t sound as cohesive as it should. I don’t know...maybe it’s just my own defective hearing. :P
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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2021, 01:17:39 PM »
I rarely would suggest anyone listen to something in order or anything such as this since I think it’s counterintuitive to enjoying the music itself. Pick one of them and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. I will say that I haven’t been impressed with any of the symphonies from Vasks I’ve heard. I think he’s a marvelous composer of string music, but when you begin adding in other instruments, it doesn’t sound as cohesive as it should. I don’t know...maybe it’s just my own defective hearing. :P

In chronological order it is, then 🙂

Perhaps I'm just easily pleased! All three symphonies have grabbed me - although it is Distant Light that particularly hits home

Gawd, I hate it when my colleagues pontificate like this.

You probably can't be the son of a Baptist pastor in Eastern Europe without some level of Christian worldview pervading your thinking. Agree or disagree, on the back of that, I can live with his redemptive approach to beauty and his pessimism regarding human nature. YMMV 🙂
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #94 on: June 14, 2021, 01:43:11 PM »
In chronological order it is, then 🙂

Perhaps I'm just easily pleased! All three symphonies have grabbed me - although it is Distant Light that particularly hits home

You probably can't be the son of a Baptist pastor in Eastern Europe without some level of Christian worldview pervading your thinking. Agree or disagree, on the back of that, I can live with his redemptive approach to beauty and his pessimism regarding human nature. YMMV 🙂

Let us say that it is indeed because I am in sympathy with some of the underlying ideas (Dostoevsky: "Beauty will save the world") that I think it all the more important that a composer not express himself in such a way which easily fuels the retort, "Bullshit!"


There, i've said my piece.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Brian

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2021, 02:01:41 PM »
Perhaps I'm just easily pleased! All three symphonies have grabbed me - although it is Distant Light that particularly hits home
Distant Light is still my favorite of his orchestral works (the string quartets are also frequently excellent).

I sympathize with Karl here...it is entirely possible to espouse one's own values, without denying that other people have values.

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #96 on: June 14, 2021, 02:16:38 PM »
Gawd, I hate it when my colleagues pontificate like this.

I find it refreshing. One doesn’t have to agree with what a composer says and it certainly doesn’t distract from what the music means to us. If you’re moved by a Vasks work then the composer did his job.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #97 on: June 14, 2021, 02:25:33 PM »
I find it refreshing. One doesn’t have to agree with what a composer says and it certainly doesn’t distract from what the music means to us. If you’re moved by a Vasks work then the composer did his job.

I see your point. To clarify, I enjoyed Distant Light, but I was negatively moved by the pontification. Parenthetically, I was moved by the Skalkottas Vn Cto.
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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #98 on: June 14, 2021, 02:42:04 PM »
I see your point. To clarify, I enjoyed Distant Light, but I was negatively moved by the pontification. Parenthetically, I was moved by the Skalkottas Vn Cto.

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
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
« Reply #99 on: June 14, 2021, 05:03:15 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.