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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 06:02:13 AM

Title: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 06:02:13 AM
Any views on Vasks?

I have just been listening to Symphony 2, Symphony 3 and the Cello Concerto. I have to say that, along with Arnell's Symphony 3 and David Bedford's Symphony 1, which are both very different works, Vasks's Symphony No 2 (Ondine booklet notes written by honourable member of GMG :)) is my favourite symphony written by a living composer. The last ten minutes or so are especially moving and as with Pettersson's Violin Concerto 2, they seem to spiral upwards to a new level of poetic inspiration which I find very moving.

Vasks Symphony 3 (newly released) seems to begin where the Second Symphony left off and although i have only listened to it twice, it is growing on me. Reviews were indifferent, suggesting that it is too long for its material, but I disagree, it is a fine, rather haunting work. The Cello Concerto (with Symphony 3 on Ondine) is one of his finest works, extremely eloquent and possessing great slumbering power.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Harry on June 01, 2007, 06:05:19 AM
Never heard of him, so tell me, were to place his music, is it tonal?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 06:20:44 AM
Never heard of him, so tell me, were to place his music, is it tonal?

Yes, it is tonal. I suppose that the idiom is not far removed from Rautavaara and Part but he has a unique and recognisable style.

The link should allow you to sample a bit:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vasks-Symphony-No-Violin-Concerto/dp/B00008GQGN/ref=sr_1_28/202-9173043-4179035?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1180711173&sr=1-28
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Lethevich on June 01, 2007, 06:37:40 AM
The violin concerto is a favourite :)

Some of the other orchestral works are nice but can be kind of dour and gloomy, or without enough melodic material to sustain themselves, in a late-Pärt kind of way (things such as Cantabile, Musica Dolorosa, Lauda etc)...
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2007, 06:41:00 AM
Okay, just have to get this out of my system.

If Rubbra is the Scooby-Doo composer, Vasks is the Popeye composer.

All right, back to normal postosity . . . .
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 06:45:33 AM
Okay, just have to get this out of my system.

If Rubbra is the Scooby-Doo composer, Vasks is the Popeye composer.

All right, back to normal postosity . . . .

! :) ;D >:( :( ??? :o ::)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: lukeottevanger on June 01, 2007, 07:21:45 AM
Yes, it is tonal. I suppose that the idiom is not far removed from Rautavaara and Part but he has a unique and recognisable style.

I'm not commenting on you personally, because this sort of thing is often said about Vasks, and others of this type (Kancheli being a prominent name worth mentioning); it's the sort of thing I have to stop myself from saying too. But it seems to me to be a little lazy and potentially misleading (and after all, Rautavaara and Part are very dissimilar composers themselves).

Part is a very special case, even amongst composers closer to him such as the ubiquitously cited Gorecki or Tavener. Part is the only one of these composers, AFAIK, to use a strict system in all his stylistically mature compositions (especially those written when he first developed the system, as we discussed yesterday on the Part thread). Though intensely attractive music appealing to a wide audience, Part's music is in essence as process-driven as some of Ligeti's Etudes, in its own way. For this reason he stands apart from all the other composers often lumped together with him. Gorecki and Tavener are the closest, though it's even more of a cliche to say so, because they too often use prominent process-driven forms (witness the infamous canon of Gorecki 3 or the mirror-harmonies of The Protecting Veil, to cite these two composers' respective strike-it-big works), but there's nothing on the level of Part's all-pervasive system even in their music.

So, to be more detailed:

What Vasks shares with Part - predominantly slow tempi and subdued dynamics; relatively simple tonal harmony; repeating figures and a generally 'spiritual' tone

Where he differs - Part doesn't develop his material, Vasks does; Part almost never uses fast tempi, Vasks does; Part avoids climax, Vasks doesn't; Part uses process in every note, Vask doesn't.

IOW, Vasks is more of a 'romantic', aesthetically speaking, than Part, who is very much a minimalist in these respects at least.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2007, 07:27:04 AM
Thanks for illumination, as ever, Luke!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: lukeottevanger on June 01, 2007, 07:37:05 AM
Thanks for illumination, as ever, Luke!

You're welcome, Karl, but it was hardly anything stunningly original - I'm sure I wasn't saying anything you didn't already know backwards. :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 07:48:36 AM
I'm not commenting on you personally, because this sort of thing is often said about Vasks, and others of this type (Kancheli being a prominent name worth mentioning); it's the sort of thing I have to stop myself from saying too. But it seems to me to be a little lazy and potentially misleading (and after all, Rautavaara and Part are very dissimilar composers themselves).

Part is a very special case, even amongst composers closer to him such as the ubiquitously cited Gorecki or Tavener. Part is the only one of these composers, AFAIK, to use a strict system in all his stylistically mature compositions (especially those written when he first developed the system, as we discussed yesterday on the Part thread). Though intensely attractive music appealing to a wide audience, Part's music is in essence as process-driven as some of Ligeti's Etudes, in its own way. For this reason he stands apart from all the other composers often lumped together with him. Gorecki and Tavener are the closest, though it's even more of a cliche to say so, because they too often use prominent process-driven forms (witness the infamous canon of Gorecki 3 or the mirror-harmonies of The Protecting Veil, to cite these two composers' respective strike-it-big works), but there's nothing on the level of Part's all-pervasive system even in their music.

So, to be more detailed:

What Vasks shares with Part - predominantly slow tempi and subdued dynamics; relatively simple tonal harmony; repeating figures and a generally 'spiritual' tone

Where he differs - Part doesn't develop his material, Vasks does; Part almost never uses fast tempi, Vasks does; Part avoids climax, Vasks doesn't; Part uses process in every note, Vask doesn't.

IOW, Vasks is more of a 'romantic', aesthetically speaking, than Part, who is very much a minimalist in these respects at least.


Yes, but I am not suggesting that his music is derivative of those composers, simply that there is IMHO some kind of affinity and vague similarity. When I read a review in "Gramophone" that the symphonies of Kinsella might appeal to those who admired Lilburn or Tubin (as I do), I knew that it was the kind of music that I would probably like (which it was). I did not interpret this as suggesting that the composers wrote technically identical music. It is like me saying that admirers of Bax might like the music of Alwyn, Moeran etc. It is supposed to be a vague guide to what others might like but as you have evidently guessed I am technically ignorant when it comes to music.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: lukeottevanger on June 01, 2007, 07:58:02 AM

Yes, but I am not suggesting that his music is derivative of those composers, simply that there is IMHO some kind of affinity and vague similarity.

