When you think of composers from Latvia, Pēteris Vasks is likely the first to spring to mind, followed by the early 20th century composer Jānis Ivanovs. A while back I posted a fine disc of music by the contemporary composer Peteris Plakidis courtesy of Toccata Records - check it out if you haven't thus far. Ēriks Ešenvalds (born in 1977 I think) is a young Latvian composer to watch - he is known primarily for his many choral works although he has written in other genres as well. Lush romanticism can be heard in the music of Jazeps Vitols - there is a lovely disc of his orchestral works on Marco Polo, and he is known too for his contribution to Latvian choral music - although recordings are hard to find. Georgs Pelēcis is another name that comes to mind, although If I recall he wrote mostly piano music, although I do also have a recording that includes his lively concerto for piano and strings, on an old Erato disc (have no idea where it is). Arturs Grīnups (1939-1989) wrote 10 symphonies, orchestral music, chamber music and instrumental works as well - Unfortunately I don't think that much of his music is currently available; I had a cd of two of his symphonies once but I dunno where it is. *If anyone has any recordings of his music - and feels like sharing - let me know!! It's clear that there is a wealth of superb music from lesser-known composers from Latvia; I have mentioned but a few.
I am posting music by one of my favorite Latvian composers, Imants Zemzaris (b. 1951, Riga) who writes in varied styles and is hard to pigeonhole, which I think is always a good thing, and to the composer's creative credit. -The "Warsaw Tryptich" for piano is in 3 movements, and it is one of his finest works for piano. There is beautiful contemplation and melancholy, but also the joyous, dance-like second movement (which I often play over and over). I am posting the videos - original source was youtube - I find that this piece is well worth "owning" and think that you will too. Plus the piece is hard to find otherwise; there is an old Melodiya lp from the 80's, which is one of the recordings I have here - as well as a version played by the composer himself (each mvt is a separate mp4, the Melodiya is one file) Open this wonderful work in VLC etc. and enjoy... no point in going on youtube each time!
I'm not sure if the composer is the pianist on the non-Melodiya recording; the tempi are slower, however I like it that way. Hope everyone enjoys!