Latest Sviests 7 folk music anthology released

The latest entry in the bi-yearly Latvian folk music anthology from the record label Lauska – Sviests 7 (LAUSKA CD071) – has been released. As with previous releases, this collects new recordings by many different Latvian folk groups, as well as performances that incorporate or have been inspired by Latvian folk music.

Joining familiar faces such as Laima Jansone, Rūta and Valdis Muktupāvels are newer groups like the dark folk ensemble Rāva, the synthesis of traditional singing with modern elements of Tautumeitas, and the Latvian rap and hip-hop folk artist Misters.

The CD booklet includes brief notes on the songs and ensembles in both English and Latvian.

For further information, please visit the Lauska web site.

 

Track listing:

  1. Pelīte – Tautumeitas
  2. Skan balsīnis rītā agri – Brāļi un māsas
  3. Vilciņš – RTU vīru koris Gaudeamus
  4. Īdona īzona – Elza Rozentāle un Bur Mani feat. DJ Monsta
  5. Pēdējais lībietis – Vārna
  6. Sniegi sniga – Rāva
  7. Kungi mani karā sūta – Laima Jansone un Pēteris Draguns
  8. Žū bērniņ, žū – LEILALI un Rihards Lībietis
  9. Koklītes koklēja – Rūta un Valdis Muktupāvels
  10. Sajāja bramaņi – Stiprās sievas un Raimonds Tiguls
  11. Zīmeņa – Ceidari un Kārlis Kazāks
  12. Sīvi sīvi – Trejasmens
  13. Cipu capu vāverīte – Artemisia Absinthium
  14. Ormans – Jauno Jāņu orķestris
  15. Nospiedumi – Misters
  16. Bebru regejs – Bezgalībieši
  17. Lācīts kāpa ozolā – Teikas muzikanti
  18. Smuks puisits – Skandi
  19. Saimniekdēls – Rahu the Fool
  20. Balāde par pulkvedi – Oskars Jansons
  21. Veļu laiks – Edgars Lipors

Daina Gross is editor of Latvians Online. An Australian-Latvian she is also a member of the Education Board of the World Federation of Free Latvians and the translator into English of various books on industrial history in Latvia.

Collector’s coin released – celebrating Rozentāls’ 150th birthday

The Bank of Latvia has released a new collector’s coin to celebrate the 150th birthday of Latvian painter Jānis Rozentāls.

According to the Bank of Latvia website, Jānis Rozentāls (1866 – 1916) was “one of the most important shapers of national art” in Latvia, and “Rozentāls became the most versatile artist of the turn of the 20th century, a popular and skillful portrait painter, a modern and enthusiastic proponent of the new aesthetic principles, whose creative activities influenced the development of painting, graphic and book art, theory and criticism of art.”

The coin depicts Rozentāls’ painting “Princese ar pērtiķi” (The Princess and the Monkey) from 1913, and the contemporary interpretation of the painting is “as an allegory for an artist’s dependence on society or art, which like a dominating mistress is playing with her servant.”

The silver proof quality coin has a mintage of 7000 and has a face value of 5 euro. The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (The Netherlands), using a graphic design by Sandra Krastiņā and plaster model by Jānis Strupulis.

A video about the coin (in Latvian with English subtitles) can be viewed here.

For further information, please visit the Bank of Latvia’s Collector’s Coin page.

 

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

“Baltars” porcelain workshop commemorative coin released

The Bank of Latvia has released a silver commemorative coin to celebrate the work of “Baltars”, a society that produced artistic porcelain at their workshop in Latvia in the 1920s.

According to the Bank of Latvia website, “Baltars” (the name was taken from the Latvian ars Baltica – or Baltic art), founded in 1925, was inspired by Latvian painter Romans Suta, and, at their workshop, the creative core of the group was Suta, his wife -painter Aleksandra Beļcova, Latvian graphic art virtuoso Sigismunds Vidbergs, as well as painters Erasts Šveics and Lūcija Kuršinska.

Their work was recognized internationally, and won three medals at the International Decorative Arts Exhibition in Paris in 1925. However, due to the high costs of creating these works of art, and low sales, “Baltars” had a very brief period of operation, and ended their work in 1928.

The proof-quality coin, struck in the form of a plate, has a nominal face value of 5 Euro, and was minted at UAB Lietuvos monetų Kalykla in Lithuania, and has a mintage of 5000. The graphic design was created by artist Frančeska Kirke. One side of the coin has the “Baltars” logo, the other side has a reproduction of Suta’s art from the plate called “Dance”.

For further information, please visit the Bank of Latvia collectors’ coin page.

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.