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Kremerata Baltica. Marģeris Zariņš


Kremerata Baltica
Ieva Parša - mecosoprāns
Aigars Reinis - ērģelnieks
Andris Veismanis - diriģents


Latvijas komponisti



Izdošanas datums




LMIC 128
Tātad – komponista mūzikas vitalitāte un konsekventā polistilistika nebūt neizslēdz arī visnopietnāko emociju spektru. Marģeris Zariņš ir jautrs, atraktīvs, viegli ironisks, asprātīgs. Un tajā pašā laikā viņš ir arī izaicinošs. Groteskie pavērsieni atsedz cilvēciskas pieredzes drāmu un norāda uz realitāti, kura ir skarba, neparedzama, antihumāna. Atcerēsimies Entonija Bērdžesa (vai tikpat labi Hannas Ārentes) uzdoto jautājumu par varmācības ģenēzi: “Kas jums visiem lēcies? Mēs studējam šo problēmu, sasodīts, esam noņēmušies ar to jau gandrīz veselu gadsimtu, jā, tomēr netiekam ne no vietas”. Atcerēsimies Staņislava Lema solāristikas pētnieku nepatīkamo pārsteigumu, atklājot, ka saprātīgais Okeāns izdomājis paeksperimentēt ar viņiem pašiem.

Armands Znotiņš


The Latvian national music label – Skani – actively promotes Latvian musicians, composers and their compositions. Perhaps it is not surprising that, considering the wealth of talent in Latvia, Skani often release a dozen or more albums every year, showcasing many different Latvian talents. Skani also bring attention to composers who might not be as well known today. One such composer who has long deserved renewed attention is Marģeris Zariņš.
Zariņš, who lived from 1910 to 1993, perhaps hit his creative peak in the 1960s. Zariņš was one of the first composers in Latvia to incorporate elements of jazz music and even popular music in his compositions, and also used non-traditional instruments like the saxophone and electric guitar. Zariņš perhaps even paved the way for composers like Raimonds Pauls and Imants Kalniņš who revolutionized Latvian popular music in the 1960s and 1970s. Zariņš even mixed in disparate elements like Baroque themes and music inspired by Japanese and French culture. To help raise the profile of this eclectic and creative composer, in 2021, Skani released an album of Zariņš’ works, performed by Kremerata Baltica (the Baltic youth string orchestra founded by violinist Gidon Kremer) and conducted by Andris Veismanis.
Mezzo-soprano Ieva Parša, one of the most distinguished performers of modern Latvian academic music, joins Kremerata Baltica in a performance of Zariņš’ ‘Partita baroka stilā’ (Partita in Baroque Style), a cycle of songs that melds Baroque, French and modern elements. At times playful, other times somber, the songs begin firmly rooted in the Baroque, with the modern, jazzy elements on display in the final song ‘Pavana’. Parša adds the needed lighter touches, as well as more serious interpretations to make this a particularly memorable performance of the song cycle.
Parša also sings on the second song cycle on the record – ‘Carmina antica’, with song texts from Ancient Greek literature (sung in Latvian). Here Parša’s voice interplays with the other instruments in the ensemble, particularly the flute, to create a kind of duet. This work has a more theatrical nature, with Parša expressing a range of emotions and thoughts with her voice, and the orchestra also adding to the narrative with their performance, particularly in the dramatic third song – ‘Traģiskā monodija no Mēdejas’ (Tragic Monody from Medea).
Zariņš also wrote larger scale works, including multiple organ concertos, the first two of which are included on this album, both of which feature organist Aigars Reinis. While many Latvian composers are known for their bleak, harsh music, Marģeris Zariņš stands out as someone who wrote uplifting, energetic music full of vitality. Such is the first organ concerto – ‘Concerto innocente’, where Reinis provides a rousing performance, and the classic organ is joined by the modern electric guitar. Such is Zariņš’ compositional skill that he can bring together these two rather disparate instruments and create a fluid, flowing work that neither instrument sounds out of place with the other.
The second organ concerto – ‘Concerto triptichon’ is weightier, more pensive. However, this concerto has a more defined melodic line – like something out of popular music, and the performance of Kremerata Baltica elevates Zariņš’ music, revealing melodic details and the deep, personal nature of this composition.
In many ways, Marģeris Zariņš was a revelatory, revolutionary composer, quite capable of composing some truly beautiful music. Bridging the two halves of the 20th century, he found inspiration throughout musical history and the world and created memorable works that remain compelling listening today. Kremerata Baltica and conductor Andris Veismanis, along with guests Ieva Parša and Aigars Reinis, have recorded a revelatory album that hopefully brings the music of Marģeris Zariņš to a worldwide audience.

Egils Kaljo
www.latviansonline.com  31/08/2022


While comprising only a small portion of the European geographical landscape, the Baltic countries have contributed a disproportionately significant number of composers whose works are truly remarkable and impactful. Such is the case with Marģeris Zariņš, the 20th-century Latvian composer and author who wrote a wide range of musical material for an equally diverse range of instruments and ensembles. 
The two largest-scale works on this disc are both organ concertos, composed for organ and chamber orchestra and augmented with two electric guitars, a jazz percussion set and harpsichord. While the use of such instruments might sound eccentric, the results are undeniably spectacular, successfully blending genres and producing an utterly unique sonic effect. 
Both concertos, Concerto Innocente and Concerto Triptichon, cross numerous stylistic boundaries: Innocente begins with a forceful and driving first movement and ends with a playful, carnival-esque finale; Triptichon, although less childlike, is no less energetic, and the first movement’s classical/jazz hybridization is inexplicable through prose – it must be heard to be believed!
While these two concertos form the bulk of this disc’s material, Zariņš’ compositional virtuosity is displayed and reinforced through three additional works: Four Japanese Miniatures, which combine 20th-century Orientalism with atonality to great effect; the Partita in Baroque Style, which is amusingly “Baroque” the same way that Prokofiev’s First Symphony is “Classical”; and Carmina Antica, which takes ancient themes, both musical and topical, and reveals them in a modernized vernacular.
From electric guitars and jazz to atonality, Zariņš wrote it all, and there really is something here for everyone. But even the most ingenious music cannot exist without interpreters, and Zariņš’ works receive expert treatment from the renowned international orchestra Kremerata Baltica, their conductor Andris Veismanis and soloists Ieva Parša and Aigars Reinis.

Matthew Whitfield
kritika ŠEIT