Vasks: Piano Trio, Piano Quartet - Trio Parnassus

Vasks: Piano Trio, Piano Quartet - Trio Parnassus

MDG Gold  903 1513-6

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber

Peteris Vasks: Piano Trio "Episodi e Canto perpetuo", Piano Quartet

Avri Levitan (viola)
Trio Parnassus

Parnassian Discovery
The Trio Parnassus has often surprised us with the discovery of previously unknown musical treasures, and the three musicians do it again on this recording featuring works by the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks! A resident of Riga, Vasks today numbers among the leading composers of the former Soviet states.

Shining Star
Peteris Vasks, the son of a minister, studied at the Riga College of Music. He began with the violin, continued with the double bass until 1970, and then studied composition from 1973 to 1978. It was not until the Soviet Union’s demise that his star could shine in Latvia’s compositional skies. In 1996 he was named the “main composer“ at the Stockholm Festival of New Music and awarded the Herder Music Prize. Since 1994 he has been an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Fascinating Spell
Vasks composed his eight Episodi in homage to Olivier Messiaen in 1985, when the Iron Curtain was still closed; the great tenderness of its beginning immediately captures the hearer’s attention. Fifteen years later he began his six-part Quartet, a work concluding with a sweeping chaconne. His tonal idiom is expressive, highly emotional, and direct and at the same time completely natural and unaffected. His compositions call on the enormous dynamic breadth of the instruments and cast a fascinating spell on the hearer, so that we are compelled to listen to them again and again.

Prophetic Intuition
With their more than thirty recordings on MDG the cellist Michael Groß, violinist Yamei Yu, and pianist Chia Chou have not only repeatedly scaled Mount Parnassus but also inherited the prophetic intuition of the nearby Delphic Oracle. Their intuition is never wrong when it comes to presenting unknown composers or forgotten music in excellent quality. This time too, together with the violist Avri Levitan, they guarantee an excellent listening experience.

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