PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): Episodi e Canto perpetuo for Piano Trio, Piano Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 08K099
Reference: 303 1513-2
Description: Vasks' trio, like many of his works, depicts a spiritual journey from despair through suffering into faith and love. Dedicated to Messiaen, the work is in eight strongly contrasting sections, some mysterious and dissonant, others resembling harsh bell-like chorales, and in the harmonically richer later movements, something of Messiaen's harmonic thinking is approached. The rhythmic influence of the dedicatee is especially apparent in the vigorous 'unisoni' and 'burlesca' movements, which recall Messiaen's ecstatic dance-movements such as No.10 of the Vingt regards. Folk rhythms and Vasks' characteristic modal vocabulary are very much to the fore. The much more recent (2001) quartet is more in the style of the 'new spirituality' with which Vasks is commonly associated. Modal melodic fragments in open intervals abound; Latvian folk-rhythms are incorporated, providing an earthy counterpoint to the static chorales of the work's hymn-like sections.The tense, emotionally strained passacaglia movement brings these elements together particularly effectively. Trio Parnassus, Avri Levitan (viola).