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Cantus ad pacem

By Talivaldis Deksnis

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By Talivaldis Deksnis. By Peteris Vasks (1946-). Listening CD. Wergo #WER 67122. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-67122).

Item Number: NX.WER-67122

"I am absolutely certain that music helps to keep the world in balance.” (Peteris Vasks)This CD is the first to be devoted exclusively to the organ music of the Latvian composer, Peteris Vasks. With the exception of the "Te Deum" (recorded in St. Gertrude in Riga), all of the works were recorded on the magnificent organ of the cathedral in Riga. Here, over the course of the past twenty years, Talivaldis Deksnis, since 1984 one of the principal organists of this venerable house of worship, has performed all of Vasks's works for organ, many of them for the first time. The bird songs that Vasks so dearly loves and characteristic hymn-like choruses can be clearly heard on the organ as well, though they now sound more peaceful and distant; the threatening clusters of chords, which warn of a coming global catastrophe, also lose a bit of their terror. Besides original compositions for organ, this CD also includes two adaptations of works for string orchestra: "Viatore" (which has also been recorded for WERGO by the Sinfonietta Riga and Normunds Sne; see WER 67052) and "Canto di forza", both dedicated to Talivaldis Deksnis, with whom Vasks has maintained a lifelong friendship.

The two organ adaptations are surprisingly different in their effect from the original versions for string orchestra. In the ethereal registers of the organ, the “human” voices of the string instruments rise to weightless, immaterial heights. They flow out into realms of light.

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