Friday, June 17, 2016

Imants Zemzaris - Before the Snow, for String Quartet & Prepared Piano - Gaišie avoti, for Alto Flute & Violin - Pastorales for Summer Flute, for Organ - Riga String Quartet - Hans-Ola Ericsson, Organ - (Gaišie avoti, artists unknown)

Here are three very different works by Imants Zemzaris. I really like "Before the Snow" for String Quartet and Prepared Piano, and it's a great example of Zemzaris as musical chameleon. Every conceivable emotion ends up flowing from this work; there are astringent sections, lyrical sections and everything in between - indeed, the pastorale-like opening theme reminds me somewhat of Lou Harrison! The prepared piano doesn't have a prominent role here, but nonetheless is a nice touch in this quartet that's brimming with personality and distinctive style. "Gaišie avoti" for Alto Flute and Violin is a quieter, smaller piece and rather entrancing. The solo organ piece "Pastorales for Summer Flute" flows with several sections that are soft meditations focusing on the flute pipes, and then all is dramatically and abruptly shattered by the booming, energetic central section - great stuff I must say - and then we return to the calm with gentle arpeggios and the meditative stream, which closes the the work as it opened. 

A small section of Cēsis castle, a Livonian castle in Cēsis, Latvia

Another section of the former headquarters of the Livonian knights
Latvian woods and fog - perhaps a nice place to listen to "Gaišie avoti"

The castle at night - I just happen to like this Latvian castle - for all I know the composer might like it as well but really is has nothing to do with the music ;)



Paco said...

these are beautiful photos

Tzadik said...