Lucija Garuta: Apple Tree

Latvian Radio Choir

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Format: CD

Cat No: LMIC153

Release Date:  03 November 2023

Label:  Skani

Packaging Type:  Digipak

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  4751025441243

Genres:  Classical  Choral  

  • Description

    Lucija Garuta (1902-1977) was one of the first Latvian professional female composers. She wrote dozens of a cappella choral works, but only now, with this album, are several of those songs experiencing their premieres.

    Like most composers born in Latvia in the early 20th century and who lived through the Soviet occupation, Garuta's work can be divided into periods before and after the Second World War. In the memoirs of her contemporaries from the 1930s, we read about venues full to overflowing on evenings featuring Garuta's solo songs, when the young composer herself, who had studied in Paris (1926-1928) alongside studies at the Latvian Conservatoire, sat at the piano and accompanied the brightest soloists of the day, including soprano Milda Brehmane-Stengele, mezzo-soprano Herta Luse, tenor Mariss Vetra and baritone Adolfs Kaktins. Garuta was admired for her unusual interplay of thoughts that reflected on current trends in the world of music at the time, bravely defending even the ideas of Les Six, but at the same time remained faithful to elements of Latvian music, especially praising the Latvian folk song.

    The Latvian Radio Choir is a unique, award-winning ensemble of professional singers that offers its audiences an extraordinarily broad repertoire, indulging in studies of early music as well as the elegance of Classicism, balancing the overflowing emotions of the Romantics and enthusiastically exploring scores by contemporary composers. The choir has always taken a special interest in Latvian choral music, seeking out and often premiering undeservedly forgotten contributions.

    The Latvian Radio Choir participated in the recording of the Grammy Award-winning album Adam's Lament (ECM), composed by Arvo Part. The choir's recording of Sergei Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil was praised by the British magazine Gramophone as the best recording of February 2013 and ranked among the 25 best albums of the year by the American radio station NPR. Its recording of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and Nine Sacred Choruses (Ondine) won the International Classical Music Awards/ICMA for best choral recording of the year in 2020 and was later shortlisted for BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Year award. This is Latvian Radio Choir's 13th release on SKANi label.

    "This is a groundbreaking album, sung with perfervid expertise, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of crushing adversity" – Gramophone

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Apple Tree
      • 2. Song of the Migrating Birds
      • 3. In the Spring Rain
      • 4. To a Dear Elderly Mother
      • 5. A Moderate Breeze
      • 6. Come, Young Generation
      • 7. The Departed
      • 8. May We, Latvians, Forever Be Free
      • 9. A Wish for a Child
      • 10. The Voice of Peace
      • 11. The Little Song's Path
      • 12. The Voices of Youth
      • 13. The Song - Humanity's Song
      • 14. Day of Song
      • 15. Your Castle of Sound
      • 16. Our Field so Vast and Wide
      • 17. The Song Walks Alongside the Sun
      • 18. Ligo
      • 19. Oh, in My Land
      • 20. A White Sheep Swims in the Sea
      • 21. The Bridge Rumbles