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Pēteris Vasks (1946-    )

Pēteris Vasks, composerThe music of Latvian composer Peteris Vasks is often associated with his country's struggle for independence. Indeed, one of his best-known works, the symphony Voices (1990-1991), symbolically and historically reflects Latvia's final steps to freedom. Deeply rooted in the rich folk tradition of Latvia, Vasks' haunting composition invites the listener on a cyclical journey from the timeless beauty of nature's voices emerging from silence to the heartrending cacophony of despair and back to the tranquility of silence. Critics who discuss Vasks in the context of his Latvian inspiration and artistic debt to Witold Lutoslawski nevertheless acknowledge his originality, his characteristic soulfulness, and melodic subtlety, as well as a universality of expression that identifies Vasks as a major European composer. Vasks, who studied the double bass at the Lithuanian State Conservatory from 1964 to 1970, worked as an orchestra musician in the 1960s and 1970s. Vasks studied composition with Valentinus Utkins, at the Latvian State Conservatory in Riga, graduating in 1978. Working as a composer since the late '70s, Vasks has forged an original musical style, which commentators have described as spiritual, powerfully evocative, and richly expressive. Vasks' entire oeuvre is informed by the tragic dichotomy between humanistic ideals, symbolized by the vastness of nature and the historical realities of violence and despair. Vasks teaches composition at the Emil Darzins Music School in Riga.
-  Zoran Minderovic/AllMusic

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Vasks Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre    ~ ~ ~    Vasks on Vasks
Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano (1973)
Music for Two Pianos (1974)
Partita, cello and piano (1974; rev. 2001)
Chamber Music, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and percussion (1975)
Ugunssargs (Fire Watchman), chorus (1975)
Māte saule (Mother Sun), chorus (1975)
Liepa (The Lime-Tree), ballad, female chorus (1975)
Little Concerto, voice, conductor and composer (1976)
Cycle, piano (1976)
Ar laiku puķes vīst (With Time Flowers Wilt), madrigal, chorus (1976)
Toccata, 2 pianos (1977)
String Quartet No. 1 (1977)
Ne tikai lirika (Not Only Poetry), choral cycle, female chorus (1977)
Mūzika aizlidojušajiem putniem (Music for Fleeting Birds), flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1977)
Mūsu māšu vārdi (Our Mothers’ Names), ballad, male chorus (1977)
Moments Musicaux, clarinet (1977)
In memoriam, 2 pianos (1977)
Vasara (Summer), female chorus (1978)
Kantāte sievietēm (Cantata for Women), soprano, chorus and orchestra (1978)
Grāmata čellam (Book for Cello), cello (1978)
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, piano (1978)
Concerto vocale, chorus (1978)
Baltais fragments (White Fragment), male chorus (1978)
Trīs skatieni/Trīsvienība (Three Gazes/Trinity), open instrumental group(1979)
Klusās dziesmas (Silent Songs), choral cycle, chorus (1979)
Concerto for Timpani and Percusion Instruments (1979)
Cantabile, string orchestra (1979)
Skumjā māte (Sad Mother), female chorus (1980)
Cantata, harpsichord (1980)
Baltā ainava (White Scenery), (1980)
Ainava ar putniem (Landscape with Birds), flute (1980)
Zīles ziņa (Message of a Bird), ballad, female chorus (1981)
Rudens klaviermūzika (Quasi una sonata) [Autumn Piano Music], piano (1981)
Ķekatu dziesma (Carnival Song), female chorus (1981)
Ganu dziesma (Shepherd’s Song), female chorus (1981)
Vēstījums (Message), string orchestra, percussion and 2 pianos (1982)
Pieskārieni (Touches), oboe (1982)
Mūzika aizgājušajam draugam (In Memory of a Friend), flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1982)
Musica dolorosa, string orchestra (1983)
Three Folk Song Arrangements, voice, flute, cello and piano (1984)
String Quartet No. 2, "Vasaras dziedājumi" (Summer Songs) (1984)
Cantus ad pacem, concerto for organ (1984)
Mazā vasaras mūzika (Little Summer Music), violin and piano (1985)
Episodi e Canto perpetuo, violin, cello and piano (1985)
Sonata, solo double bass (1986)
Lauda per orchestra (1986)
Pavasara sonāte (Spring Sonata), string sextet (1987)
Latvija, chamber cantata, soprano, flute, bells and piano (1987)
Mūsu dziesma (Our Song), female chorus (1988)
Musique du soir, horn and organ (1988)
Musica seria, organ (1988)
Mazi silti svētki (A Moment of Celebration), female chorus (1988)
Povorot syuzheta, film score (1988)
Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra (1989)
Zemgale, dramatic poem, chorus (1989)
Varonis (The Hero), chorus (1989)
Vientulības sonāte (The Sonata of Loneliness), guitar (1990)
Savā tautā (In his Nation), chorus (1990)
Symphony No. 1 Balsis (Voices), string orchestra (1991)
Te Deum, organ (1991)
Pater Noster, chorus (1991)
Sonata for Flute (1992)
Izdegušās zemes ainavas (Landscapes of the Burnt-out Earth), fantasy, piano (1992)
Litene, ballad, 12-voiced chorus (1993)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1994)
Three Poems, 4 voices or chorus (1995)
String Quartet No. 3 (1995)
Pavasara klaviermūzika (Quasi una sonata) [Spring Piano Music], piano (1995)
Musica adventus, string orchestra (1996)
Dona nobis pacem, chorus and organ (or seven instruments; or string orchestra (1996)
Adagio, string orchestra (1996)
Distant Light, concerto for violin and string orchestra (1997)
Balsis klusumā (Voices in the Quiet), 6 solo voices and female chorus (vocalize) (1997)
Symphony No. 2, orchestra (1998)
String Quartet No. 4 (2000)
Missa (Mass), chorus (2000) [arr. for chorus and string orchestra/or organ, 2005]
Pater Noster, chorus and string orchestra (2000)
Quartet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2001)
Viatore, organ or string orchestra (2001)
Sibirijas berni, TV documentary film score (2001)
Musica appassionata, string orchestra (2002)
Līdzenuma ainavas (Plainscapes), chorus (vocalize), violin and cello (2002)
Bass Trip, double bass (2003)
Sibirijas dienasgramatas, documentary film score (2003)
String Quartet No. 5 (2004)
Symphony No. 3, orchestra (2005)
Canto di forza, 12 cellos (2005) [also arr. for organ, 2006]
Sala (Island), Symphonic Elegy, orchestra (2006)
Mūsu māšu vārdi (Our Mothers’ Names), ballad, chorus (2006)
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (2008)
Piedzimšana (Birth), chorus (2008)
Vasaras vakara mūzika (Music for a Summer Evening) piano (2009)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                                Vasks Links    ~ ~ ~    Vasks on Vasks     ~ top of page ~
Orchestra
Cantabile, string orchestra (1979)
Vēstījums (Message), string orchestra, percussion and 2 pianos (1982)
Musica dolorosa, string orchestra (1983)
Lauda per orchestra (1986)
Symphony No. 1 Balsis (Voices), string orchestra (1991)
Musica adventus, string orchestra (1996)
Adagio, string orchestra (1996)
Symphony No. 2, orchestra (1998)
Viatore, organ or string orchestra (2001)
Musica appassionata, string orchestra (2002)
Symphony No. 3, orchestra (2005)
Sala (Island), Symphonic Elegy, orchestra (2006)

