The United States of America. On the one hand – Disney, Gershwin, Rogers, Sinatra and others. On another – Salinger, Wilder, Kerouac, Ives and others. We need that America, but then again, the other one too; however the other one often is too little. That’s why on the 27th of November, in the Minster Hall, we will hear music that has been created by a campaigner against whaling George Crumb, the sentimental lyricist Samuel Barber, the melancholic sentimentalist Lowell Lieberman as well the Brazilian classic Villa-Lobos who will join the group.

The flautist Irbe Urbāne is a skilled and experienced interpreter of contemporary music, as is the pianist Agnese Egliņa who we know well as a contemporary pianist and a seeker of adventure. At the concert on the 27th of November, we will have a chance to evaluate how the strong and forthright young cellist, Dace Zālīte, blends into this duo.

In this concert, George Crumb will be represented by his famous opus – Vox balaenae. It is performed by three masked musicians whose silhouettes can be just barely discerned against a background of faint flickering blue light. The composer says: “I gained my inspiration from the singing of hump-backed whales that I had heard a few years ago in a recording. Musicians are encouraged to wear black masks during the performance in order to minimise the effect of a human presence thereby symbolically feeling the momentous power of nature, or rather, de-humanised nature.”

From the trio of older generation American composers, Samuel Barber catches our attention with his incredibly beautiful Canzone second only to his famous Adagio. In the twilight of his years, the grand old Brazilian gent, Heitor Villa-Lobos had apparently been rather fond of the turbulent sound of jet aeroplanes: in 1950 he composed a three-part opus for the flute and cello, calling it The Jet Whistle. In the third part, he makes the flute imitate the screech of a jet engine. And finally, Lowell Liebermann and his Sonata for Flute and Piano, is another example of the unabashed desire of many American composers’ to create contemplative, romantically inclined, easily understandable moods.

Tickets here!

27 Nov

19.00 / Thursday / Riga, The Great Guild


Dace Zālīte-Zilberte -

Ilze Urbāne - assistant principal


Agnese Egliņa


  • Samuel Barber, Lukas Foss, Lowell Liebermann, George Crumb, Heitor Villa-Lobos

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