Thursday, April 01, 2010

Arvo Pärt and Peteris Vasks - the border music between Northren and Slavic climate

Today's concert at Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic brought to us the climate of Baltic countries - countries suspended between Scandinavian and Slavic nature, culture and in particular - their music.
Famous Arvo Pärt - Estonian composer, who for many years has been my favorite composer of our time, composed Lamentate in 2002.



This 10 part suite was composed as a homage to Anish Kapoor and his famous sculpture "Marsyas" - the largest sculpture ever displayed at Tate Gallery. The music is special and in some sense it dwells on another boundary - between typical Pärt's minimalism and much richer orchestration of his later compositions. The beautiful piano part, has much of a space between sounds, so much of silence - and is just breathtaking.

In perception it is indeed as from "lamentate" but lamentate for living - not for dead.

For this concert, the conductor, Daniel Raiskin asked Ralph van Raat to replace ill Alexei Lubimov (famous pianist known from original ECM recording). Ralph's performance was just great and deep - so unexpectedly but luckily we had chance to meet this great pianist.

The music of Latvian Peteris Vasks was new to me. I must admit - I never heard before about him. So today's discovery is of some mysterious significance. His music, though secular on the surface, is deeply religious in a very broad sense - not being tied to any particular creed.

Lodz's Rubinstein orchestra played his Symphony No. 2 . I can't express in words the beauty of this symphony. As in the title of this post - the music is a kind of bridge between cultures. I heard notes of warm Slavic folk music overlapped with cold minimalism of the North.

Peters Vasks was in the concert hall. He was called by Daniel Raiskin to the stage - and we all were deeply moved and affected by his modesty and unpretentiousness....

This was great concert...

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