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Concerto for Timpani and Percusion Instruments (1979)
Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra (1989)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1994)
Distant Light, concerto for violin and string orchestra (1997)
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (2008)

Chorus w/Orchestra
Kantāte sievietēm (Cantata for Women), soprano, chorus and orchestra (1978)
Dona nobis pacem, chorus and organ (or seven instruments; or string orchestra (1996)
Pater Noster, chorus and string orchestra (2000)
Missa (Mass), chorus (2000) [arr. for chorus and string orchestra/or organ, 2005]

Choral
Ugunssargs (Fire Watchman), chorus (1975)
Māte saule (Mother Sun), chorus (1975)
Liepa (The Lime-Tree), ballad, female chorus (1975)
Ar laiku puķes vīst (With Time Flowers Wilt), madrigal, chorus (1976)
Ne tikai lirika (Not Only Poetry), choral cycle, female chorus (1977)
Mūsu māšu vārdi (Our Mothers’ Names), ballad, male chorus (1977)
Vasara (Summer), female chorus (1978)
Concerto vocale, chorus (1978)
Baltais fragments (White Fragment), male chorus (1978)
Klusās dziesmas (Silent Songs), choral cycle, chorus (1979)
Skumjā māte (Sad Mother), female chorus (1980)
Zīles ziņa (Message of a Bird), ballad, female chorus (1981)
Ķekatu dziesma (Carnival Song), female chorus (1981)
Ganu dziesma (Shepherd’s Song), female chorus (1981)
Mūsu dziesma (Our Song), female chorus (1988)
Mazi silti svētki (A Moment of Celebration), female chorus (1988)
Zemgale, dramatic poem, chorus (1989)
Varonis (The Hero), chorus (1989)
Savā tautā (In his Nation), chorus (1990)
Pater Noster, chorus (1991)
Litene, ballad, 12-voiced chorus (1993)
Three Poems, 4 voices or chorus (1995)
Dona nobis pacem, chorus and organ (or seven instruments; or string orchestra (1996)
Balsis klusumā (Voices in the Quiet), 6 solo voices and female chorus (vocalize) (1997)
Missa (Mass), chorus (2000) [arr. for chorus and string orchestra/or organ, 2005]
Līdzenuma ainavas (Plainscapes), chorus (vocalize), violin and cello (2002)
Mūsu māšu vārdi (Our Mothers’ Names), ballad, chorus (2006)
Piedzimšana (Birth), chorus (2008)

