LMIC radio

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš


Eva Bindere - vijole
Mikus Bāliņš - sitaminstrumenti
Elvijs Endelis - sitaminstrumenti
Elīna Endzele - sitaminstrumenti
Guntars Freibergs - sitaminstrumenti
Ernests Mediņš - sitaminstrumenti
Latvijas Nacionālais simfoniskais orķestris
Andris Poga - diriģents


Latvijas komponisti



Izdošanas datums



Tālivaldis Ķeniņš

Koncerts vijolei un simfoniskajam orķestrim

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš

Koncerts pieciem sitaminstrumentālistiem un simfoniskajam orķestrim

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš

Beatae voces tenebrae


LMIC 088

Tālivaldis ĶENIŅŠ ir viens no ievērojamākajiem latviešu komponistiem – neoromantiski noskaņots, skarbs, vitāls, tehniski virtuozs. Viņš piedzimst Latvijā, skolojas Francijā, pēc tam līdz mūža galam dzīvo Kanādā. Ķeniņš ir viens no Kanādas atskaņotākajiem komponistiem. Ilggadējs Toronto universitātes Mūzikas fakultātes docētājs, no 1973. gada pilntiesīgs profesors. Ķeniņš darbojies Kanādas komponistu līgā, divus gadus bijis tās  prezidents, piedalījies radioraidījumos, bijis neskaitāmu konkursu žūrijas dalībnieks. Ķeniņa nopelns ir gan akadēmisks, gan praktisks – to novērtējusi universitātes vadība un Kanādas valdība.

Diriģents Andris Poga: “Ķeniņa firmaszīme ir būt dažādam – modernisma, ekspresionisma, arī džeza nokrāsas caurvij vairumu viņa darbu, tomēr katrs no tiem savā iecerē ir autonoms, diezgan precīzi definēts. Sitaminstrumentu koncerts ir kā spoža, atraktīva performance, Vijolkoncertā concertante princips izkopts līdz pilnībai, vienlaikus saglabājot ļoti spēcīgu saturisko naratīvu, Beatae voces tenebrae skan kā kontemplatīva poēma un apliecina Ķeniņa uzticību vienam no dižākajiem ģēnijiem – Baham.”


Remarkable performance of an unmissable Latvian rarity

"The centenary of the birth of Latvian-born composer Tālivaldis Ķeniņš in 1919 was marked in his homeland with a series of performances including the revival of the 1974 Violin Concerto captured here. The composer studied with Messiaen in Paris and his music seems to be the real deal.

The concerto was written after Ķeniņš’s emigration to Canada for the virtuoso Steven Staryk. It has a prickly Russo–Slavic accent, mid-century architectural discipline, exceptional orchestration, limitless enjoyment of what the solo instrument can do (it plays more or less constantly) and a distinctively Latvian undertone marked out by solemnity, loneliness and impassioned longing. Precise, defined expression goes hand in hand with wild fantasy (hints of Szymanowski).

While we’re all so excited about Mieczysław Weinberg, this piece and its composer deserve attention and the performance from Eva Bindere demands it. Her playing is technically excellent, her poise and stature undeniable, her control of the tricky textures impressive and her leading of the piece from the front as charismatic as it needs to be.

Even lyrical music can be intensely rhythmic, and the Percussion Concerto that follows shows the composer building on rhythmic sophistication suggested in the Violin Concerto, even if the pieces goes to a different place in essence. Again, excellent performances and the extra Beatae voces tenebrae is no mere filler – an unsettling monolith that’s worth hearing alone, perhaps first. This disc is unmissable."

The Strad


The disc centers on Canadian-Latvian composer Tālivaldis Ķeniņš’s rarely recorded Violin Concerto, his Concerto for 5 Percussionists and Orchestra, and "Beatae Voces Tenebrae".

"Despite being one of Canada and Latvia’s foremost composers of the 20th century with eight symphonies, twelve concertos, three cantatas, and a wealth of chamber work under his name, the music of Tālivaldis Ķeniņš is not widely-known throughout the world," Eva told The Violin Channel. "This is something SKANi has been trying to rectify in recent years and I’m delighted to be working and recording with them to help raise awareness of a composer whose musical language I believe to be of exceptional quality and value. 

To discover his music, which is of such a high quality and written with a wonderful technical understanding of the instrument, has been an amazing experience. It was first performed over 40 years ago by Canadian violinist Steven Staryk, and I’m very proud to be only the second violinist and first Latvian to record it. I hope that the listener will also be taken on a similar journey of discovery and share in the joyful surprise one experiences when you listen to a piece for the first time and uncover a new musical world."

