PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): The Seasons, Music for a Summer Evening.
Catalogue Number: 08M084
Reference: WER 6734 2
Description: This cycle of pieces is typical of Vasks; tonal, predominantly consonant, concerned with nature and beauty, spirituality and the positive outcome of struggle and conflict. The most ambitious and longest piece is Spring Music, virtuosic and demanding, with elements of battle and violence - this is the 'violent Russian spring' of the north, with cracking ice and the agonized rebirth of the year, expressed in terms of quasi-Lisztian bravura, more than Stravinsky's pounding rhythms, however. The summer pieces (Music for a Summer Evening was written last year as a kind of encore) are in the major mode, the first celebratory and triumphant (oddly reminiscent of Foulds' April-England, presumably a complete coincidence), the last, meditative and calm, bringing a return to the peace and tranquility of the winter piece that opens the cycle, the most 'new spiritual' of the set. The Autumn piece opens and closes in this mood also, but is interrupted by a violent September storm and a sense of sadness and departure before the breathless calm of winter is restored. Vestard Shimkus (piano).