Yes, I appreciate that :) I can certainly see the similarity in that respects, and at this level the Part comparison is useful. However, not to flog a dead horse (I'm very good at that! :-[), to me Part at his best is a more potent composer than any of these others, and the reason is that the processes I mentioned give his music such steely, inexorable power and musical control, and enable him to create flawless structures that go straight to both heart and brain, if they are different places. I think he's a case apart, both technically and (at his best) in terms of achievement, that's all.

I tell you something that doesn't seem a million miles from Vasks - Barry Guy's After the Rain. This is a beautiful piece for string ensemble, utilising medieval techniques alongside modern ones to very emotive effect. For musical, programmatic and performances reasons it would make a perfect balance programmed alongside that Penderecki piece. Worth tracking down.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 09:17:07 AM
Yes, I appreciate that :) I can certainly see the similarity in that respects, and at this level the Part comparison is useful. However, not to flog a dead horse (I'm very good at that! :-[), to me Part at his best is a more potent composer than any of these others, and the reason is that the processes I mentioned give his music such steely, inexorable power and musical control, and enable him to create flawless structures that go straight to both heart and brain, if they are different places. I think he's a case apart, both technically and (at his best) in terms of achievement, that's all.

I tell you something that doesn't seem a million miles from Vasks - Barry Guy's After the Rain. This is a beautiful piece for string ensemble, utilising medieval techniques alongside modern ones to very emotive effect. For musical, programmatic and performances reasons it would make a perfect balance programmed alongside that Penderecki piece. Worth tracking down.

OK, I must check out Barry Guy. In retrospect I think that Rautavaara was a more appropriate comparison than Part and I take your point  :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Maciek on June 01, 2007, 10:00:42 AM
Oh, stop patting yourselves on the shoulder! What sort of DISCUSSION forum is this? We, the audience, are bloodthirsty! We expect you to FIGHT!








 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2007, 10:28:18 PM
Oh, stop patting yourselves on the shoulder! What sort of DISCUSSION forum is this? We, the audience, are bloodthirsty! We expect you to FIGHT!








 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:)

"Do that which consists of taking no action and order will prevail"
(Taoist quotation) ;D
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Christo on June 02, 2007, 12:39:36 AM
IOW, Vasks is more of a 'romantic', aesthetically speaking, than Part, who is very much a minimalist in these respects at least.

Agreed, Vasks is a sort of 'romantic' indeed, whereas Pärt isn't. Vasks' personal favourites used to be the Poles (more Lutoslawski and even Baird than Gorecki, I would think; Vasks had part of his training in Vilnius, in neighbouring Lithuania, and was certainly much more influenced there than in the rather differently oriented world of the Estonian musical scene) and also George Crumb, for whatever (probably personal) reason. I don't think Pärt played any significant role in his life.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Thom on June 02, 2007, 09:05:13 AM
If Rubbra is the Scooby-Doo composer ......

But he isn't of course. His music is neglected a bit perhaps, but I like it very much. I am not sure if there is a thread about him. He deserves one, I think
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on August 05, 2007, 11:53:22 PM
Yes, I appreciate that :) I can certainly see the similarity in that respects, and at this level the Part comparison is useful. However, not to flog a dead horse (I'm very good at that! :-[), to me Part at his best is a more potent composer than any of these others, and the reason is that the processes I mentioned give his music such steely, inexorable power and musical control, and enable him to create flawless structures that go straight to both heart and brain, if they are different places. I think he's a case apart, both technically and (at his best) in terms of achievement, that's all.

I tell you something that doesn't seem a million miles from Vasks - Barry Guy's After the Rain. This is a beautiful piece for string ensemble, utilising medieval techniques alongside modern ones to very emotive effect. For musical, programmatic and performances reasons it would make a perfect balance programmed alongside that Penderecki piece. Worth tracking down.

I tracked down "After the Rain" by Barry Guy. You are right, it is an atmospheric piece which I enjoyed. Thanks for the sugestion.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: andy on August 19, 2007, 07:42:38 PM
I love Vasks's Violin Concerto. It's a haunting, beautiful piece.

I have two versions of it, and of these, I recommend the Hyperion recording of it with Anthony Marwood as the soloist. I have the Ondine recording of it as well. It's a fine performance, but lacks a bit of energy in the couple of frantic moments.

I haven't heard too much of his other work. I'm blasé towards his second symphony. It's not good, not bad, but just another romantic-esque piece. I have the cd of his work titled Message and think it's crap. His use of percussion is ridiculous and the pieces on that cd are again just average.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: The Emperor on December 27, 2007, 02:47:54 PM
I just started to listen to Vasks string quartet nº4, impressed already.
The elegy is quite beautiful and minimalistic and the tocatta has a kind of DSCH feel to it with its fast pace.
I'm digging this a lot!!! 8)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on December 27, 2007, 03:10:49 PM
Coincidentally, I was listening (yet again!) to Vasks's Symphony 2 when I saw this thread and had been wondering if there was one for Vasks. I see that I started it myself (but my memory is going as I get older ???). Actually, Symphony No 2 by Vasks is probably my favourite symphony by a contemporary composer (other are Arnell Symphony 5 and Kinsella Symphony 2); a masterpiece in my view, with a beautifully eloquent and moving conclusion.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: The Emperor on December 27, 2007, 07:33:53 PM
Just heard the violin concerto, its amazing, really haunting. 8)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Brian on April 21, 2009, 08:52:31 AM
BUMP!

Just listened to the Symphony No 3 - it had a gorgeous opening and some other great moments. But overall I had the impression of very good music poorly organized. Now I'm throwing on the Symphony No 2 (all recordings from Ondine) and - another superb opening! Let's see where he goes from here ...  8)

I'd like to hear some discussion on this composer. Where does he fit into the "today" of music? Where does his style, and his sort of outlook of a romantic looking back over a century of loss, fit into the future of music?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: snyprrr on April 21, 2009, 10:14:56 AM
Vasks vs. Silvestrov?

anyone?...
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on April 21, 2009, 08:25:05 PM
BUMP!

Just listened to the Symphony No 3 - it had a gorgeous opening and some other great moments. But overall I had the impression of very good music poorly organized. Now I'm throwing on the Symphony No 2 (all recordings from Ondine) and - another superb opening! Let's see where he goes from here ...  8)

I'd like to hear some discussion on this composer. Where does he fit into the "today" of music? Where does his style, and his sort of outlook of a romantic looking back over a century of loss, fit into the future of music?

