As a part of the celebration for the Centenary of Latvia, the Latvian Radio Choir and its artistic director Sigvards Kļava are going on tour in Italy to perform alongside with the internationally beloved, charismatic Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna in the Philharmonic hall of Trento on the 19th of March and to showcase in their new concert programme the works of Baltic composers alongside the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach. Then in the 23nd of March the Latvian Radio Choir alongside the Spīķeru String Quartet will make their first visit to one of the central events of the Latvian Centenary celebrations in Monaco – the Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival).
The exquisite concert programme that on the 19th of March will be performed in the Philharmonic hall of Trento by the titular organist of the Elbphilharmonie, laureate of the Latvian Grand Music Award 2018, the Latvian artist Iveta Apkalna will at the same time serve as a first introduction to the Latvian Radio Choir and its artistic director Sigvards Kļava.
The concert programme Choral music of the Baltic countries and pages for organ by J.S. Bach will present the works of the Baroque grandmaster Johann Sebastian Bach performed by Iveta Apkalna side by side with Pēteris Vasks’s musical meditation Klusuma Auglis (The Fruit of Silence) and Ēriks Ešenvalds’s opus Piliens okeānā (A drop in the Ocean) that has combined the payers of Mother Teresa and Saint Francis of Assisi.
The modern Swedish music master Anders Hillborg will reach the listener through the wordless Mouyayoum, and the Norwegian classic Knut Nystedt’s musical legacy will be represented by the composer’s most famous work Immortal Bach that is based on J.S. Bach’s choral Komm, süsser Tod.
The voices of the choir and the organ will come together in Pēteris Vasks’s Laudate Dominum where the choir remarks develop side by side with organ meditations, and also in the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s anthem Salve Regina – the version for a mixed choir and organ.
The conductor Sigvards Kļava is deeply affected by the upcoming Centenary of Latvia celebrations that are pioneering in their nature because “everything will be done for the first time – the on-stage coming together with the organ pipe empress Iveta Apkalna; The American classic Charles Ives’s monumental and rarely performed opus that does not reveal itself at once due to its rich musical language; the convening of the Latvian Radio choir and the audience of the Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo”.
Already in the 23rd of March the Latvian Radio choir will reach the next stop of the Centenary celebrations – the picturesque Principality of Monaco with its Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (proposed by the princess Grace Kelly) that since 1970 has become one of the most important cultural events in Monaco. The patrons of the festival are His Highness prince Albert II and princess Caroline.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic Latvia to the French Republic Imants Leģis has expressed his satisfaction with the fact that “it is the Latvian Radio Choir that represents Latvia in the Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo during the year of Latvian Centenary celebrations. The choir has demonstrated its professionalism and outstanding performance in France numerous times already, therefore I am especially proud of the choir now being in Monaco as well.”
The concert that will be held in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco holds in its programme Pēteris Vasks’s Līdzenuma ainavas (Plainscapes) for piano, violin and cello – an opus that builds the landscape of the Latvian nature with the shimmer of the starry sky, man’s meditative thoughts, observance of the course of nature and a breathtaking sunrise.
One of the cornerstones of this year’s Monte Carlo art festival is the creation of the American composer Charles Ives – one of his early works The Celestial Country (1899) with the popular American melodies that are embedded into the Nationally Romantic piece.
Charles Ives’s opus will be conducted by Sigvards Kļava and performed by the Latvian Radio Choir with solos by Rihards Millers (baritone), Jānis Kurševs (tenor) and the string virtuosos of the Spīķeru String Quartet the members of which are the first violin of the Sinfonietta Rīga chamber orchestra Marta Spārniņa, her deputy Antti Kortelainen, the viola section musician Ineta Abakuka and the leader of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra cello section Ieva Upatniece.