Liepāja Concerti II — ANDRIS DZENĪTIS (b.1978) : First Liepāja Concerto for Piano and Orchestra "Duality", KRISTAPS PĒTERSONS (b.1982) : Second Liepāja Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, ANDRIS VECUMNIEKS (b.1964) : Fifth Liepāja Concerto "Concertino Art-i-Shock", PLATON BURAVICKIS (b.1989) : Eleventh Liepāja Concerto for Voice and Orchestra, ARTURS MASKATS (b.1957) : Twelfth Liepāja Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Kristīne Blaumane - cello, 
Vestards Šimkus - piano, 
Reinis Zariņš - piano, 
Art-i-Shock - chamber ensemble, 
Julianna Bavarska - soprano, 
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra , Atvars Lakstīgala - conductor 2CDs

Catalogue Number: 09Z030

Label: Skani

Reference: LMIC065

Format: CD

Price: $21.98

Description: The Liepāja Concerti were a commission by the city for twelve Latvian composers to present their reflections about Liepāja. Pētersons' cello concerto combines a degree of modernism with highly expressive post-romanticism. The composer tells us that "the main vision is an individual’s game with her own imagination. This individual is personified by the soloist, her imagination is the orchestra. The structure of the piece is developed like a string of resounding spaces in the form of a Möbius strip: B–E♭–E–C / C–A♭–G–B. It’s a space that is impossible to escape from – just like a person cannot escape from him- or herself." Much of the work is not so very far from the world of Shostakovich, in its drawn-out, plaintive lines, though Pētersons does make sporadic use of noise textures, for which he seems almost apologetic in his notes. Several extended passages are anchored by pulsating ostinati, lending an insistent urgency to the music. The First Liepāja Concerto is Dzenītis' large-scale piano concerto, "Duality". The composer says: “It seems that the root of all suffering, torment and misunderstanding is the dividing of any single thing into two seemingly different things. The body and soul, the human and divine, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, the ethical and unethical, love and hate – the extraction of these concepts supposedly implies something higher and lower, ideal versus undeveloped, without even permitting the possibility that EVERYTHING is basically ONE and unaware that it is our every breath and our own life that is the true God, which exists within us instead of somewhere in a mysterious heaven. The essence of the ‘Duality’ concerto becomes apparent in the voluminous cadence that sets in following the extreme anarchy in the middle of the composition in which the orchestral material transforms into a tuning of the instruments. This cadence forms the cohesive substance between two worlds, after which the contrasts are no longer as sharp and pronounced; this is now a different space, a different field – the next step closer to unity and peace.” The 40+ minute work is played without pause, but is clearly subdivided into distinct sections. The music is grounded in tonality, though with ample dissonance in some sections, especially the "anarchic" passage to which the composer refers, and strident, vehemently aggressive music is set in opposition to utter stasis and immobility. What amounts to a belligerent scherzo, a pitched battle between soloist and orchestra, is the central climax of the concerto, after which the ten-minute solo cadenza explodes onto the scene, a demented toccata full of relentless hammering, clusters, and unyielding virtuosity. Eventually, the furious energy burns itself out, to give way to fragmentary gestures, and an exhausted calm settles over the music. After the orchestra re-enters, with a strained, high cluster, the remaining third of the work is spent in seeking a reconciliation between the opposing forces, in slowly shifting tintinnabulary textures.


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