Symphony No 2 is my favourite - wonderful last few minutes. Symphony No 3 seems to take-off from where No 2 ended.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: snyprrr on January 20, 2010, 06:59:03 PM
I got a Wergo disc from the library that had:

Cantabile per archi (1979)
"Messages" for strings, 2 pianos, & percussion (1982)
Musica Dolorosa (1983)
Symphony for Strings "Stimmen" (1991)



These are all works for string orchestra, so, one can guage his progress (so say the notes! ::)). I must say I really enjoyed the Cantabile, in a Barber Adagio meets Gorecki No.3 kind of way. It has the same thing everyone loves like that.

I was hoping for more, so I went to the Dolorosa, but that was just a bit too much of the Romantic Penderecki-style gloomy non-melodic tonal zzzzzzzz....oh, sorry :-[,....zzzzz...

Again, I was hoping for the Stimmen, but it progressed kind of amorphously in a not as seductively melodic was as the first piece. This was supposed to be the piece that Vasks wrote as the Empire was breaking up, and, it has that typically grey Eastern European sound we come to associate with the nostalgic tonal yearnings a la Gorecki, Part, and Tavener, as has already been discussed, though, with more climaxes and development.

Again, I am hoping his Sym No.2 that you have been talking about goes back more to the Cantabile than the last work on this cd. I take it the Stimmen is Sym No.1? If his Violin Cto. has "that" cool sound, then I might like it. This kind of music I like best when it's blatantly Barber-ish, like Gorecki's No.3.

Still, I wonder about Silvestrov.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Scarpia on January 20, 2010, 07:19:40 PM
I recently bought a Vasks disks.  It was that 1 in a hundred disc that I don't manage to listen to even once.  I'm not sure what it was, I've already sold in on Amazon marketplace.   :(
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Lethevich on January 20, 2010, 10:46:36 PM
The 2nd and 3rd symphonies aren't very typical for him, they are his "public" face, more dramatic and large. They have very slight comparisons to be made with Pettersson and Silvestrov. Stimmen is indeed the first symphony, and is more in line with his single-movement string orchestra works. The Violin Concerto is my favourite work of his, and is in line with this style rather than the second two symphonies. Your Barber comparisons are apt, as Vasks is a Romantic at heart. He utilises methods of minimalism, but there is no attempt to create a "purity" of minimalism in the music, which points towards a more conventional language than some of his contemporaries. Have you looked into his quartets? They're good stuff but-  as with the rest of his music - not the most ambitious or challenging pieces out there.

Silvestrov is interesting, but not much comparable to Vasks' warm and fuzzy music.

I recently bought a Vasks disks.  It was that 1 in a hundred disc that I don't manage to listen to even once.  I'm not sure what it was, I've already sold in on Amazon marketplace.   :(
Hehe! My reaction to Vasks at first was one of utter nausia - I've never had such a change in opinion on a composer before. It's shameless good fun IMO.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Scarpia on January 21, 2010, 06:44:35 AM
Hehe! My reaction to Vasks at first was one of utter nausia - I've never had such a change in opinion on a composer before. It's shameless good fun IMO.

I think it was some music for strings.  Nausea wasn't my problem.  The music seemed like a tone poem depicting paint drying.   :(
 
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on March 21, 2011, 03:13:55 PM
Just been listening to Symphony No 2 again - what a great work this is. After the deaths of Arnold and Arnell I would say that this is my favourite symphony by a living composer. From 20 minutes in it just gets better and better. The Ondine release is excellent with great notes  ;). It is a tonal work of great slumbering power, which in places I find very moving and it as a wonderful ending.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Sef on March 22, 2011, 08:45:24 AM
Although strongly derided by my family for daring to listen to Baltic organ music, I must say that I can really imagine Vask's Te Deum shaking the foundations of some European cathedral. Not usually an organ sort of person, but this grabbed me.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on March 22, 2011, 12:14:23 PM
Although strongly derided by my family for daring to listen to Baltic organ music, I must say that I can really imagine Vask's Te Deum shaking the foundations of some European cathedral. Not usually an organ sort of person, but this grabbed me.

Must look out for that!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 22, 2011, 12:18:53 PM
Although strongly derided by my family for daring to listen to Baltic organ music, I must say that I can really imagine Vask's Te Deum shaking the foundations of some European cathedral. Not usually an organ sort of person, but this grabbed me.

Why would you be derided for listening to Baltic organ music? This seems quite odd.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Christo on March 22, 2011, 01:06:45 PM
great notes  ;).

Totally agree with your verdict on the music - and the notes, of course  ;D ;D 8)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 22, 2011, 01:15:36 PM
I've only heard a handful of Vasks' music: the VC and Cello Concerto and Symphonies Nos. 1-3. None of it struck me as particularly interesting. The music doesn't really do much in terms of interesting harmonies, orchestration, there are few good melodies here and there, and the rhythms in many of these works seem pretty cliche. I would, however, like to hear music that pushes the envelope a little more, especially considering its the 21st Century now. I mean Stravinsky and Berg, for example, have composed music of great innovation and originality, but, at the same time, their music pushed music forward. Their music sounds as relevant today as it did when it was composed. This is where Vasks fails to capture my admiration.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Sef on March 23, 2011, 10:51:26 AM
Why would you be derided for listening to Baltic organ music? This seems quite odd.
Funny you should use that word - that's exactly what they called me - Odd. The downside of not having a musically open family, but each to their own.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Lethevich on March 23, 2011, 11:00:13 AM
Non musical people tend to have astonishing difficulties understanding why anybody would want to listen to organ "church" music.

I've gotten the occasional glance indicating alarm over my mental state when I've been caught listening to it ;D
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on March 23, 2014, 04:15:15 AM
Recently I got my first Vasks disc, a composer totally unknown to me until now.  I initially got interested of the disc because of violist Alina Pogostkina, who won the Sibelius violin concerto competion back in 2005, but hasn't recorded hardly anything (record companies perhaps feel she hasn't got enough name/selling power). This Vasks disc on Wergo "vox amoris" is the only one I can find. Well, I sampled the disc on Spotify and liked it a lot. It sounded a superb disc and gave an opportunity to explore a new composer. So I bought it and it is the most expensive CD in many many years.  :P


The three works on that disc are similar. "Lonely Angel" is perhaps weaker than "Vox Amoris" and "Distant Light". Anyway, I like this disc a lot and Vasks seems an interesting composer to explore further.



Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 23, 2014, 04:29:01 AM
You should definitely explore more Vasks, 71. I'm at work so can't get into depth with my thoughts and recordings, but my experience with this composer was I liked one disc (Symphony No 2, Violin Concerto-ONDINE) and moved on to more orchestral/instrumental works (Symphony 3, Cello Ct - ONDINE), chamber (String Quartet 4) and then choral works (Latvian Radio Choir - ONDINE), and I've enjoyed them all.
I will say that Distant Light might be Vasks' most expressive work on a more accessible scale, his other works I've listened to seem a bit more modern in tone, more dissonant and edgier, but never strays too far from that expressiveness that Distant Light offers.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on March 23, 2014, 05:08:54 AM
You should definitely explore more Vasks, 71.

