Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Pēteris Vasks

  1. #1
    Senior Member andruini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bat Country
    Posts
    716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Pēteris Vasks


    Pēteris Vasks (born April 16, 1946) is a Latvian composer.

    Vasks was born in Aizpute, Latvia, into the family of a Baptist pastor. He trained as a double-bass player, and played in several Latvian orchestras before entering the State Conservatory in Vilnius in the neighboring Lithuania to study composition, as he was prevented from doing this in Latvia due to Soviet repressive policy toward Baptists. He started to become known outside Latvia in the 1990s, when Gidon Kremer started championing his works and now is one of the most influential and praised European contemporary composers.
    Vasks' early style owed much to the aleatoric experiments of Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and George Crumb. Later works included elements of Latvian folk music, such as his gentle and pastoral cor anglais concerto (1989). His works are generally extremely clear and communicative, with a solid and muscular sense of harmony. Lyrical passages may be followed by agitated dissonances, or interrupted by sombre sections with a march-like feel. He made extensive use of minimalist techniques as well, but never became a slave to any particular method.
    Vasks feels strongly about environmental issues, and a sense of nature both pristine and destroyed can be found in many of his works, such as the String Quartet No. 2 (1984). Other important works include Cantabile (1979) and Musica dolorosa (1984) and "Bass Trip" (2003) for solo double bass . He has written five string quartets, the fourth (2003) and fifth (2006) of which were written for the Kronos Quartet. Vasks was the recipient of the Vienna Herder Award in 1996 and the Latvian Grand Music Award in 1997, the latter for his violin concerto Tālā Gaisma (1996-7). His important works also include "Viatore", Symphony #2, "Music for a deceased Friend", etc.

    (from Wikipedia)

    I recently discovered his music with the CD that includes Musica Adventus, Viatore and the concerto for Cor Anglais.. Viatore is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.. It moved me in such a profound way.. I hadn't reacted this way to music in a long time.. It's so wonderfully modern, yet so at the core of human emotion, and with such a gorgeous sense of harmony.. I heartily recommend this composer! Such a pleasant surprise..

    Anyone have any comments on him??
    Life is a long lesson in humility.

  2. Likes science, Blake liked this post
  3. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I need to checkout his work. There seems to be a good bit in the way of recordings, so I'll definitely check him out.

    He's Latvian too, so this will be quite interesting, because I know of no other Latvian composers.

  4. #3
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    836
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    There is a clip of Gunars Upatnieks playing Bass Trip on Youtube. This was a commission fro the Munich international competition in 2000 (? I think) and is really not too dificult but it is ten minutes of emotional turmoil which can be quite tiring!
    FC

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    As a Latvian I could try to show Pēteris Vasks from my point of view. (I also used information from www.music.lv). I will also show You available links and some of the best examples of his music.



    He always was against soviet system and it's aggression etc. But he never made his music offensive. Rather he was including semantic meaning in music - using chorals, songs of a birds, motives or characters of Latvian folk songs etc.

    After soviet times the main idea still is the same - spirituality over everything. His father was a pastor, so Christian ideology and point of view is all over his music. The greatest inspiration Vasks finds in nature. He also feels closer to God in nature than in church.


    Main topics in his music are:

    - Latvian nation, its faith. Homeland. Also history of it. His music uses folk motives. But he rather uses intonation and a feeling of folk music than excerptions of it.

    - Beauty of nature. Seasons of a year, voices of birds etc.
    Example: Piano cycle "Seasons". Our pianist Vestard Shimkus in world premiere:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arbAgHGxs0Y

    - Birds are symbols of time, nature, life and freedon in Vasks music. Unlike O.Messiaen, Vasks doesn't use voices of specific birds. They are just associative.
    Example: Landscape with birds for flute solo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14NMLXx8cos

    - Existence of human, life as a wonder. Also the presence of death.
    Example: Musica Dolorosa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcukt4pi6I0

    - Silence. You can find a lot of extreme silent examples in his music.

