People sometimes chuckle at the fact that Emilis Melngailis and Arnold Schoenberg were both born in the same year, 1874 – just think, the apologist for ancient folk-song diatonics and the founder of twelve-tone technique as peers! But one must understand that Melngailis belonged to those relatively few for whom art expresses not so much humanity’s strained relationship with reality but rather serves as a reflection of the ultimate harmony, beauty and magnificence of nature and the world around us.
Almost a century and a half younger than Melngailis, the avantgarde composer Kristaps Pētersons, who has written numerous chamber and symphonic works and won several national and international awards, is also, paradoxically, in some ways related to Melngailis, namely, in his applied, constructive approach to creativity and, above all, in not shying away from prosaic themes in music.
Dramatic saturation, exquisite musical imagination, a developed sense of style – with these vocal qualities Parša has attracted the attention of many Latvian composers, who have in turn dedicated compositions to her. Emilis Melngailis is one of Parša’s favourite Latvian classical composers.
Andrejs Osokins has a wide stylistic range and is as perceptive of and attentive to the specifics of Latvian music as he is to those of world classics.