We should definitely get rid of this "should do this and that" thing with classical music. Takes the fun out and turn things into a burden. I explore Vasks (and all other composers) if it is fun and in ways that don't feel an obligation. Paying those ONDINE / Wergo prices isn't that fun. Fortunately Naxos has put out their first Vasks disc (Flute Concerto etc.).

I have been buying quite a many classical discs recently and I need to take it easy for a while. My "buy more Graupner plan" is on hold too.  :-\

I'm at work so can't get into depth with my thoughts and recordings, but my experience with this composer was I liked one disc (Symphony No 2, Violin Concerto-ONDINE) and moved on to more orchestral/instrumental works (Symphony 3, Cello Ct - ONDINE), chamber (String Quartet 4) and then choral works (Latvian Radio Choir - ONDINE), and I've enjoyed them all.
I will say that Distant Light might be Vasks' most expressive work on a more accessible scale, his other works I've listened to seem a bit more modern in tone, more dissonant and edgier, but never strays too far from that expressiveness that Distant Light offers.

Thanks for these thoughts and recommendations.  :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 23, 2014, 08:54:09 AM
We should definitely get rid of this "should do this and that" thing with classical music.

We should definitely do that.  ;)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: North Star on April 06, 2016, 06:53:17 AM
Time for a bump, as Vasks' 70th birthday is ten days from now. I've heard a few works on Youtube, but should listen to more.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Scion7 on April 06, 2016, 01:40:37 PM
Vasks specializes in instrumental chamber music with programmatic titles, which speak of nature under threat and the need to defend humanity from forces hostile to mankind in the development of civilization. The presence of this ethical imperative creates a deeply meditative basic mood, as well as frequent sharp contrasts between the clear beauty of ideals and tragic pathos.

Wow.  That's quite a bite to chew. I wonder how long the journalist took to think up that codswallop.
Be that as it may, I've heard much worse in post-WW 2 modernism.
I used to date a leggy blonde Latvian girl - we could have put on some of the more lengthy pieces if they'd been about back then!   :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: kyjo on December 30, 2017, 08:38:47 PM
I listened to Vasks' Cello Concerto on the below Ondine CD earlier today. It's certainly one of the most impressive contemporary works I've heard, and has taken place amongst my favorite cello concertos. It's a deeply emotional work, with two heartfelt, lyrical Cantus outer movements flanking three violent, often grindingly dissonant inner movements. Overall, a really moving work which I strongly recommend.



https://youtu.be/iECzk9CeCi4 (https://youtu.be/iECzk9CeCi4)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on December 30, 2017, 08:45:59 PM
Some of my favorite Vasks is the Distant Light VC, the SQs, Musica adventus, Vox Amoris, and Viatore. There’s a wonderful purity to much of his music. I don’t care much for any of his symphonies. The Cello Concerto is a nice work, though, but I’m not as enamored with it as I am the afore mentioned works.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on December 31, 2017, 02:30:45 AM
Symphony 2 is my favourite (the Ondine release with interesting notes from one of our members).
I also think very highly of Symphony 3. He is probably my favourite living composer.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
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Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Christo on February 22, 2018, 06:11:53 PM
Symphony 2 is my favourite (the Ondine release with interesting notes from one of our members). I also think very highly of Symphony 3. He is probably my favourite living composer.
There’s a wonderful purity to much of his music.
Agreed, but exactly this special quality applies to his three symphonies too, IMHO.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 22, 2018, 08:28:12 PM
Agreed, but exactly this special quality applies to his three symphonies too, IMHO.

I never cared for Vasks’ symphonies to be honest. For me, he’s not a composer that excels in the symphonic form and I think there’s a lack of thematic development in the music that just belies his great lyrical gift, which, for me, is much more apparent in his SQs, choral music, and shorter orchestral works.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 22, 2018, 08:42:28 PM
Many works I've listened of Vasks have been highly rewarding. I feel that there is melancholy in his works and it gives so beauty and a profundity almost heavenly that move me. I do like his symphonies (I also hope that he composes more of them) and I agree with the idea that the ending of the No. 2 is transcendent. The Cello concerto 1, Violin concerto, and the string quartets are other favorites.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 23, 2018, 04:39:03 AM
Many works I've listened of Vasks have been highly rewarding. I feel that there is melancholy in his works and it gives so beauty and a profundity almost heavenly that move me. I do like his symphonies (I also hope that he composes more of them) and I agree with the idea that the ending of the No. 2 is transcendent. The Cello concerto 1, Violin concerto, and the string quartets are other favorites.
This is largely my experience with this composer although I don't know Symphony 1. Clearly I need to listen more closely to the Cello Concerto and string quartets.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: CRCulver on March 01, 2018, 03:37:01 AM
(https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fjenslaurson%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F01%2FForbes_Classical-CD-of-the-Week_VASKS_String-Quartets_WERGO_Classical-Critic-Jens-F-Laurson-960.jpg%3Fwidth%3D960)
Classical CD Of The Month: Consoling, Questioning, Scratching -- Pēteris Vasks String Quartets
 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/02/21/classical-cd-of-the-month-consoling-questioning-scratching-peteris-vasks-string-quartets/#d4b09ec18aa8)

Wow, I would have never expected to see Vasks on Wergo, a label generally associated with the mid-century avant-garde and its heirs.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on March 01, 2018, 05:09:34 AM
Wow, I would have never expected to see Vasks on Wergo, a label generally associated with the mid-century avant-garde and its heirs.

I think Wergo will record whomever Schott will publish. Think Enjott Schneider, for example, who is very much not part of the mid-century avant-garde or one of its heirs.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: kyjo on March 01, 2018, 08:24:17 AM
This is largely my experience with this composer although I don't know Symphony 1. Clearly I need to listen more closely to the Cello Concerto and string quartets.

As I said before, I believe the Cello Concerto is a masterpiece and has been one of my greatest recent discoveries. I also really enjoyed his Sala - Symphonic Elegy.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 04, 2019, 05:42:10 AM
* Cross posted from the 'What concerts are you looking forward to II thread'

Attended this outstanding concert on Friday night!

