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Sun song for cello, violin and choir – at the end of the “Cello Cēsis” festival, string instruments will resonate with the Latvian Radio Choir / Article & More Latest News Here

 

Sofia Gubaidulina’s work “Song of the Sun” is a musical representation of Francis of Assisi’s poem “Hymn to the Sun” (also known as “Sister Sun, Brother Moon”). It is a prayer in which the saint thanks all the forces of heaven and earth, sister sun and brother moon, and at the end of it this path of thanksgiving leads to the death of his sister.

The composer celebrated her 90th birthday last year. Her works were rarely performed and not recorded in the Soviet Union, so Gubaidulina supported herself by writing film music, including scores for animated films. In 1975, she was one of the enthusiasts who founded an association of musicians who played improvised pieces on rare Russian and Central Asian instruments. She went to the West for the first time in 1985, but seven years later she moved to Hamburg.

Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of the best-known British symphonists. Among his more well-known works is the poem “The Skylark Rising” for symphony orchestra and solo violin.

The compositions of Gubaidulina and Williams will be performed by the Latvian Radio Choir under the direction of conductor Kaspars Putniņš in the concert “Saule song for cello, violin and choir” in the Vidzeme concert hall “Cēsis”. The choir will be joined by cellist Jean-Guyen Queiras from France, violinist Paula Schumane, Guntars Freibergs and Lithuanian colleague Pavel Gunters on percussion instruments.

This program is a real glorification of string instruments, as both Vaughan Williams’ “The Skylark Ascending” and Gubaidulina’s “Sun Song” are distinct string solo works,

Kaspars Putniņš emphasizes in the “Cultural Rondo” program of Latvian Radio. Gubaidulina’s composition is a cello concerto and is accompanied by a choir and percussion instruments, notes the conductor: “The choir has a text, but the function of the choir is more like it was in the Greek theater, that is, it is the atmosphere that dresses the story, the sound scenography, the creation of the space, something a reflection on what happens around the main character – the cellist. The cellist, in my opinion, plays the role of St. Francis here.”

The composer managed to capture the search path in a very precise way, Putniņš expresses, recalling that Francis of Assisi was a restless soul who opened doors, tried to expand consciousness and understanding of who we are as much as possible. According to him, “Song of the Sun” is a very ritualistic work by its nature.

Speaking about Williams’s work, Putniņš compares it in terms of popularity with “Melancholic Waltz” by Emīl Dārziņš – the composition “Cīrulis uupējejas” is exactly as well-known in the Anglo-Saxon world. Conductor and soloist Paula Šūmane judged during the rehearsal whether it had ever been performed in Latvia. In the concert “Song of the Sun for cello, violin and choir” we will hear not the original version, but Paul Drayton’s cover, which is said to have been made relatively recently and is extremely successful.

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Sun song for cello, violin and choir – at the end of the “Cello Cēsis” festival, string instruments will resonate with the Latvian Radio Choir / Article
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