    - Light in all possible types. Usually gentle, radiant. As a hope, as a way out, as a faith or conviction.
    Example: Violin concerto "Distant Light" (1997 Latvian Grand Music Award for it)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S7Tmb3GV2o


    Peteris Vasks has always composed for the listener. This fact became most apparent after 1990, when, thanks to the Schott Publishing Company (Germany) his scores became readily available, CD's began to be recorded and released and such renowned musicians as violinist Gidon Kremer, Finnish conductor Juha Kangass, cellist David Geringas and the Hilliard Ensemble began to take notice. A whole new world was also opened for Vasks' music through the Bill T. Jones Dance Troupe (U.S.) and the Netherlands Ballet Theater. (took from music.lv)

    Also Kronos Quartet has made recordings of Peteris Vasks string quartets:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQBLCeg5UtM

    Very remarkable work is "Book for solo cello". Example - 2nd part Pianissimo:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YAJwxJ58hA


    Of course, this is only a brief information. But I hope that it will help You to understand this composer a little bit better.

    If You have any questions - please, feel free to ask. I can try to answer.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    La Mesa, CA
    Posts
    2,730
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I heard this composer recently on the local PBS station. Good stuff. Modernist without being too wacky.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,246
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've only heard his violin concerto, mentioned above, which sounded interesting...

  8. #7
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kampen (NL)
    Posts
    4,296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    One of my favourite contemporary composers. I particularly like the cor anglais concerto.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

  9. #8
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,511
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I enjoyed some of his chamber music but his writing for piano is disaster just like it is with every minimalistic geezer

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    381
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Since I'm going to a concert where they'll be playing his violin concerto Tālā Gaisma next year, I looked it up on youtube.

    At first I was hesistant, not sure where it was going (and perhaps I am a bit skeptical of modern art music, perhaps), but I was quickly sold over. This piece is amazing! Love that solo violin!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q_9-rHqTzM

    I wonder if this is my current favorite 'modern' piece.
    Last edited by Llyranor; May-12-2012 at 01:40.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Chrythes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Somewhere in nowhere
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've only heard his Piano Trio. Maybe I'm biased because I'm for art that comes from my Baltic brothers, but I honestly think his piano trio is a very fine chamber music piece!

  12. #11
    Senior Member cjvinthechair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wiltshire, England
    Posts
    489
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Happy to find a thread to this excellent (among many other excellent) Baltic composer. Perhaps particularly love his choral works, & thoroughly appreciated the efforts of Arturs to educate us a bit about the other influences on him.
    Any other Baltic composers that anyone fancies championing ? I'll certainly log on to such a thread !

  13. #12
    Senior Member quack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mvmt II. Largo e Spiccato
    Posts
    1,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If you like choral and you like baltic then these 3 CDs are for you (assuming you don't already know them) with lots of different composers:
    Attachment 7542

    There is a wealth of polish composers but one interesting choral CD I was just listening to recently is by the film composer Wojciech Kilar, kinda like Penderecki lite:
    Attachment 7543

  14. #13
    Senior Member cjvinthechair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wiltshire, England
    Posts
    489
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    If you like choral and you like baltic then these 3 CDs are for you (assuming you don't already know them) with lots of different composers:
    Attachment 7542

    There is a wealth of polish composers but one interesting choral CD I was just listening to recently is by the film composer Wojciech Kilar, kinda like Penderecki lite:

    Most kind of you to take the trouble to send me the attachments; sadly, when I tried to open them, I was told they were invalid - probably not allowed in my 'rookie' status. Nevertheless, as requested, I've notified the Administrator, & will wait a while to see if anything transpires.

    I do have one or two 'general' Baltic CDs, picked up cheaply on E-bay, & of Kilar I have the 'Konig der letzten Tage', 'Missa pro Pace' & 'Exodus', so have some idea of his work.
    Any particular names on the Baltic disks that I may not have met yet would be much appreciated ! Many thanks.
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Aug-27-2012 at 05:37. Reason: fixed quote tag
    Clive

  15. #14
    Senior Member quack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mvmt II. Largo e Spiccato
    Posts
    1,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hmm strange my pictures aren't working properly they were supposed to be the Baltic Voices CDs http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00.../ref=dm_sp_alb and this CD from Kilar http://www.amazon.com/Wojciech-Kilar.../dp/B00005UO8R

  16. #15
    Senior Member cjvinthechair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wiltshire, England
    Posts
    489
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    Hmm strange my pictures aren't working properly they were supposed to be the Baltic Voices CDs http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00.../ref=dm_sp_alb and this CD from Kilar http://www.amazon.com/Wojciech-Kilar.../dp/B00005UO8R
    These links work just fine, thanks ! Yes, Tormis & Sandstrom I could do with acquainting myself with; & see if Angelus and Krzesany are to be found on YT; great !
    Clive

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •