Kārlis Lācis chucs everything bar the kitchen sing into his orchestral scores - including a prepared piano in the third movement of the Piano Concerto. His Latvian Sypmhony is equally extravagant, not to mention eclectic in style, but also quite fun.
BBC Music Magazine
In his native Latvia, Kārlis Lācis (born 1977) is considered one of the great composers of the current music scene. His creative spectrum is broad and serves many genres - from theatre, film, choral and chamber music to the "great" symphony. His 2019 "Latvju simfonija" (Latvian Symphony) is heard here for the first time on a CD. The same applies to the Piano Concerto No. 1 from 2013. According to Wikipedia, Lācis' discography is more extensive, but only this one Skani CD is really tangible from him. At this point, we must expressly praise the Latvian label for pursuing its goal of offering a recording "stage" (almost) exclusively to local composers and thereby making them internationally famous(er) so consistently and in such an exemplary manner. This recording fits seamlessly into the list of exciting productions "Made in Latvia". The loud, sometimes downright noisy piano concerto becomes the beacon of the album - a joyfully syncretic youth work that draws on many sources (jazz, minimalism, club music, etc.). The third movement, entitled "Izmisums" (Despair), is scored polyrhythmically and forces the - fantastically playing! - With its frenetic energy, it forces the soloist to virtually smash her instrument at the end. More moderate in tone, but no less skilfully striking, is the "Latvian Symphony" with its four programmatic movements "The Night is Dark", "The Lake", "Latvian Scherzo" and "Hurry, Dear Sun". The Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, which recorded the works in "its" spectacular concert hall "Great Amber", is fully in "its" Latvian element.
FONO FORUM, 07 / 2022