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Vasks: Message


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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Oct. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Conifer
  • ASIN: B0000024DR
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,821 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Latvian composer Peteris Vasks still remains a relatively undersung talent, but this collection of pieces composed over a decade convey a clear 'Message' about his undoubted talent. Although he acknowledges the influences of Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki amongst others, his sound world is almost entirely his own, and much more melodic and cohesive, than the more difficult of these. Indeed, it is a haunting soundscape, drawn over slowly developed melodic lines, with key elements of a wistful, yearning quality, and a deep emotional undercurrent. Intriguingly, it balances a deeply felt emotion with a more austere, naked quality.
His concerns about nature infuse this atmospheric and richly imagined soundscape, from Cantabile for string orchestra, which opens with a fine shimmering from the upper strings, through the folk-song influenced Cor anglais Concerto, with its perky rhythmns and impulsive dashes. However, the really impressive substance to this disc comes from 'Message','Musica Dolorosa' and 'Lauda', the three longest pieces. The former opens gently, only to blaze into life with the entry of percussion and some icy glissandos from the two pianos: very invigorating. 'Musica Dolorosa' has deep notes of yearning and regret, in memory of Vasks' sister, while 'Lauda' is for me the standout piece, opening with a tolling bell (Arvo Part?), and with a slow, deep refrain which builds emotionally, calling to, and from, the heart with an insistent and irresistible cry, which leaves its mark long afterwards. This is music for the head as well as the heart, and repays repeated listening. If you enjoy Gorecki, Kancheli or Rautavarra, or just want to investigate some intelligent and moving alternatives to your current musical library, this will provide rich rewards. Strongly recommended, by the head and heart!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A good introduction to the composer 2 Sept. 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The music of the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks (b.1946) has been well served by Conifer, and it is certainly music worth getting to know, even if it exhibits a somewhat limited compositional range. This set emphasizes his accessible side (not that his music is very unapproachable anyway), and should appeal to people who appreciate the music of Pärt or Rautavaara. The Cantabile for strings (1979) is a typical example of his style; starting from emptiness and rising to the skies in busy, shimmering polyphonic textures.

The Cor Anglais Concerto (1989) is cast in four movements (including two elegies) and is generally wistfully bleak with a certain streak of nobility. Message (1982), on the other hand, is flickering candlelights and ominous shadows from the piano and percussion, adding soft strings to create some unusual textural effects gradually building to a chillingly triumphant ending. Musica dolorosa (1983) for strings and solo cello is a slow-moving, bleak elegy; dark and sad and without a glimmer of hope shining through the darkness. Lauda (1986) is in seven sections and employs aleatoric techniques. Starting slowly and sadly as usual, it builds up to a laudatory, elated anthem and again to a more frenzied, ecstatic part dominated by percussion before residing into a pastoral idyll.

Performances are generally good (Normunds Schnee is an impressive soloist in the concerto), but sounds a little rough at times - sometimes passages sound a little denser and less glittering than I think they could. Sound quality is mostly fine, however. In sum, this disc can be pretty strongly recommended as an introduction to the composer, and the music is certainly worth hearing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The heart will be answered 9 Sept. 2010
By Sentinel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Latvian composer Peteris Vasks still remains a relatively undersung talent, but this collection of pieces composed over a decade convey a clear 'Message' about his undoubted talent. Although he acknowledges the influences of Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki amongst others, his sound world is almost entirely his own, and much more melodic and cohesive, than the more difficult of these. Indeed, it is a haunting soundscape, drawn over slowly developed melodic lines, with key elements of a wistful, yearning quality, and a deep emotional undercurrent. Intriguingly, it balances a deeply felt emotion with a more austere, naked quality.
His concerns about nature infuse this atmospheric and richly imagined soundscape, from Cantabile for string orchestra, which opens with a fine shimmering from the upper strings, through the folk-song influenced Cor anglais Concerto, with its perky rhythmns and impulsive dashes. However, the really impressive substance to this disc comes from 'Message','Musica Dolorosa' and 'Lauda', the three longest pieces. The former opens gently, only to blaze into life with the entry of percussion and some icy glissandos from the two pianos: very invigorating. 'Musica Dolorosa' has deep notes of yearning and regret, in memory of Vasks' sister, while 'Lauda' is for me the standout piece, opening with a tolling bell (Arvo Part?), and with a slow, deep refrain which builds emotionally, calling to, and from, the heart with an insistent and irresistible cry, which leaves its mark long afterwards. This is music for the head as well as the heart, and repays repeated listening. If you enjoy Gorecki, Kancheli or Rautavarra, or just want to investigate some intelligent and moving alternatives to your current musical library, this will provide rich rewards. Strongly recommended, by the head and heart!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very Beautiful 22 Mar. 2009
By Joseph T. Madawela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The cor anglais is a most beautiful instrument and evokes the image of nature awakening to me. This conceto does that to me perfectly.
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