April 16, 2013
It seems Latvian popular music has been at a nadir recently. New faces have been few and far between, with the more recent work by better known names like Prāta vētra and Astro’n’out not quite exceeding expectations. Latvia, much like elsewhere, is awash with reality show singers who, after a while, begin to all sound rather depressingly similar.
However, the tide may have turned, as Tavs stāsts, the latest album by the group The Sound Poets, and their first album entirely in Latvian, is a joyous reaffirmation of the treasures that can still be found in Latvian popular music. Combining musical and lyrical talent, this album is one that we have been waiting for for a long time.
March 31, 2013
It is an ironic truism in the music world that a musician’s death always raises interest in the musician’s work. Album releases follow, sometimes with new music, more often re-releases of earlier works. The archives will be searched for previously unreleased songs and albums will undoubtedly follow. In a somewhat perversely positive way, songs that might have never seen the light of day while the musician was alive are then brought to listeners.
February 23, 2013
A particularly notable collaboration recently in Latvian classical music is composer Gabriel Jackson working with the State Choir Latvija, conducted by Māris Sirmais.
February 21, 2013
One of the most ambitious and memorable academic choir projects of the past decade was World Sun Songs, a project organized by legendary conductor Māris Sirmais, where contemporary world composers were asked to compose choir music for the Latvian youth choir Kamēr…, and the theme of the composition had to relate to the sun. A number of composers worldwide (as well as Latvia) – 16 composers from 17 different nations - responded to the challenge and, in 2008, the results were presented and recorded.
Ņemot rokās rakstnieces Andras Manfeldes jaunāko grāmatu Dzimtenīte, urdīja neliels nemiers. Zinot, ka Andrai viegli un precīzi padodas mūsdienu dzīves un tās sociālo problēmu (atcerēsimies kaut vai darbu Adata) atspoguļojums, šķita, ka rakstniece, kas pati, par laimi, nav bijusi spiesta kā ekonomiskais bēglis doties emigrācijā, līdz niansēm varētu šo situāciju arī nepārzināt.
January 13, 2013
After the comeback album Uz priekšu, released in 2009, Swedish Latvian group Alis P has released their third album, Attiecību putra. Alis P, led throughout its more than two decades of existence by Gundars Rullis, provide another meaty platter of heavy rock and bluesy grooves.
Šogad, dienu pēc LR Valsts svetku svinībām Rīgā notika pirmizrāde producenta Andreja Ēķa un režisora Aigara Graubas jaunajai filmai Sapņu komanda 1935. Splendid Palace kinozālē, Elizabetas ielā pulcējās 600 ielūgti viesi, to skaitā 3 bijušie Latvijas prezidenti, Valsts ministri, filmas aktieri, veidotaji un filmas radīšanas sponsori.
December 02, 2012
One of the most unique voices in Latvian music, if not the most unique and distinctive, not to mention one of the most unique personalities, is singer/guitarist/songwriter Haralds Sīmanis.
December 02, 2012
Spīd, the latest album from Latvian ensemble Oranžās brīvdienas is one of the most fun and creative Latvian albums to be released for quite some time
October 16, 2012
As part of their 50th anniversary celebration in 2011, venerable American Latvian ensemble Čikāgas piecīši had a documentary film developed about them, entitled Par mani, draudziņ, nebēdā. Written and directed by Latvian filmmaker Igors Linga, the one hour documentary feature traces the group’s history from 1961 to their farewell (or, as guitarist/vocalist Armads Birkens says, their ‘first farewell’) tour in 2011.
August 13, 2012
In March 2012 a delightful compact disc was launched in Wollongong, Australia, titled Celebrate the Seasons. It is the product of young Latvian/Australian musicians and educators with songs and dances from many lands for early childhood and primary school.
August 12, 2012
The kokle, a Latvian stringed instrument somewhat similar to the zither, has long been part of Latvian folk culture. The instrument has fitted into the stereotypical image of the Latvian folk maiden - in her folk costume, playing the kokle at the Song Festival (when she’s not milking the cows, of course).
August 08, 2012
Countryside living in Latvia is a bit romanticized. Clogged roads that are usually in pretty bad shape on the way there, feeding the mosquitos and ticks, the better than even chance you will have to deal with an outhouse, and the inevitable traffic jam on the way back to Rīga.
April 07, 2013
On Wednesday, February 27th 2013, Latvia mourned the death of, arguably, the most beloved modern Latvian poet Imants Ziedonis at the age of 79. Ziedonis, whose career as a poet (and as an author of short prose) spanned decades, rose to prominence during Soviet times and grew further during the Latvian Reawakening in the 1980s and further still in the 21st century.
January 22, 2013
Famed Latvian bass-baritone Egils Siliņš has released his latest album, Schubert und Strauss Lieder, featuring solo performances of songs by Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss, accompanied on piano by Helmut Deutsch.
December 24, 2012
The Leģendas series, produced by the Latvian record label MicRec, continues with the third release, a compact disc featuring well known Latvian singer Ojārs Grīnbergs (MRCD 497), to celebrate Grīnbergs’ 70th birthday.
December 24, 2012
Now available for the first time on compact disc are the complete Dainas by Jānis Mediņš for solo piano.
December 11, 2012
Youth choir Kamēr… have released their latest CD entitled Mēness dziesmas (KCD012). The CD is a companion piece to their 2008 recording World Sun Songs, which gathered 17 new compositions from international composers, all of which had themes related to the sun.
22 May 2013
In celebration of their 10 year anniversary, drum and bagpipe ensemble Auļi have released a ‘best of’ compilation entitled Dižducis (Lauska CD042).
16 May 2013
Andris Nelsons, who has led the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the United Kingdom since 2008, has been appointed the new music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
09 May 2013
After several hours of debate, the Latvian parliament on May 9 approved legislation that will allow dual citizenship for many individuals, including World War II-era exiles and their descendants.
In the forums
Latvians on Pikes Peak posted by peter B on 24 May 2013
SPRING LATVIAN NCAA STARS posted by celms on 22 May 2013
Let them eat pirogi.................. posted by peter B on 22 May 2013
Georgians on the war path posted by Mr L L on 18 May 2013
Andris Nelsons >> Boston posted by Ivars Graudins on 16 May 2013