Peteris Vasks: Violin Concerto 'Distant Light'; Musica Dolorosa; Viatore

Peteris Vasks: Violin Concerto 'Distant Light'; Musica Dolorosa; Viatore

by Katarina Andreasson


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Peteris Vasks: Violin Concerto 'Distant Light'; Musica Dolorosa; Viatore

Latvian composer Peteris Vasks seems to have his finger placed firmly on the pulse of an aspect of postmodern European classical music that goes right to the heart of Europe's people. Vasks has said "I have always dreamt that my music would be heard where people were unhappy: in hospitals and prisons, in crowded trains and buses. My music is intended for a large number of people, and not just the audiences at concert halls." That his work is meeting the requirements he has set for it is borne out by the number of recordings Vasks has earned this far. BIS' Peteris Vasks: Distant Light, performed with knowing sensitivity, restraint, and aplomb by Katarina Andreasson and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, contains the fourth recording of Vasks' violin concerto "Distant Light," only composed for Gidon Kremer in 1997, and the fifth of his "Musica Dolorosa." The real element that makes the BIS disc essential and sets it apart from the others is the premiere, "Viatore," a work that has universal appeal and really should be added to the playlists of classical radio stations everywhere. All of the performances are quite good and stand up to, and in some cases exceed, the standard established by the recordings already available. "Viatore," however is a real gem -- it is a somber piece, based in a ritornello form and played quietly throughout. Each time the ritornello "returns," the basic phrase that makes up the piece is altered in some way, achieving a sense of the minimal without resorting to the clichés of textbook minimalism. "Viatore" seems to correspond directly to Vasks' idea of music that reaches out to persons in unhappy, or merely uncomfortable, situations and lifts them up a little bit -- not through music that is bright that counters the mood, but through something that is a little in that depressed frame of mind, just not as dark. Distant Light is an appropriate title for the CD as a whole, as it is like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel; it is very hopeful music, but does not seek hope assertively -- it is tempered by a sense of reason, hope as held in check. For those who are looking for a little light in their lives, but not too much, Distant Light may prove a revelation, and it is good listening no matter what one may need it for.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/01/2005
Label: Bis
UPC: 7318590011508
catalogNumber: 1150
Rank: 188205


  1. Distant Light (Violin Concerto)
  2. Musica Dolorosa for string orchestra
  3. Viatore, for string orchestra

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