February 01, 2019

Final concert of the 28th annual Winnipeg New Music Festival

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b.1977-) - Metacosmos

Caroline Shaw (b.1982-) - Music in Common Time

Peteris Vasks (b. 1946-) - Symphony No. 2

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Raiskin - conducting

Excellent concert, with three works of three composers I had never heard a single note from before!  :)

It was a Canadian premiere for the Thorvaldsdottir and Shaw works, while it was surprisingly also the North American premiere of Vasks' Symphony No. 2, a fairly popular work in Europe.  Caroline Shaw and Peteris Vasks were both in attendance and part of the pre-concert chat as well.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 04, 2019, 06:22:13 AM
* Cross posted from the 'What concerts are you looking forward to II thread'

Attended this outstanding concert on Friday night!

February 01, 2019

Final concert of the 28th annual Winnipeg New Music Festival

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b.1977-) - Metacosmos

Caroline Shaw (b.1982-) - Music in Common Time

Peteris Vasks (b. 1946-) - Symphony No. 2

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Raiskin - conducting

Excellent concert, with three works of three composers I had never heard a single note from before!  :)

It was a Canadian premiere for the Thorvaldsdottir and Shaw works, while it was surprisingly also the North American premiere of Vasks' Symphony No. 2, a fairly popular work in Europe.  Caroline Shaw and Peteris Vasks were both in attendance and part of the pre-concert chat as well.
How exciting! Sounds like a great concert.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 23, 2019, 05:01:38 PM
Oh God! I can't believe how beautiful this music is! The content of the disc below is inexhaustibly moving. Pater Noster and Dona nobis pacem are the short works, but immensely magnificent, above all the latter. However, it's the Missa for chorus and strings the most astonishing piece here. This is unspeakably moving in its sheer majesty, cathartic, gorgeous, and I think I'm not exaggerating. If music is a window to soul, then Vasks looks like a really spiritual human being, at least this music seems to demonstrate that. I'm really moved by this.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YpLl9FFDL._SY355_.jpg)

Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 23, 2019, 09:31:38 PM
Oh God! I can't believe how beautiful this music is! The content of the disc below is inexhaustibly moving. Pater Noster and Dona nobis pacem are the short works, but immensely magnificent, above all the latter. However, it's the Missa for chorus and strings the most astonishing piece here. This is unspeakably moving in its sheer majesty, cathartic, gorgeous, and I think I'm not exaggerating. If music is a window to soul, then Vasks looks like a really spiritual human being, at least this music seems to demonstrate that. I'm really moved by this.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YpLl9FFDL._SY355_.jpg)
Amazon (fortunately) tells me that I purchased that CD in 2014. Now I need to locate it ::)
I found this CD very engaging. I already had the highest opinion of Symphony 2 but I found the Esenvalds work to be especially moving.
(http://)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on June 24, 2019, 02:34:21 AM
Oh God! I can't believe how beautiful this music is! The content of the disc below is inexhaustibly moving. Pater Noster and Dona nobis pacem are the short works, but immensely magnificent, above all the latter. However, it's the Missa for chorus and strings the most astonishing piece here. This is unspeakably moving in its sheer majesty, cathartic, gorgeous, and I think I'm not exaggerating. If music is a window to soul, then Vasks looks like a really spiritual human being, at least this music seems to demonstrate that. I'm really moved by this.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YpLl9FFDL._SY355_.jpg)

It certainly is gorgeous. That's why he's got a chapter (https://books.google.gr/books?id=oFVgDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT324&lpg=PT324&dq=vasks+writes+traditional+music+of+soulful+beauty+that+both+laments&source=bl&ots=qWH-PrnO4F&sig=ACfU3U0R4xs1gbeu-UxEkxH3eWV_zt0ZuA&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=vasks%20writes%20traditional%20music%20of%20soulful%20beauty%20that%20both%20laments&f=false) in "Surprised by Beauty (https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/)" - and it hones in exactly on these pieces, too.

But his string quartets are pretty good stuff. Here's a Forbes review I wrote a while back: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/02/21/classical-cd-of-the-month-consoling-questioning-scratching-peteris-vasks-string-quartets/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/02/21/classical-cd-of-the-month-consoling-questioning-scratching-peteris-vasks-string-quartets/)

Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 24, 2019, 04:56:44 PM
It certainly is gorgeous. That's why he's got a chapter (https://books.google.gr/books?id=oFVgDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT324&lpg=PT324&dq=vasks+writes+traditional+music+of+soulful+beauty+that+both+laments&source=bl&ots=qWH-PrnO4F&sig=ACfU3U0R4xs1gbeu-UxEkxH3eWV_zt0ZuA&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=vasks%20writes%20traditional%20music%20of%20soulful%20beauty%20that%20both%20laments&f=false) in "Surprised by Beauty (https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/)" - and it hones in exactly on these pieces, too.

But his string quartets are pretty good stuff. Here's a Forbes review I wrote a while back: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/02/21/classical-cd-of-the-month-consoling-questioning-scratching-peteris-vasks-string-quartets/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/02/21/classical-cd-of-the-month-consoling-questioning-scratching-peteris-vasks-string-quartets/)

Thanks for that. Those SQs are indeed powerful, they convey many emotions in a most sincere way. Vasks is clearly one of my favorite living composers. His music is incredibly rewarding.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 24, 2019, 04:58:33 PM
Amazon (fortunately) tells me that I purchased that CD in 2014. Now I need to locate it ::)
I found this CD very engaging. I already had the highest opinion of Symphony 2 but I found the Esenvalds work to be especially moving.
(http://)

I hope you can listen to that disc, it's utterly touching. Whas is the Esenvalds like?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 24, 2019, 11:52:41 PM
I hope you can listen to that disc, it's utterly touching. Whas is the Esenvalds like?

Beautiful Cesar and in one section very moving. In style it is not unlike Vasks. Modern music at its best as far as I'm concerned. Haunting and atmospheric.

PS I should have added that 'Visions of Arctic Night' by Esenvalds is a concerto for clarinet, orchestra and electronics. Might appeal to Karl as well.
It is the middle movement that I find very touching. I'm sure that you will know what I mean if you get to hear the work, as I hope you do.

 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 25, 2019, 06:25:37 AM
Great to see Vasks getting some love! His Violin Concerto "Distant Light" is a favorite of mine...


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ubQDphIRL.jpg)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2019, 06:54:47 AM
Great to see Vasks getting some love! His Violin Concerto "Distant Light" is a favorite of mine...


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ubQDphIRL.jpg)
That is a fabulous CD in all respects and includes interesting booklet notes by our very own 'Christo'.
 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 25, 2019, 11:58:58 AM
Beautiful Cesar and in one section very moving. In style it is not unlike Vasks. Modern music at its best as far as I'm concerned. Haunting and atmospheric.

