Vasks: Distant Light / Gluzman, Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony

Release Date: 5/1/2020
Label: BIS
Catalog Number: BIS-2352
Composer: Peteris Vasks
Conductor: Hannu Lintu
Orchestra/Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews

Having spent much of his childhood in Latvia, where he also began his violin studies, Vadim Gluzman makes a return to his roots with this disc of music by Peteris Vasks. The ample programme (+ 84 minutes!) opens with the violin concerto ‘Distant Light’, which in the two decades since it was composed has become a modern classic. The composer has described it as ‘a song, coming from silence and floating away into silence, full of idealism and love, at times melancholy, at times dramatic.’ For the concerto, Gluzman found support from the strings of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu, just across the Baltic See from Latvia. For the other works on the disc he is however joined by Latvian colleagues and friends. These include the violinist Sandis Šteinbergs who appears in the duo Summer Dances, one of Vasks’ more carefree and buoyant pieces. This recent work in seven brief movements is, in the composer’s own words, the musical equivalent of a naïvist painting. In comparison, the Piano Quartet from 2001 is one of his longest and most imposing chamber works. Beginning with a perfect fifth in the piano, it takes the listener on an emotional roller-coaster, through hectic dances and dramatic songs to a typical ‘Vasks ending’ with a distant light offering a tempered hope. In the quartet, Vadim Gluzman leads an ensemble consisting of Ilze Klava, Reinis Birznieks, and Angela Yoffe.


Distant Light is surely the most recorded violin concerto by a living composer. Gluzman plays with fervor, overt fortitude, and a lively vibrato.

– Gramophone


If you do not know or own recordings of “Distant Light” and the Piano Quartet, Gluzman and colleagues will fill that gap nicely. This disc is recommended without hesitation.


– Fanfare

Works on This Recording
1. Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra "Distant Light" by Peteris Vasks
Performer: Vadim Gluzman (Violin)
Conductor: Hannu Lintu
Orchestra/Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1996-1997 ; Latvia
1. Vasaras dejas (Summer Dances) by Peteris Vasks
Performer: Sandis Steinbergs (Violin), Vadim Gluzman (Violin)
Period: Contemporary
Written: 2017 ; Latvia
2. Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano by Peteris Vasks
Performer: Reinis Birznieks (Cello), Angela Yoffe (Piano), Ilze Klava (Viola), Vadim Gluzman (Violin)
Period: 20th Century
3. Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano by Peteris Vasks
Performer: Vadim Gluzman (Violin), Ilze Klava (Viola), Angela Yoffe (Piano), Reinis Birznieks (Cello)
Period: 20th Century
Customer Reviews
You May Also Be Interested In