Latvija Choir and conductor Māris Sirmais are set to present a brilliant selection of choral pieces by prominent Latvian diaspora composers. The Canada-based Imants Ramiņš (Imant Raminsh) will be represented with two melodious motets dedicated to the sacrifice of Christ, compassion, love and God.
It was also in Canada that Tālivaldis Ķeniņš, one of the most professional, skilful and diverse Latvian composers, held in high esteem by his numerous Canadian students and colleagues, spent a large part of his lifetime. We are going to listen to the subtle miniature Foreign Gardens and the ballad In a Sunken Castle, a dedication to the composer’s father, the poet Atis Ķeniņš. Both songs were dear and particularly significant to Tālivaldis Ķeniņš: the sound of these two emotional strings ‒ his father and Latvia, his native land that he had lost ‒ was always filled with light yet also somewhat dolorously subdued for him, generally a rational and life-affirming man.
To make the list of Canadian Latvians longer, we are going to add Jānis Kalniņš with his rapturous portrait of a snow-covered city, The Snowed-Up City, that, set to a vividly image-filled poem by Jānis Sudrabkalns, unfolds in front of our eyes like a painting by Ludolfs Liberts.
Then ‒ the former Londoner Alberts Jērums. His contribution to the exile choral culture and preservation of the Song Celebration tradition is invaluable. However, we have not yet quite found the key to his distinctive filigree music. Jērums wrote as a modernist recluse, and there is a lot to reconsider and rediscover in his legacy ‒ including his choral music, represented this time by his exuberant Rejoicing and the somewhat more meditative Snowfall in the Valley and To Night alongside his probably the most famous song, Bird of the Distant Garden.
Choral music will alternate with interplay between the trumpet and the organ. For this occasion, the choice of musicians Jānis Porietis and Ilze Reine has stopped at the Cēsis-born Alfrēds Kalniņš; Maija Enfelde, marking her 80th birth anniversary this year; the old master Romualds Kalsons and the prominent exile composer Helmers Pavasars.