PS I should have added that 'Visions of Arctic Night' by Esenvalds is a concerto for clarinet, orchestra and electronics. Might appeal to Karl as well.
It is the middle movement that I find very touching. I'm sure that you will know what I mean if you get to hear the work, as I hope you do.

 :)

Sounds tempting, I'll try to get it. Thanks!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2019, 01:28:23 PM
Sounds tempting, I'll try to get it. Thanks!
The whole CD is excellent Cesar.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on July 27, 2019, 07:36:50 AM
The Naxos Flute music disc was a bit disappointing after the first listening.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on July 28, 2019, 01:43:54 AM
The Naxos Flute music disc was a bit disappointing after the first listening.
Right. Thanks. Well, I won't be snapping that one up.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 24, 2020, 02:33:27 PM
I really like the Piano Quartet. It should appeal to anyone who responds to Shostakovich's Piano Quintet IMO.
I find the final sections very moving:
(http://)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on February 24, 2020, 02:54:19 PM
I really like the Piano Quartet. It should appeal to anyone who responds to Shostakovich's Piano Quintet IMO.
I find the final sections very moving:
(http://)

Thanks! What do you think about the Malcys stuff? Any good?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 24, 2020, 02:56:39 PM
Thanks! What do you think about the Malcys stuff? Any good?

Heard the first movement and struggled with it a bit. Maybe I was impatient to get on to the Vasks. Think it worth returning to but not obviously as memorable as the Vasks. I'll try to listen to it properly tomorrow and report back.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on February 24, 2020, 05:06:30 PM
Heard the first movement and struggled with it a bit. Maybe I was impatient to get on to the Vasks. Think it worth returning to but not obviously as memorable as the Vasks. I'll try to listen to it properly tomorrow and report back.

Ok, thanks! No pressure.  0:)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 24, 2020, 11:58:21 PM
Ok, thanks! No pressure.  0:)
Actually I owe you a debt of gratitude for encouraging me to listen to this work again and right through. I enjoyed it very much this time round. The problem for me is that the opening movement 'Blackthorn Eyes' (1999) is a bit too 'plink-plonk' and discordant for me  (I realise that's not a very technical description). However, the second movement with its charming title 'Hyacinth of the Snowfields' (2012) has some lovely lyrical/minimalist sections and the last movement 'Milky Way' has some lovely, catchy, sections, reminding me of Aaron Copland at his most populist. So, thanks to you, I will now play the CD right through from beginning to end and not skip straight on to the Vasks work. I'm playing the CD again now. So, a strong recommendation from me.
 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on February 25, 2020, 04:45:52 AM
Actually I owe you a debt of gratitude for encouraging me to listen to this work again and right through. I enjoyed it very much this time round. The problem for me is that the opening movement 'Blackthorn Eyes' (1999) is a bit too 'plink-plonk' and discordant for me  (I realise that's not a very technical description). However, the second movement with its charming title 'Hyacinth of the Snowfields' (2012) has some lovely lyrical/minimalist sections and the last movement 'Milky Way' has some lovely, catchy, sections, reminding me of Aaron Copland at his most populist. So, thanks to you, I will now play the CD right through from beginning to end and not skip straight on to the Vasks work. I'm playing the CD again now. So, a strong recommendation from me.
 :)

You are welcome and I'm glad you enjoy the disc beyond Vasks. Thanks for the reporting! this one appears as an interesting disc for sure and it's now added to my wishlist.  $:)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 25, 2020, 04:52:53 AM
You are welcome and I'm glad you enjoy the disc beyond Vasks. Thanks for the reporting! this one appears as an interesting disc for sure and it's now added to my wishlist.  $:)
I'm sure that you would not regret obtaining a copy of it.
 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on February 25, 2020, 08:29:21 AM
I'm sure that you would not regret obtaining a copy of it.
 :)

I'm trying to limit my purchases for several reasons*, but I'll think about making this disc one of my March purchases. This disc would offer more Vasks who I don't have much** + Malcys who I don't know at all + contemporary music for piano quartet. It comes down to how things get prioritized. If there's not much else to buy, this disc certainly is high on my wishlist, if not on top!  ;)

____________________________________________________
* Financial situation isn't great and I feel like listening to the CDs I already own instead of hoarding more and more for the sake of it...
** I need to revisit the Naxos Flute Concerto disc and see if I warm up to it more as you did with the Malcys stuff.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on February 25, 2020, 12:09:26 PM
I'm trying to limit my purchases for several reasons*, but I'll think about making this disc one of my March purchases. This disc would offer more Vasks who I don't have much** + Malcys who I don't know at all + contemporary music for piano quartet. It comes down to how things get prioritized. If there's not much else to buy, this disc certainly is high on my wishlist, if not on top!  ;)

____________________________________________________
* Financial situation isn't great and I feel like listening to the CDs I already own instead of hoarding more and more for the sake of it...
** I need to revisit the Naxos Flute Concerto disc and see if I warm up to it more as you did with the Malcys stuff.

Yes, your 'Financial situation...' point makes good sense. I wish that I could adhere to it more conscientiously myself.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 04, 2020, 11:01:21 AM
Can someone point me towards a complete list of Vasks's works?

Thanks
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 04, 2020, 11:25:59 AM
Can someone point me towards a complete list of Vasks's works?

Thanks

https://en.schott-music.com/shop/autoren/peteris-vasks (https://en.schott-music.com/shop/autoren/peteris-vasks)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on April 08, 2020, 03:37:50 PM
(https://bis.se/shop/17115/art15/h1395/5051395-origpic-255b84.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on April 09, 2020, 04:13:30 AM
(https://bis.se/shop/17115/art15/h1395/5051395-origpic-255b84.jpg)

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.
Yes, what a lovely cover image Cesar.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on April 09, 2020, 01:35:08 PM
Does anyone know what Vasks is currently working on? Any new works coming up?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: relm1 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
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 20, 2021, 02:16:26 PM
I thought I knew most of Vasks's works but I discovered Vox Amoris recently:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNjgxMy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE2MTAyMTg5NTJ9)

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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on March 20, 2021, 02:42:58 PM
I thought I knew most of Vasks's works but I discovered Vox Amoris recently:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNjgxMy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE2MTAyMTg5NTJ9)

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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on June 08, 2021, 01:27:10 AM
(https://bis.se/shop/17115/art15/h1395/5051395-origpic-255b84.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Symphonic Addict 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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 🙂
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Brian 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: TheGSMoeller 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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 :)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: steve ridgway 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. ;)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 15, 2021, 04:42:54 AM
I’m always glad I never learnt Latin. ;)

Tempora mutantur
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Brian on June 15, 2021, 04:53:39 AM
It's not like I said it belongs in the dustbin.
;D ;D
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: steve ridgway on June 15, 2021, 07:31:41 AM
Tempora mutantur

Yeah I like that, had it in a Japanese restaurant. :P
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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/ (https://en.schott-music.com/work-of-the-week-peteris-vasks-oboe-concerto/)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 03, 2021, 06:04:11 PM
Sounds lovely, foxandpeng. 8)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Brian on September 03, 2021, 06:15:32 PM
Cross post from the listening thread;

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/ODE1355-2.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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/ (http://valeofglamorganfestival.org.uk/peteris-vasks-string-quartets/)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter 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/ (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
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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. 
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter 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
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 13, 2021, 02:35:40 PM
The Oboe Concerto is superb, fox. I have enjoyed the new Ondine disc immensely.

