PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): Musica Adventus for String Orchestra, Viatore for String Orchestra, Concerto for Cor anglais and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 09K091
Reference: WER 6705 2
Description: 'Advent music' suggests something of a religious meditation, though there is at least as much Sibelian nature-painting in the music's fragile, extended lyrical lines; a spiritual contemplation through nature, perhaps. The second movement is a somewhat austere scherzo, while the last two movements return to a mood of serious, lonely yet optimistic melancholy, with some striking sound effects heralding the appearance of the last movement's melodic opening theme. The harmonious Viatore makes similar use of a shimmering effect, as of stars viewed through frosty air; the slow 'travel' of the work's argument embodies farewell, fulfillment and an endless journey toward some higher goal. The 'beautiful sound' of the cor anglais was apparently the composer's inspiration for the concerto; in four linked movements, the work again seems to inhabit a world of unspoiled nature, somewhere between the moods of the opening of Mahler's First, Sibelius (you can't help thinking of The Swan of Tuonela) and Rautavaara. The second movement is a rustic scherzo; the third a sad and nostalgic musical poem, and the finale an elegiac and ambiguous postlude. Sinfonietta Riga; Normunds Sne (cor anglais).