Chamber
Chamber Music, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and percussion (1975)
String Quartet No. 1 (1977)
Mūzika aizlidojušajiem putniem (Music for Fleeting Birds), flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1977)
Trīs skatieni/Trīsvienība (Three Gazes/Trinity), open instrumental group(1979)
Concerto for Timpani and Percusion Instruments (1979)
Mūzika aizgājušajam draugam (In Memory of a Friend), flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1982)
String Quartet No. 2, "Vasaras dziedājumi" (Summer Songs) (1984)
Episodi e Canto perpetuo, violin, cello and piano (1985)
Pavasara sonāte (Spring Sonata), string sextet (1987)
String Quartet No. 3 (1995)
String Quartet No. 4 (2000)
Quartet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2001)
String Quartet No. 5 (2004)
Canto di forza, 12 cellos (2005) [also arr. for organ, 2006]

Solo Instrument
Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano (1973)
Partita, cello and piano (1974; rev. 2001)
Moments Musicaux, clarinet (1977)
Grāmata čellam (Book for Cello), cello (1978)
Ainava ar putniem (Landscape with Birds), flute (1980)
Pieskārieni (Touches), oboe (1982)
Mazā vasaras mūzika (Little Summer Music), violin and piano (1985)
Sonata, solo double bass (1986)
Musique du soir, horn and organ (1988)
Vientulības sonāte (The Sonata of Loneliness), guitar (1990)
Sonata for Flute (1992)
Bass Trip, double bass (2003)

Piano/Harpsichord
Music for Two Pianos (1974)
Cycle, piano (1976)
Toccata, 2 pianos (1977)
In memoriam, 2 pianos (1977)
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, piano (1978)
Cantata, harpsichord (1980)
Baltā ainava (White Scenery), piano (1980)
Rudens klaviermūzika (Quasi una sonata) [Autumn Piano Music], piano (1981)
Izdegušās zemes ainavas (Landscapes of the Burnt-out Earth), fantasy, piano (1992)
Pavasara klaviermūzika (Quasi una sonata) [Spring Piano Music], piano (1995)
Vasaras vakara mūzika (Music for a Summer Evening) piano (2009)

Organ
Cantus ad pacem, concerto for organ (1984)
Musica seria, organ (1988)
Te Deum, organ (1991)
Viatore, organ or string orchestra (2001)
Canto di forza, organ (2006) [arr. from work for 12 cellos]

Vocal
Little Concerto, voice, conductor and composer (1976)
Three Folk Song Arrangements, voice, flute, cello and piano (1984)
Latvija, chamber cantata, soprano, flute, bells and piano (1987)

Film
Povorot syuzheta, film score (1988)
Sibirijas berni, TV documentary film score (2001)
Sibirijas dienasgramatas, documentary film score (2003)


VASKS  LINKS                                                                         Works by Genre    ~ ~ ~    Vasks on Vasks     ~ top of page ~
Peteris Vasks and Latvian Mimimalism: Musica Dolorosa (1983) (factoidz.com)

Composer website (at Schott Music)   . . .   contact Pēteris Vasks:  here
Composer website (at Latvian Music Information Center)
Composer website (by Onno van Rijen)

Vasks @ Wikipedia
Vasks @ Answers.com
Vasks @ Cantatica
Vasks @ Classical Archives
Vasks @ Classical Composers Database
Vasks @ Classical Net
Vasks @ ClassicsToday
Vasks @ composition:today
Vasks @ Facebook
Vasks @ The Flying Inkpot
Vasks @ IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
Vasks @ InstantEncore
Vasks @ Klassika
Vasks @ Latvian Music Information Centre
Vasks @ Los Angeles Philharmonic    also    here
Vasks @ Music in Latvia
Vasks @ MusicWeb International
Vasks @ MySpaceMusic
Vasks @ Naxos
Vasks @ The New York Times
Vasks @ On an Overgrown Path
Vasks @ Ondine Records
Vasks @ Phoenix USA
Vasks @ Schott Music
Vasks @ SFGate
Vasks @ Singers.com
Vasks @ Kile Smith
Vasks @ Onno van Rijen's Composers Page
Vasks @ Wergo

Publisher
Vasks @ Alphonse Leduc
Vasks @ Deutscher Verlag fur Musik
Vasks @ Muzyka
Vasks @ Ricordi
Vasks @ G. Schirmer
Vasks @ Schott Music
Vasks @ Sikorski
Vasks @ Sovetskij Kompozitor

Streaming Audio
Vasks @ Composer website (at Schott Music)
Vasks @ Aural Pleasure
Vasks @ Classical Archives
Vasks @ last.fm
Vasks @ MySpaceMusic
Vasks @ Rhapsody.com

Recordings
Vasks @ ArkivMusic
Vasks @ ClassicsOnline
Vasks @ Discogs
Vasks @ Ondine Records
Vasks @ Phoenix USA
Vasks @ Wergo

Video
Vasks @ YouTube
Vasks @ Google Video

                                                                                                                                                                                           ~ top of page ~
Vasks on Vasks: With the Navarra String Quartet (VIDEO)


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