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The names of Latvian performers Mariss Jansons, Gidon Kremer, Andris Nelsons and Elina Garanèa are familiar to the music world, but the names of Latvian composers remain largely unknown. A new label, the brainchild of clarinetist Egils Šefers, aims to change that, with a mission to bring the very best of Latvian classical music to audiences around the world.
As the Latvian nation anticipates the centenary of its independence in 2018, SKANI -
“It is our wish to inform people all over the world about the rich musical heritage of our small but tenacious nation on the shores of the Baltic Sea.”
Nature and The Soul presents the music of four significant Latvian choral composers, performed by the internationally acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir. Their Director Kaspars Putninš describes the album as a love letter to Latvia, a return to a collective musical heritage, a kind of childhood home of imagery, sound and colour.
The album takes the listener back to the first decade of the 20th century when, like many other smaller European nations, Latvian music was in its prime. It presents a small, but characteristic segment of the path taken by Latvian choral music in its development.
Almost half of the music is by Jazeps Vitols (1863-
Emils Darzinš (1875-
Nature and The Soul presents the music of four significant Latvian choral composers, performed by the internationally acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir.UK release date 18 August, 2017.
Prom 38: Rachmaninov
21:45 Sun 13 Aug 2017
Royal Albert Hall
Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Kļava director
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Nature and the Soul is the sixth release in Skani’s Centennial series. The first five albums are: Northwind with the Carion Quintet, Fruit of Silence with the Latvian radio choir, Sound of Freedom with Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Latvian Songs with bass-
Darzinš and Ivanovs with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, featuring Reinis Zarinš. The Latvian Radio Choir make three appearances at the BBC Proms in 2017, performing Russian Orthodox chant in Prom 37 on 13 August (televised), followed by Rachmaninov’s Vespers in the late-
Prom 38: Rachmaninov – All-
Hailed as ‘the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church’, Rachmaninov’s All-
Sung unaccompanied, the Vigil is a choral tour de force, pushing the singers to the limits of both range and dynamics. The effect is strikingly dramatic, encompassing the ecstatic choral celebration of the Resurrection Hymn ‘Today salvation has come’ and the infinite tenderness of the ‘Ave Maria’.