GEORGS PELĒCIS (b.1947): Piano Works - New Year’s Music, Autumn Music, Winter Music, Spring Music, Summer Music. Linda Leine (piano). 2 CDs

Catalogue Number: 01Y034

Label: Skani

Reference: LMIC137

Format: CD

Price: $20.98

Description: "All of my creative inspiration comes from music, from euphony as a reflection of the ideal or the embodiment of a homeland. Striving for this ideal is the most important theme in my work." Thus Georgs Pelēcis. A composer whose credo is "[composing] music to express my delight in the mightiness and beauty of God’s creation. The natural elements and landscapes, the seasons, flora and fauna are life’s inexhaustible forms and the endless variations of its beauty. God’s world is in constant bloom, both literally and figuratively", Pelēcis writes music that is unfailingly beautiful and consonant, whatever else is being expressed. If this sounds suspiciously new-agey and Einaudic, this is not the impression created by the music, though it is fair to say that the conflicts, confrontations and clashes on which much of Western music is based are largely absent, so in some respects the pieces, especially the larger ones, are best listened to in a mood of contemplation, rather than the expectation of drama. But Pelēcis is a sophisticated composer (who studied with Khachaturian and Protopopov! - though his music doesn’t sound much like either of theirs), and an authority on the history and theory of the contrapuntal techniques of the Renaissance and Baroque, so the range of moods and expression that he brings to his luminous, ecstatic creations is broad, and his use of tonal relationships and progressions is inventive and original. He really doesn’t sound like anyone else, though comparison to Howard Skempton is not inappropriate - though Pelēcis is no miniaturist! This large, six-movement suite evokes the four seasons, bracketed by jubilant, optimistic opening and closing neo-baroque New Years. Spring develops growing energy and excitement in the burgeoning life-energy of the season; Summer - a substantial work in its own right, at more than 25 minutes - blazes with light and warmth, moods of contentment and joyous celebration. Repetition is a key component of these pieces, but generally in a more literal sense than as used in minimal music; rather than evolving, Pelēcis' music consists of melodic motifs and ostinati, which recur in successive sections, more for the joy of revisiting a profoundly moving emotional experience than with any sense of progression beyond it. Pelēcis' expertise in Baroque counterpoint comes to the fore in the gently tranquil, contemplative Autumn Music, which sounds much like a flowing chorale prelude, limned in the vivid but soothing colours of the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness". Winter is utterly calm and peaceful, spare in texture, a frozen landscape denuded of foliage and colour, yet perfectly suited to rapt, reverent contemplation.

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