The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra begins the year’s final month with a concert on December1 at Liepāja Concert Hall "GREAT AMBER", celebrating the 40th birthday of composer Ēriks Ešenvalds and the 75th anniversary of the State Academic Choir "Latvija".
The largest professional choir in the Baltic States and one of our most famous contemporary composers will meet on the stage of "GREAT AMBER". Ešenvalds will assume the narrator’s role, whereas the 50 magnificent voices of Choir "Latvija" will be joined by the mixed choirs of Liepāja Folk and Culture Centre ‒ choirs "INTIS" (conductor Ilze Vaice, choir master Kārlis Millers) and "Laiks"(conductor Ilze Balode, choir master Laura Bluķe), as well as the girls' choir of PECC Liepāja Music, Art and Design School (conductor Andris Kontauts).
"For quite some time already, the name of composer Ēriks Ešenvalds needs no additional introductions ‒ he is well known and demanded in the world. The splendour of his talent is exceptional, his music is loved and popular. In sports Liepāja can boast of Kristaps Porziņģis, whereas in music we take pride in Priekule-born Ešenvalds. Both have achieved the highest level, each in his own field," says Māris Sirmais, the artistic manager of State Choir "Latvija", in high praise of the composer.
"My home is very near Liepāja ‒ in Priekule. Collaboration with Liepāja Symphony Orchestra strengthens this feeling of home. To have a celebration at home is the best thing ever," thinks Ešenvalds.
In the anniversary concert programme, the composer has included the music composed in recent years and a number of his opuses will have their Latvian premiere on December 1. The first part of the concert will be dedicated to choir music while the second part will feature symphonic music: "Trinity Te Deum", "Dziesmu Latvija"(Latvia of Songs), "Ezeri atmostas rītausmā"(The Lakes Awake at Dawn) and "Debess Litānija"(Litany of Sky).
The concert in celebration of the two anniversaries is noteworthy for the fact that it will be possible to purchase the album of State Choir "Latvija" with Ešenvalds' choir music recorded this autumn in St. John's Church in Riga. The composer himself suggested the title of the album ‒ "Of Times Forgotten". It comprises the music composed during the last five years; the first part of the concert will feature a selection of music recorded in the album. During the interval the composer will be signing the purchased CDs.
Ešenvalds' unique and impressive musical expression was greatly influenced by the nine years of singing in the State Choir "Latvija" and it is evident that the composer uses this experience when creating music which is so refined and convenient for voice. As artistic manager Māris Sirmais has been taking care of the sound of the State Choir "Latvija" for more than 20 years and Ešenvalds' flowing melodies superbly suit the voice of his former choir and the hands of Sirmais, his mentor and soul mate. Both musicians have collaborated already before. In 2013, Choir "Latvija" recorded the album "At the Foot of the Sky", and in 2011, youth choir "Kamēr" founded by Sirmais recorded the album "O Salutaris".