On October 7, along with a programme of symphonic music, LNSO will present its latest CD, issued by the national sound recording house Skani. The album comprises Volfgangs Dārziņš’s Second Piano Concerto (1938) and Jānis Ivanovs’s 20th Symphony (1981). Both composers were born in the same year (1906), had been students of Jāzeps Vītols, and were known to be good friends. Dārziņš’s Second Piano Concerto was written at the outset of his career while Ivanov’s 20th symphony is a kind of summary of his life’s work.

History brought the two composers in different directions. Volfgangs, a talented son of Emīls Dārziņš, left Latvia and lived in the USA till the end of his days, while the Latgalian Jānis Ivanovs stayed in Riga. Dārziņš became one of the most original and successful renderers of the Latvian folk music in his oevre where each miniature glimmers like a ray of the sun in a dew drop. Ivanovs worked like a painter of monumental canvases and his thoughts and feelings have found reflection in his 21 symphonies.

In the recording of Dārziņš’s Second Piano Concerto the soloist is Reinis Zariņš, one of our most outstanding and deepest thinking musicians who deeply studies the inner layers of all compositions and makes them distinctly audible to everyone. Reinis will play the solo on the LNSO’s October 7 concert as well.

In the part 2 of the concert, we shall listen to the tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) by Richard Strauss, and it should be said without undue modesty that Strauss’s music fits very well both the symphonic sound palette of the LNSO and the creative scope of its music director Andris Poga.

A question that would always remain interesting is whether Strauss meant himself as “a hero”. On the one hand, we have the composer’s assertion that he did not think of himself as a hero for he was not born to be a fighter. On the other hand, we know that Strauss regarded himself equally interesting if compared with Napoleon or Alexander the Great. However it may be, the music is quite high-flown, still beautiful and moving. Even those who do not love Strauss would not help enjoying his phenomenal skill of orchestration, while the connoisseurs of Strauss’s works will find it interesting to try and recognize the composer’s self-quotes from about 30 of his other works.

The violin solo is very important in this melodic, symphonically ornate and multifaceted tone poem, and on October 7 the soloist will be the concert master of LNSO, young, yet great violinist Georg Sarkisjan who was educated at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule Düsseldorf. His input and experience is seminal in the high quality of the LNSO sound.

07 Oct

19.00 / Friday / Riga, The Great Guild


Reinis Zariņš - piano


Andris Poga


  • Volfgangs DĀRZIŅŠ Piano Concerto No.2
  • Richard STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

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