Juris KARLSONS (1948)

CONCERTO for cello, piano, percussion and orchestra

I  Allegro
II Andante
III Allegro – Andante – Allegro


  • Premiere:                                                         In Riga, January 6, 2016                             With Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Andris Poga       


Kristaps PĒTERSONS (1982)

"Z.I.E.M.A" - Zigzagging Images and the Elements of the Melancholic Actuality

for cello, piano, marimba and vibraphone, double-bass, electronics and DJ
  • Premiere: March 5, 2016


Kristaps Pētersons’ compositional language is informationally dense, multi-layered in content and unusually beautiful in its individual mastery.  Possibly more multifaceted than any of his other compositions, Z.I.E.M.A. is saturated with cultural references, which direct its dramatic development and very visual language. 

The main reference is to Schubert’s Die Winterreise cycle of songs set to the poems of Wilhelm Müller, but it is definitely not the only one. Winter, snow and cold become metaphors and symbols for solitude in the poems by British and American poets that Pētersons has chosen. But the use of these poems is playful, similar to the play on words in the acronym of the work’s title (ziema is the Latvian word for winter). A dialogue forms between the poetry and the conversations, which have, in turn, been inspired by American cinematography. The episodes in the composition follow each other like frames in a film. A number of characters recite the German Romantic poetry and take part in the conversations: two killers, a stranger, m-s sunshine, Marusha and the servant. “Taken altogether, you almost get something similar to a silent movie. But it’s the opposite, because there’s sound. So, in fact you get a blind movie,”says Pētersons.

Scenario of the piece is here.

Text by Dāvis Eņģelis

Platons BURAVICKIS (1989)

"VOLTAGE" for cello, piano and drum-set

  • Premiere: March 5, 2016


If we can speak about a new wave in the field of Latvian composers, then one of the most powerful carriers of this wave is Platons Buravickis. In addition to classical statements, he also improvises ferociously at the piano and plays electronic music in underground clubs. And his CV is not complete without mention of his work experience in shipbuilding and cement factories.

In Voltage, Buravickis has for the first time brought all of the aspects of his creative style together in one piece. It begins with several fragmented motifs, including everything from terse melodic impulses to factory noises heard within the scattered texture. 

In this piece, the boundary between the classical and the popular dissolves. In terms of timbre and energy, the cello solos resemble the shredding and overdrive of a hard-rock electric guitar; the piano ostinato is like the repeated phrases, or riffs, in rock and pop music; even the drum set can be interpreted as an allusion to rock music; and the rhythmic energy equals that of a dance club on a Friday night. And all of that in concentrated form and written with the flourish of a master.
 Buravickis manifests, cements and dismantles in music. Yet he is also an exquisite observer and tries to achieve naturally flowing lines in his compositions. 

Regarding Voltage, he says:“It’s a message about the pressure that acts upon a person and is brought on by external conditions. The complicated, irregular rhythms dominate at the beginning of the piece – they’re like the leitmotif of this pressure. It’s as if they strangle the person’s still-unformed leitmotif, his fragmented ‘melody’. And then the battle begins, during which it turns out that the person himself is creating the pressure, and actually there’s really no such thing as pressure; there’s just the person and his emotions, complicated thoughts and unusual actions. The person and his energy, his creative voltage.”

Text by Dāvis Eņģelis