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NEW ALBUM: Lūcija Garūta. Apple Tree

3. November, 2023

The national record label SKANi has released an album of choral songs by composer Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977), recorded by the Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Sigvards Kļava. The album is the result of research to create a catalog of a cappella choral songs, bringing together various materials from public and private collections.
The album "Ābele" includes both the best-known a cappella choral works by Lūcija Garūta and the first recordings of several previously unreleased works.

Like most composers born in Latvia in the early 20th century and who lived through the Soviet occupation, Garūta’s work can be divided into periods before and after the Second World War. In the memoirs of her contemporaries from the 1930s, we read about venues full to overflowing on evenings featuring Garūta’s solo songs, when the young composer herself, who had studied in Paris (1926–1928) alongside studies at the Latvian Conservatoire, sat at the piano and accompanied the brightest soloists of the day, including soprano Milda Brehmane-Štengele, mezzo-soprano Herta Lūse, tenor Mariss Vētra and baritone Ādolfs Kaktiņš. Garūta was admired for her unusual interplay of thoughts that reflected on current trends in the world of music at the time, bravely defending even the ideas of Les Six, but at the same time remained faithful to elements of Latvian music, especially praising the Latvian folk song.