Really glad to hear this 🙂. I've no doubt that the symphonies will find their place in time too!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2021, 02:58:12 PM
Really glad to hear this 🙂. I've no doubt that the symphonies will find their place in time too!

Indeed. I take it you’ve heard his SQs? They’re also fantastic.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 13, 2021, 03:29:53 PM
Indeed. I take it you’ve heard his SQs? They’re also fantastic.

Yeah, I'm sold. #2, #1, #4 and #3 in that order atm  although it's a movable feast. I find the disquiet of #1 really interesting against the others. I concur entirely 🙂. 
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2021, 03:47:59 PM
Yeah, I'm sold. #2, #1, #4 and #3 in that order atm  although it's a movable feast. I find the disquiet of #1 really interesting against the others. I concur entirely 🙂.

Excellent to read. I actually should revisit these SQs as it’s been quite some time since I’ve heard them. If you could only take one Vasks work to the desert island, what would it be and why?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: JBS on September 13, 2021, 04:36:38 PM
Anyone heard any of this CD?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51dda+GwYIL.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61I3+qMeI-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2021, 04:51:27 PM
Anyone heard any of this CD?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51dda+GwYIL.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61I3+qMeI-L.jpg)

Yep, great disc!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: JBS on September 13, 2021, 05:15:27 PM
Yep, great disc!

Thanks. I'm trying to strategize: if I get the Wergo recording I'll probably end up with multiple recordings of the Third Symphony (I intend to get a recording of the Cello Concerto for which the Third is the coupling). This CD obviously has a bigger spread of works.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2021, 05:21:50 PM
Thanks. I'm trying to strategize: if I get the Wergo recording I'll probably end up with multiple recordings of the Third Symphony (I intend to get a recording of the Cello Concerto for which the Third is the coupling). This CD obviously has a bigger spread of works.

Or just go my route and buy them all. ;) ;D
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: 71 dB on September 14, 2021, 01:27:01 AM
Anyone heard any of this CD?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51dda+GwYIL.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61I3+qMeI-L.jpg)

I'm trying to strategize: if I get the Wergo recording I'll probably end up with multiple recordings of the Third Symphony (I intend to get a recording of the Cello Concerto for which the Third is the coupling). This CD obviously has a bigger spread of works.

That's the other one of my two Vasks CDs. Solid 2010's Naxos release. I have nothing negative to say about it, but obviously I am not a Vasks expert who can say what performance to get.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 14, 2021, 03:18:14 AM
Really enjoying his Cello Concerto (almost over) via youtube with Geringas (Connifer Classics).  Made me think of Shostakovich in places--in a good way.  :)

Earlier this morning, I also revisited his Oboe Concerto (again via youtube)....a lovely way to start the morning.

PD
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2021, 05:23:38 AM
Really enjoying his Cello Concerto (almost over) via youtube with Geringas (Connifer Classics).  Made me think of Shostakovich in places--in a good way.  :)

Earlier this morning, I also revisited his Oboe Concerto (again via youtube)....a lovely way to start the morning.

PD

Have you heard the 2nd Cello Concerto, PD? It’s a must-listen!
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 14, 2021, 06:23:48 AM
Have you heard the 2nd Cello Concerto, PD? It’s a must-listen!
No, not yet.  Will get around to it eventually.  :)  Thank you for the suggestion though!

PD
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2021, 06:33:13 AM
No, not yet.  Will get around to it eventually.  :)  Thank you for the suggestion though!

PD

8) I find it an immensely satisfying work, but I seem to be saying this about much of Vasks’ music lately. ;)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 14, 2021, 07:58:59 AM
Excellent to read. I actually should revisit these SQs as it’s been quite some time since I’ve heard them. If you could only take one Vasks work to the desert island, what would it be and why?

What an excellent, but tough question. I'm torn. Some of the works that are deeply embedding for me are perhaps those most obvious:

Distant Light
Cello Concerto #2 'Klābūtne'
Symphony #2
Oboe Concerto
Gramata Cellam

Hard to choose.... all are stunningly reflective of Vasks' redemptive worldview. I've heard SQ #3 several times today, and it is rising in my mind.

Probably Distant Light still, because it is simply so hauntingly beautiful.

Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 14, 2021, 08:12:22 AM
What an excellent, but tough question. I'm torn. Some of the works that are deeply embedding for me are perhaps those most obvious:

Distant Light
Cello Concerto #2 'Klābūtne'
Symphony #2
Oboe Concerto
Gramata Cellam

Hard to choose.... all are stunningly reflective of Vasks' redemptive worldview. I've heard SQ #3 several times today, and it is rising in my mind.

Probably Distant Light still, because it is simply so hauntingly beautiful.
Think that I'll try (if I can find it) "Distant Light" next.

PD
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 14, 2021, 08:16:24 AM
Think that I'll try (if I can find it) "Distant Light" next.

PD

What a discovery this work is, PD. Hopefully you'll find it to be as vital as I have! This proves the axiom that music has power to calm the savage breast, to me, at least.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 14, 2021, 08:27:05 AM
What a discovery this work is, PD. Hopefully you'll find it to be as vital as I have! This proves the axiom that music has power to calm the savage breast, to me, at least.
I see that there are at least a couple of different performances on youtube.  To which one do you suggest that I listen to Fox?  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=peteris+vasks+distant+light

PD
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2021, 09:48:43 AM
What an excellent, but tough question. I'm torn. Some of the works that are deeply embedding for me are perhaps those most obvious:

Distant Light
Cello Concerto #2 'Klābūtne'
Symphony #2
Oboe Concerto
Gramata Cellam

Hard to choose.... all are stunningly reflective of Vasks' redemptive worldview. I've heard SQ #3 several times today, and it is rising in my mind.

