New ‘Latvijas brūnā’ 2 Euro coin released

The Bank of Latvia has released a new special circulation 2 Euro coin entitled ‘Latvijas brūnā’ or ‘Latvian Brown Cow’. Prior to introducing the Euro, the Latvian 2 Lats coin had an image of a cow on it.

The design of the national side of the coin was by Gunārs Lūsis (graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (plaster model). The coin was minted by UAB Lietuvos monetu kalykla (Lithuania).

According to the Bank of Latvia website, “The main breed of dairy cows in Latvia is the Latvian Brown. Initially, the Latvian brown cow was registered in 1911 as the Latvian Red-brown, but the Latvian Brown breed was approved in 1922. The Latvian Brown is a reddish-brown cow with darker legs and head, and a dark grey muzzle.”

For further information, please visit the Bank of Latvia website.

 

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.

Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova releases third album

Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova has released her third album (and her major label debut on Deutsche Grammophon) entitled Carmen – a reimagining of the songs from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen as performed by accordion.

Sidarova is joined by the ensemble Nuevo Mundo, Itamar Doari on percussion, Reentko Dirks on guitar, Michael Abramovich on piano, as well as the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sascha Goetzel.

As Sidorova notes, “…on this album my collaborators and I have brought our own Carmen fantasies to life, expressing our multicultural creative impulses in each number and refreshing Bizet’s original fusion with an exciting blend of Latino, oriental, European and North American spices.”

Ksenija will be performing throughout the summer, including stops at the Dzintari Concert Hall in Jūrmala, Latvia, the Mosel Music Festival in Mosel, Germany, the Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland, and the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, in the United States.

For further information, please visit Ksenija Sidorova’s website at http://www.ksenijasidorova.com/

 

Track listing:

  1. Carmen’s Walk
  2. Seguidillas
  3. La Siesta
  4. Chanson bohème
  5. Love Song
  6. Soir mélancolique
  7. Sunrise Over Seville
  8. In the Cards
  9. La Fiesta
  10. The Other Woman
  11. Spanish Pride
  12. À la bohèmienne
  13. Date With Destiny
  14. Reflections
  15. Daybreak
  16. Toreador (Los Toreros)
  17. Carmen’s Shadow

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.

Another CD of Shostakovich’s symphonies released, conducted by Andris Nelsons

Following up on Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons’ Grammy Award winning first album of Dmitri Shostakovich’s symphonic music performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra – Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphony No. 10, the next volume in the series has been released – this time featuring Shostakovich’s symphonies 5, 8 and 9 (Deutsche Grammophon DG 479 5201).

The two CD set also includes the suite from the Incidental Music to “Hamlet”. All the works were recorded live at Symphony Hall in Boston.

The next release in the series is planned for 2017 and will contain Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7. The goal is to record a complete cycle of Shostakovich 15 symphonies as well as the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. According to Andris Nelsons’ website, he has signed an exclusive recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon, and his many forthcoming recording projects include a full Beethoven symphonic cycle, as well as Bruckner’s symphonies.

Nelsons would not be the first Latvian conductor to accomplish this feat – Mariss Jansons also recorded all of Shostakovich’s symphonies (though with different orchestras), and also won a Grammy Award for his performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in 2006.

For further information, please visit Andris Nelsons’ website.

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.