The Violin Channel

Überzeugendes Doppel 

Da geschieht jahrelang diskografisch rein gar nichts in Sachen Talivaldis Kenins (1919–2008) – und dann erscheinen auf einen Schlag gleich zwei CDs. In Lettland, der Heimat von Kenins, erinnert man sich noch gut an den 1940 zuerst nach Frankreich, 1951 dann nach Kanada ausgewanderten Komponisten. In Mitteleuropa hingegen ist er so gut wie nirgendwo auf der Agenda. Die beiden durchweg starken CDs machen deutlich, was der Musikwelt damit entgangen ist. Kenins Tonsprache ist klar, geradlinig, sinnfällig und formal überzeugend. «Ich liebe klar definierte Formen», hat Kenins über sich gesagt. Aus diesem Grund habe er allen seinen Werken nur Gattungsnamen wie «Konzert», «Quartett» oder «Sinfonie» gegeben. Seine an der französischen Clarté geschulte Klangsprache, die viele Einflüsse (vom Neobarock bis zur Avantgarde) in sich vereinigt, ist packend, im grandiosen Schlagzeugkonzert (1983) regelrecht mitreissend, dabei doch stets konziliant und immer perfekt austariert. Den baltischen Ton, der die Musik eines Vasks oder Pärt grundiert, sucht man bei Kenins zwar nicht vergebens, er kommt aber – vor allem in der Trauermusik «Beatae voces tenebrae» (1977) – subtiler zum Ausdruck. Beide CDs klingen wunderbar und die Werkdeutungen überzeugen.

Burkhard Schäfer

"I do not know whether this recent release devoted to orchestral works by Kenins (as in my previous review, an accepted simplified spelling of his name) signals some renewed interest in this composer’s music. In any case, this is the second disc of his music to have come my way within the last few months.

As with most pieces of his, Kenins put no programme behind the music and, true to say, this music does not need any far-fetched explanation to make its mark. His stylistic manner here is at best described as 20th Century main stream: the music inhabits a generally quite accessible sound world, sometimes tinged with mild dissonance and often lively rhythms. The structure of the five-movement Violin Concerto is fairly clear, with a short Scherzo at the centre. The most unusual trait is the Finale. It opens with a fairly developed cadenza leading into the final flourish. The Concerto is a rather virtuosic piece of music, in which the soloist is rarely silent, if at all. This nice find may rub shoulders with, say, Prokofiev’s violin concertos, particularly with the Second Violin Concerto. 
The number of percussion concertos has considerably grown over the past decades, but there are still not that many big pieces for percussion and orchestra. Kenins’s substantial Concerto for Five Percussionists and Orchestra is a worthy addition to that repertoire. The composer has used percussion in many of his works. He once said in an interview that he “appreciates the extensive opportunities that percussion instruments offer. They provide so much colour. They give my music a dynamic profile.” The concerto was commissioned by the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto. The faculty had then a first-rate percussion class directed by Russell Hartenberger, the founder of the Nexus percussion ensemble. The concerto is in five movements played without break. The central one is a fairly short Scherzo surrounded by two somewhat longer slower movements. The second Lento then leads into the lively, rhythmical coda bringing the concerto to its emphatic close. This is another very fine work of often brilliant writing, but it allows for quieter episodes in sharp contrast with the more vigorous sections. This piece, a worthwhile addition to the repertoire, deserves more than the occasional hearing. 

Fine as these two concertos may be, I think that the finest work in this release is the purely orchestral Beatae voces tenebrae. It was completed in 1977 during what Kenins mentioned as “a period of grief in his life mourning the passing of two close friends”. The composer thus quotes from, or alludes to, pieces which share some of the same moods such as Liszt's Funérailles, a motive from Beethoven's Les Adieux Sonata as well as allusion to the In Paradisum from Fauré's Requiem. The whole is bound together by the ever-present BACH motif. All these passing quotes and allusions are subtly woven into Kenins’s own personal idiom. The composer also stated that “the work is not intended as a dirge but rather as a meditation on our attitudes towards human frailty where reminiscences of love and kindness come as often in mind as tragedy and sorrow”. The music, however, is free from self-complacency, and it rather exudes a deeply felt homage to “those beloved shadows who once were a part of our lives” (the composer's epigraph on the score), a perfect summing-up of this deeply-felt, often poignant piece of music. 

I do not think that these superbly assured, well prepared and committed performances are likely to be bettered soon, and they do not to, for they do these very fine works and their composer full justice."

