Artūrs MASKATS (1958)

"Paris at night" for cello, piano and percussion

  • Premiere: November 13, 2017


Dedication to the french poet Jacques Prévert

“Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see your face in its entirety
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the darkness all around to remind me of all these
As I hold you in my arms.”

Jacques Prévert

Santa RATNIECE (1977)

"NATTERGALEN" for cello, piano and percussion (kalimba, tank-drum, marimba, cymbals)

  • Premiere: November 13, 2017


Georgs PELĒCIS (1947)

FIELD OF DANDELIONS  for cello, piano and vibraphone 

  • Premiere: May 8, 2017


Dandelions are not the first flowers to appear in Georgs Pelēcis’ music. He has written Lilac Gardens and Budding Jasmine for violin, vibraphone and string orchestra; he has also observed and recorded the sound of the Pastures of Ainaži and Autumn Landscapes. But the Field of Dandelions is dedicated to Art-i-Shock.

“Two things have always fascinated me about this phenomenon: on the one hand, its pastoral, naïve, innocent appearance; on the other hand, its extremely intense colours and big, strong temperament. I have tried to combine these two dimensions in my composition,”

says Pelēcis about the dandelion. At the beginning, his field of dandelions undulates between two vibraphone chords. The yellowness of the rippling field, expressed in the piano’s textures, becomes ever more transparent as the piece moves forward; in the conclusion, the pauses and breaks in sound take on ever greater meaning and must be played with the precision of flower petals.

About a third of the way through the work, a new theme appears in the piano part – an affirmative, upwardly moving motif, first in a major key and then in the parallel minor. With its laconic expression and harmonic simplicity, the theme could be the pride of any Neoclassical composer or, who knows, perhaps even the masters of past centuries. It is followed by a rustling swell – this time played by the cello – that develops into a fully saturated melody and culmination. 

The music’s forceful development paints a landscape in which the composer observes the dandelion field as if through a camera lens, first in close-up and then pulling back for the full image. This is idyllic simplicity framed in classic clarity and proportions. The blooming field of dandelions is caressed by the breeze, and a moment later one cannot tell anymore whether the movement of the flowers was real or just imagined. 

Pelēcis – that master of simple expression – observes the flowers, observes himself and records everything.

Text by Dāvis Eņģelis