PĒTERIS VASKS (b.1946): Symphony No. 3, Flute Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 02S085
Reference: WER 7349 2
Description: The forty-minute symphony is among Vasks' most impressive orchestral canvases. As the music strives for peace and reconciliation, much of the work's central part is warlike, a vivid and prolonged battle between light and darkness. The idiom here is clearly derived from Shostakovich, with an obsessive insistence that recalls Pettersson (though in simpler textures). The work's textures and harmony are in fact never complex, showing the influence of 'new simplicity' and 'new spirituality' and relying on the bold drama of the music's narrative arc to make its point, and when it finally settles into the slow traversal of a lonely, peaceful landscape the influence of Sibelius is also evident as it swells to a triumphant conclusion. The half-hour concerto is in three movements, framing a sardonic, rather militaristic burlesco with echoes of Shostakovich (and an extravagantly virtuosic cadenza) between two melody-laden 'cantabile' movements, each with its dramatic climax but a prevailing emphasis on melodic beauty and mysterious elegiac calm. Dita Krenberga (flute), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra; Atvars Lakstīgala.