Hubert Culot

"BEIDZOT sākts likvidēt mūsu parāds pirms Pētera Vaska pasaulē visatpazīstamākajam latviešu skaņradim Tālivaldim Ķeniņam! Ķeniņš bija tiešām izcils kompozīcijas meistars, un viņa mūzika saista joprojām, kaut arī plašākai sabiedrībai maz zināma. Jaunais LNSO albums pilnībā veltīts viņa darbiem un visaktīvākajiem un mākslinieciski visveiksmīgākajiem 70.–80. gadiem. Trīs kompozīcijas ir būtiski atšķirīgas, un visas liecina par sevišķi augstu kompozīcijas meistarību, ar kādu var lepoties tikai reti amata brāļi vai māsas visos laikos. Vijolkoncerts (1974) ir smalks mājiens Stravinska virzienā. Romantiski virtuoza solopartija te apvienota ar klasicistisku skaidrību un loģiku, ko spoži realizēja mūsu lieliskā, bet diemžēl pilnībā nenovērtētā Eva Bindere, kuras solo spēlē nemaz nav saklausāma ilggadēja darbība orķestrī. Arī saspēle ar orķestri ir teicama. Domāju, ka Koncerts pieciem perkusionistiem un orķestrim bez pārspīlējuma ir visiespaidīgākais opuss līdzīgam sastāvam. Bezgalīgi plaša te ir Ķeniņa izdoma, dažādi apvienojot solo un orķestra skanējumu, bet reizē te saklausāma sevišķa formas loģika, spēja katru spožo ideju attīstīt un iekļaut kopējā dramaturģiskajā norisē. Kā solisti veiksmīgi darbojas latviešu perkusijas zieds Guntars Freibergs, Ernests Mediņš, Elvijs Endelis, Mikus Bāliņš un Elīna Endzele. Programmu noslēdz diametrāli atšķirīgas ievirzes darbs, kur no iepriekšējo objektīvisma un racionālisma ne vests – tā ir Ķeniņam (vismaz 1977. gadā) neraksturīga subjektīva, emocionāli sakāpināta mūzika mirušo draugu piemiņai. Kā cementējošs faktors izmantots BACH motīvs. Visu vieno korālis no vācu baroka laikmeta (ne J. S. Baha, kā kļūdaini uzskatīja komponists – Leipcigas meistars nav radījis nevienu draudzes dziesmas melodiju, bet gan ģeniāli apdarinājis citu veikumu). Apbrīnojami
meistarīgi skaņu rakstā ieaustas vairākas kolāžas no iepriekšējo gadsimtu mūzikas, bet darbs ir tiešām filigrāns – kam ausis, lai dzird! Šie motīvi it kā simbolizē mirušo garus (ēnas). Sevišķi izteiksmīga sēru mūzika bez patētikas, salkanuma un banalitātes. LNSO un tā vadītājs pie šis programmas strādājuši sevišķi rūpīgi un diskogrāfijā tā ir viena no orķestra spilgtākajām veiksmēm. Žēl, ka koncertu programmās viss praktiski aprobežojas ar romantismu. Divās fotogrāfijās redzams kāds vīrs, kurš nedz diriģē, nedz dauza bungas (attēli nav atšifrēti). Tomēr bez viņa snieguma šī albuma sevišķā kvalitāte nebūtu iespējama. Skaņu režisors Normunds Šnē šo drēbju kārtu ir lieliski pats iepazinis no oderes un stīvdrēbes sākot, tāpēc bijušo kolēģu sniegumu centies parādīt pēc iespējas spilgtāk. Akustiski nepievilcīgā Lielā ģilde ir tīri jauka un piemērota, visur saklausāma skanējuma perspektīva, izteiksmīgas solo frāzes un tutti. Vienīgi Vijolkoncerta kadencē kādu mirkli mikrofons it kā par tuvu un saklausāms “ķēķis”. Noklausījos vairākas reizes, kas nav varonība, jo albums ir nepieklājīgi īss – 54 minūtes. Te ietilptu vēl viens Ķeniņa koncertžanra darbs, jo neesam tik bagāti, lai tik izšķērdīgi rīkotos ar laiku (vai telpu). Paldies visiem mūziķiem."

