As tradition calls, on the 7th of January, the Small Hall of the Dzintari Concert Hall will be filled with the otherworldly Orthodox Prayers and Chants through the voices of the Latvian Radio Choir.
The sacred music performances of the Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Sigvards Kļava have always deeply moved audiences in Latvia and abroad. In 2019, the recording label Ondine released their recording of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's sacred works, with the album earning high praise in such prestigious periodicals as The Gramophone magazine: 'Kļava is utterly unafraid to choose very slow speeds for many of the sections of the work, but never once does he lose sight of the structure or let go of the dramatic tension which is so much a part of Tchaikovsky’s music, even his liturgical settings. The Latvian Radio Choir is superb in this repertoire.'
Pyotr Tchaikovsky is a genius melody maker and an intricate researcher of the mind who can open the floodgates of the soul with his direct and personal approach. His sacred choral works are a lesser-known part of his body of work, but it is no less outstanding. The Russian Orthodox tradition was close to the composer's heart - as he expressed in a letter to his patroness Nadezhda von Meck: 'For me, [the church] still possesses much poetical charm. I very often attend the services (. . .) If we follow the service very carefully and enter into the meaning of every ceremony, it is impossible not to be profoundly moved by the liturgy of our own Orthodox Church!'
Today, it is hard to imagine that Tchaikovski's noble and beautiful emotions of the choir voices sparked some dissatisfaction in the church clergy at the time - in their opinion, the composer took too much of a personal approach to the liturgical texts. The warm and praising tone of the music reveals Tchaikovsky as a composer who truly loved and submitted to the tradition of his church.
The concert will also feature a premiere the modern Russian composer Alfred Momotenko-Levitsky's prayer cycle focusing on the Slavic apostles and Jesus, and the Byzantine chants of the Latvian musical pilgrim Andrejs Selickis