Probably Distant Light still, because it is simply so hauntingly beautiful.

All fine choices, indeed. 8) Yes, I’ll probably agree with you about Distant Light. It seems like one of his signature works and it’s certainly the most recorded work, but this of course doesn’t mean it’s his “best” work, but it does feel like a masterpiece to me.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 14, 2021, 01:06:40 PM
I see that there are at least a couple of different performances on youtube.  To which one do you suggest that I listen to Fox?  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=peteris+vasks+distant+light

PD

I would go with the Rowland - his recorded version was the first I heard, and I was really impacted by it. I thought the Storgårds was excellent, although you probably can't go wrong,  PD 🙂
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: JBS on September 14, 2021, 05:28:08 PM
I received these two CDs about a week ago.
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/514UIvDlRCL._SY780_.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/512hXB3pVeL._SY780_.jpg)

Except for Distant Light (which gets an excellent performance here) and Voices, everything on them were first encounters. I have to admit the three Musicas didn't enthuse me.

Anyone else have these CDs?

On a different tangent, in looking for the Second Symphony, the only recording I can find is the Storgards on Ondine, which is priced like an OOP item on Amazon. Is there another recording? Is it, like Symphony 1 aka Voices, known under a different name?
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2021, 05:34:00 PM
I would go with the Rowland - his recorded version was the first I heard, and I was really impacted by it. I thought the Storgårds was excellent, although you probably can't go wrong,  PD 🙂

Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica on Teldec (Warner now of course) is worth hearing, too. There are many excellent performances of Distant Light, though. I haven’t heard a bad one yet.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2021, 05:47:14 PM
I received these two CDs about a week ago.
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/514UIvDlRCL._SY780_.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/512hXB3pVeL._SY780_.jpg)

Except for Distant Light (which gets an excellent performance here) and Voices, everything on them were first encounters. I have to admit the three Musicas didn't enthuse me.

Anyone else have these CDs?

On a different tangent, in looking for the Second Symphony, the only recording I can find is the Storgards on Ondine, which is priced like an OOP item on Amazon. Is there another recording? Is it, like Symphony 1 aka Voices, known under a different name?

I don’t know those BR Klassik recordings, Jeffrey, but this label has been hit/miss for me. I only know Musica Adventus, which isn’t featured on that second recording of course. I do own two recordings of Musica Dolorsa, but I haven’t heard either one of them: one on ECM and the other on BIS. As for the Musica Serena, this BR Klassik must be the world premiere recording as I can’t find any other recording of it. I’ve got Musica Appassionata in this recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81Tjgtj%2B1UL._SL1200_.jpg)

But I haven’t heard it and I have no idea where the disc is at the moment, so I’m not worried about that one. :) Viatore and Symphony for Strings, “Voices” have received a few recordings and I like both of these works. Of course, I was talking about the 2nd Cello Concerto last night and it’s an exquisite piece.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on September 14, 2021, 09:36:06 PM
I received these two CDs about a week ago.
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/514UIvDlRCL._SY780_.jpg)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/512hXB3pVeL._SY780_.jpg)

Except for Distant Light (which gets an excellent performance here) and Voices, everything on them were first encounters. I have to admit the three Musicas didn't enthuse me.

Anyone else have these CDs?

On a different tangent, in looking for the Second Symphony, the only recording I can find is the Storgards on Ondine, which is priced like an OOP item on Amazon. Is there another recording? Is it, like Symphony 1 aka Voices, known under a different name?
Jeffrey, there's another recording of Symphony No.2 here. This is a marvellous CD in all respects. For personal reasons I find the Esenvalds work 'Visions of Arctic Night' to be incredibly moving as well. I'm debating whether to get the new recording of Symphony No.3 (actually it's a bit on a one-sided debate  ::)). I already have the Ondine recording. Symphonies 2 and 3 are my favourite works by Vasks. I recently bought the Viola Concerto but haven't listened to it yet. My good friend Johan (Christo of this forum) who is sadly ill at the moment (I send him my very best wishes if he reads this), wrote the excellent notes for the Ondine recording of Symphony No. 2.
(http://)
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: foxandpeng on September 14, 2021, 10:55:19 PM
All fine choices, indeed. 8) Yes, I’ll probably agree with you about Distant Light. It seems like one of his signature works and it’s certainly the most recorded work, but this of course doesn’t mean it’s his “best” work, but it does feel like a masterpiece to me.

Probably the Viola Concerto is a close contender, too. This is a remarkably beautiful piece..

Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: JBS on September 15, 2021, 03:06:31 AM
Jeffrey, there's another recording of Symphony No.2 here. This is a marvellous CD in all respects. For personal reasons I find the Esenvalds work 'Visions of Arctic Night' to be incredibly moving as well. I'm debating whether to get the new recording of Symphony No.3 (actually it's a bit on a one-sided debate  ::)). I already have the Ondine recording. Symphonies 2 and 3 are my favourite works by Vasks. I recently bought the Viola Concerto but haven't listened to it yet. My good friend Johan (Christo of this forum) who is sadly ill at the moment (I send him my very best wishes if he reads this), wrote the excellent notes for the Ondine recording of Symphony No. 2.
(http://)

Thanks. That's on the list for the next batch of purchases.

Foxandpeng is quite accurate about the Viola Concerto.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: vandermolen on September 15, 2021, 04:31:46 AM
Thanks. That's on the list for the next batch of purchases.

Foxandpeng is quite accurate about the Viola Concerto.
You won't regret it Jeffrey - it's a fine CD.
Title: Re: Peteris Vasks (born 1946)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 15, 2021, 05:24:25 AM
Jeffrey, there's another recording of Symphony No.2 here. This is a marvellous CD in all respects. For personal reasons I find the Esenvalds work 'Visions of Arctic Night' to be incredibly moving as well. I'm debating whether to get the new recording of Symphony No.3 (actually it's a bit on a one-sided debate  ::)). I already have the Ondine recording. Symphonies 2 and 3 are my favourite works by Vasks. I recently bought the Viola Concerto but haven't listened to it yet. My good friend Johan (Christo of this forum) who is sadly ill at the moment (I send him my very best wishes if he reads this), wrote the excellent notes for the Ondine recording of Symphony No. 2.
(http://)

I didn’t realize Johan had wrote the liner notes for that Ondine recording of Distant Light and Symphony No. 2. That is awesome! Yes, I hope he’s doing well.

Probably the Viola Concerto is a close contender, too. This is a remarkably beautiful piece..



Yes, that’s a fine work, too. Wonderful work.