Ideja ***** Atskaņojums ***** Baudījums *****
Juris Griņevičs, "Mūzikas Saule" Nr. 4/2020

"Viena no vērtīgākajām Latvijas skaņu ierakstu jomas iniciatīvām šajā laikā – Tālivalda Ķeniņa simfonisko opusu monogrāfiski ieskaņojumi. Protams, ceru, ka pienāks laiks arī Artūram Grīnupam, Romualdam Grīnblatam, Ādolfam Skultem un, par visu vairāk, Gundarim Ponem, ka vismaz viens kompaktdisks tiks atvēlēts arī Jānim Ķepītim un Ģedertam Ramanam, taču Andra Pogas vadītā Latvijas Nacionālā simfoniskā orķestra ieraksts spoži apliecina, ka Tālivalda Ķeniņa starptautiskā reputācija pārdzīvojusi jau vairākas paaudzes. Gan Ķeniņa Vijolkoncerts, gan arī viņa koncerts pieciem sitaminstrumentālistiem un orķestrim atklāj komponista koncentrēto muzikālo domu ar straujiem, virtuoziem pavērsieniem, piesātinātu emocionalitāti un noslīpētu racionālu loģiku. Šo māksliniecisko aspektu atklāsmei Evas Binderes vitāli nospriegotais redzējums ir teicami piemērots, tādu pašu iespaidu atstāj arī perkusionistu dialogs ar orķestri; nevarētu gan teikt, ka paša orķestra grupu ietvaros mūziķi vienmēr tiek līdzi komponista, solistu un diriģenta raisītās skaņuraksta plūsmas impulsivitātei, taču lielās līnijās uz Andra Pogas pārraudzīto interpretācijas kopainu var paļauties. Ieraksta noslēgums ar Ķeniņa rekviēmu – Beatae voces tenebrae – tikai padziļina iepriekšdzirdētās mūzikas dramatisko raksturu ar drūma misticisma cauraustu vēstījumu."

Ideja ***** Atskaņojums **** Baudījums ****
Armands Znotiņš, "Mūzikas Saule" Nr. 4/2020

"Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919-2008) left Latvia following Soviet occupation after World War Two, emigrating to Canada in 1951. Prior to going to Canada, he lived and studied in Paris. He composed eight symphonies and twelve concertos, as well chamber, piano and choral works. Despite being one of Canada’s most performed composers, few works have been recorded. So the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Poga, are rectifying that, with a disc of three works, his Violin Concerto, his Concerto for Five Percussionists and Orchestra, and the single movement orchestral piece, Beatae voces tenebrae. His music combines a certain romanticism with the neoclassicism of his French training, and it is a fascinating mix of lean, often angular counterpoint with lyrically striking melody. In the Violin Concerto, performed here impressively and with conviction by Latvian violinist Eva Bindere, the spiky, virtuosic lines, over often sparse and brittle orchestral accompaniment contrast with expressive falling and rising lines in the slow movement. Ķeniņš makes sparse use of woodwind, but there is a ghostly bassoon solo, and the brass and percussion are used to ominous effect in the Scherzo. An extended cadenza begins the finale, with an essentially lyrical if highly chromatic line ornamented with trills and leaps, and percussion and racing strings herald a race to the finish. The Concerto for Five Percussionists and Orchestra, performed here by members of Perpetuum Ritmico, is highly dramatic, as one would expect. A live performance would carry the added benefit of the visual, as a dazzling array of percussion instruments are made use of here (not all of which I could identify aurally). In the dramatic opening movement, there are crashes and knocks from cymbals, woodblock and gong, as well as queasy tuning slides on the timpani. In the first slow movement, tuned percussion is used to great atmospheric effect, with muted trumpets and another mournful bassoon solo. After a brief faster section, the train slows down into a second slow movement, with muted strings lamenting and constant knocking and rattling in the background. The final movement returns to high drama, with crashing drums, sliding drums and even a siren for a wild finish. To conclude the disc, Beatae voces tenebrae is a mixture of serene calm and anguish of grief – it was written after the sudden death of two close friends, but also possibly commemorated the 100thbirthday of his mother, as well as ‘deported loved ones’, victims of the occupation. He draws extensively on the four-note B-A-C-H motif, as well as works by Bach, such as the downward movement in the Crucifixus of the B minor Mass. There are also references to Liszt and Beethoven, as well as the harp’s perpetual motion from In Paradisum from Fauré’s Requiem. From a low, rumbling opening and an initial slow rhythmic pace, Ķeniņš gradually builds tension, with moments of true anguish from the strings, and some strange effects from the horns. The Fauré effect at the end brings calm, although the percussion continues to knock away disconcertingly in the background, before the harp rises into nothingness at the end. A fascinating window into a new composer for me, and one I will definitely want to explore further."

Nick Boston
Classical Notes