Kremerata Baltica: ppp GEORGS PELĒCIS (b.1947) : Three pieces from "Fiori musicali" PĒTERIS PLAKIDIS (1947-2017) : Little Concerto for Two Violins KRISTAPS PĒTERSONS (*1982) Ground, =3.14, Music for a Large Ensemble
Catalogue Number: 01Y035
Description: This recording celebrates the 25th anniversary of Gidon Kremer's eponymous ensemble with music by three Latvian contemporary composers. Plakidis' Little Concerto may be scored for two solo violins, but in the quintessential nature of chamber music expresses far more than its modest scale and forces might suggest. Its tonal idiom, folk-derived melodies and light, luminous textures suggest memories of warm summer evenings and smiling companionship. The movements are: "Singing Together" "Evening Music" and "The Road". Pētersons' Ground was born of the composer’s fascination with Purcell's grounds. The repeated ground is elaborated by augmentation rather than harmony, because as the composer wryly observes "I only know how to play one note at a time on double bass." It does, however, intriguingly give the impression of a richly textured work, in some measure because of the sonorous resonance of the instrument. π = 3.14 for two double basses, percussion and recording was composed specially for this recording. It has a certain rhythmic insistence and bass-driven and synthesiser timbres that evoke - distantly - progressive rock music. Music for a Large Ensemble is described by Pētersons as being in “… three movements. The first two are laconic, monotonous dead ends of sounds. The third movement is longer and comprises seven aural spaces united by a pulse." The two "laconic, monotonous" movements are very short, and again suggest some kinship with popular and ambient music respectively. The third is a piece of genial minimalism, with a sense of ironic commentary on psychedelic counterculture of decades long past, complete with hazy, heavily distorted electric guitar. Pelēcis named his set of pieces Fiori Musicali after Girolamo Frescobaldi’s collection of liturgical organ music from the 17th century, and tells us: “I write 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." The movements are "The Lone Calla" (for vibraphone and chamber orchestra), "Dance of the Peonies" (a joyous mixture of Dvorak, Bach and Vivaldi for strings), and the ravishingly beautiful "Cosmea Melancholy" (for violin, vibraphone and string orchestra). A student of Khachaturian and Protopopov, Pelēcis is an authority on the history and theory of the contrapuntal techniques of the Renaissance and Baroque, and his idiom brings a rich vein of Romanticism to these gorgeous, serene neo-baroque and neo-classical works, with their sense of timeless beauty and profound spiritual repose and luminous optimism. Gideon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica. 2CDs.