CD Compact: Contemporary CD of the year 2005; Gramophone Award; Music Web International: outstanding.
'I have always dreamed that my music would be heard where people were unhappy: in hospitals and prisons, in crowded trains and buses… My music is intended for a large number of people, not just for the audiences at concert halls.’ This is a comment that Peteris Vasks (b. 1946) made in connection with Musica Dolorosa, the earliest of the works on the present disc, written in 1983 as a requiem for his sister. If anything the composer’s deep urge to communicate, and his humanistic and spiritual concerns have grown even stronger since then.
His violin concerto Distant Light, completed in 1997 and already on its way to becoming a modern classic, is described by Vasks as: ‘A song, coming from silence and floating away into silence – full of idealism and love, at times melancholy and dramatic.’ This disc also offers the world première recording of Viatore (‘The Wanderer’, 2001), which may be described as a representation in sound of ‘becoming’ or ‘passing’ – a spiritual journey in familiar Vasks territory.
All the works were recorded in the presence of the composer by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra – an ensemble whose previous BIS recordings have all been highly acclaimed. The orchestra’s performances on one of their latest offerings – H.K. Gruber’s Manhattan Broadcasts BIS-CD-1341) – were termed “masterful” (Gramophone), “a triumph” (BBC Music Magazine), and “superb” (The Times). Under the direction of the orchestra’s leader Katarina Andreasson, who also performs the solo part of the violin concerto, the playing on the present disc is not less committed.
Some press voices:
Katarina Andreasson gives a searingly brilliant performance. At its best, Vasks’ soundworld is one of great beauty and power, and these persuasive performances often reach the realms of the sublime. The Strad, November 2004
Both the Violin Concerto and Musica Dolorosa also receive performances that quite frankly are as good as any available, while the sonics sweep the field. Classics Today.com
This is beautiful music and a welcome addition to Vasks’ discography...superbly played by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and their leader Katarina Andreasson who is also the excellent soloist in the Violin Concerto. MusicWeb International
La estupenda y muy espresiva Katarina Andreasson nos ofrece aquí una interpretación extraordinaria ... Un compacto inolvidable. Scherzo, February 2005
Las versiones son extraordinarias: la Orquesta de Cámara Sueca es una de esas formaciones modélicas que no sólo poseen un nivel técnico incuestionable, sino que saben también transmitir a sus interpretaciones una pasión contagiosa ... la recomendación es clara. CD Compact, January 2005