Latvian New Music Days 2014

Spīķeri Concert Hall, Riga Wings for the violoncello & accordion,TWOgether Duo (Poland)


Trešdien, 26. martā, plkst. 19.00 Spīķeru koncertzālē, Maskavas ielā 4/1

Piedalās: TWOgether Duo (Polija), Ēriks Kiršfelds (čells), Herta Hansena (klavieres)

Programmā: Maija Einfelde, Rafals Jaņaks, Hanna Kulenti, A. Novaks, Matiass Pinčers, Pjotrs Tabakerņiks, Anna Veismane

Anna Veismane: Wings

With the past few posts being consistently full of Lithuanian composers, you would be forgiven to think I am only going to discuss Lithuanians. Now GAIDA has finished, I thought this would be a great opportunity to discuss a recent Latvian gem I have uncovered.

The composer in question is Anna Veismane (1976*) a composer who I am surprised it took me so long to discover her. A pupil of Peteris Vasks and Romualds Kalsons, to name just two of her teachers. Her music and herself don’t need too much of an introduction, due mostly to the wonderful clarity in her work. But to show her off a bit, she has worked with ensembles and musicians all over the world like the North/South Chamber Orchestra (USA), Latvian Radio Choir, William Schimmel, and The Concorde Contemporary Music Ensemble, to name but a few. I have never really been fond of just quoting someone’s biography, but for me it simply highlights how many composers who are pretty busy writing for ensembles worldwide go under the radar, especially in the sheltered musical environment of Britain.

But I digress, today’s post is merely an introduction to one piece for cello and accordion called Wings. The work was written and performed by TWOgether duo, at the Latvian Music Days 2014. The second work by Veismane with the title, the first being a piece for solo flute. The duo is pretty captivating, starting with timid flashes and flutters of sound. Hearing the gestures pass from cello to accordion and vice versa is always fascinating, due to the quite dynamic separating the two instruments becomes almost impossible. Then suddenly a strong gesture from the cello bursts from the music into a beautiful frenzy, with small circling motifs combined with clusters in the accordion. The energy is slowly released, and the duo shimmer and die away into nothing.

The work isn’t overtly grand or revolutionary, but it is just a nice fresh piece of music. Every gesture and idea is refreshing to listen to and is something I have been listening to on loop for a fair while now. Its also always nice to just come across a gripping miniature. Sometimes the most gripping pieces of music are tiny, just look at Farben from Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, or Webern’s symphony.