Peteris Vasks' Violin Concerto ("Distant Light") was written for Gidon Kremer, who very capably recorded it for Teldec. However, although Kremer is a fine musician and a real force in contemporary music today, his sound often comes across as less than ingratiating, and for this reason John Storgards offers a useful alternative view. This new version also adds a few extra minutes to what already is a very mellow, dreamy piece, though the luminous string textures and ravishing soft playing that conductor Juha Kangas coaxes from the superb Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra go far toward granting him license to take the extra time.
The real treat, though, is this premiere recordingRead more of Vasks' epic Second Symphony, a 40-minute single movement that sounds something like Giya Kancheli with better tunes and less sense of despair. The work opens with a magnificently turbulent exordium for full orchestra, which gradually gives way to a passage of great stillness punctuated by the quiet stirrings of stylized birdsong. Much of the thematic material sounds vaguely folk-inspired, and these two antithetical kinds of music engage in a dramatic dialog that after a few tremendous climaxes ebbs away peacefully at the work's close. If you enjoy Kancheli, or Rautavaara, or what you might call the "new tonal school" of modern composers, then you're going to love this. It's also marvelously played and conducted (Storgards on the podium this time), and the sonics are drop-dead gorgeous. An event not to be missed! [3/22/2003]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra "Distant Light"by Peteris Vasks Performer:
John Storgĺrds (Violin)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1996-1997; Latvia Date of Recording: 04/2002 Venue: Folk Art Center, Kaustinen, Latvia Length: 33 Minutes 43 Secs.
Symphony no 2by Peteris Vasks Conductor:
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1998; Latvia Date of Recording: 05/2002 Venue: Tampere Hall, Latvia Length: 39 Minutes 28 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A major accomplishmentApril 15, 2012By paul m. (simpsonville, SC)See All My Reviews"If you enjoy the music of Richard Strauss, Shostakovitch and Langaard you will love Vasks symphony #1. It grabs you from the opening bars and sends you on a roller coaster ride up and down with terrific crescendos and lovely slow sections. The violin concerto is harder to grasp but after several hearings grows on you. A worthy disc for lovers of modern music. "Report Abuse