Latvian Radio Choir performs classic Latvian choir songs

2012 was a year of many CD releases by the renowned Latvian Radio Choir.

Starting off the year with Plainscapes, a collection of choir songs by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, then releasing Jaunā raža, which featured recordings of choir works by modern Latvian composers, the choir released two CDs at the end of 2012 – All-Night Vigil, a recording of the work by Russian composer Rachmaninov, as well as Diena Aust, a collection of classic Latvian choir songs.

All-Night Vigil, released on the Finnish label Ondine (ODE 1206-5), features the work more commonly known as ‘Vespers’. The sacred work, possibly Rachmaninov’s best known choir composition, is for unaccompanied voice and is based on Orthodox texts and chants, as well as Rachmaninov’s own interpretations of Church music. The CD booklet contains notes on the work as well as the Latvian Radio choir in English and in Finnish. Also, the text of the work is presented in phoeneticized Russian with an English translation.

Though the Radio Choir usually focuses on the modern Latvian choir music repertoire, Diena aust, released on the Latvijas Koncerti label (LK-013), contains many well-known compositions of the ‘classic’ era of Latvian choir music (roughly speaking, mainly the first half of the 20th century). Featuring compositions by Latvian composers such as Jāzeps Vītols, Emīls Dārziņš, Pēteris Barisons, among others, the CD contains 19 such works. The booklet contains notes on each composition and composer in Latvian and English.

The Latvian Radio Choir, founded in 1940, has been led since 1992 by artistic director Sigvards Kļava, as well as conductor Kaspars Putniņš.

For further information, please visit the Latvian Radio Choir website at, as well as the Ondine website at and the Latvijas koncerti website at

Diena aust track listing:

1. Diena aust – Jāzeps Vītols

2. Bērzs rudenī – Jāzeps Vītols

3. Saule austrumos – Jāzeps Vītols

4. Rožu lauks – Emilis Melngailis

5. Mēness starus stīgo – Emilis Melngailis

6. Emilis Melngailis – Spēlē jel, spēlmani

7. Ja uz Betlemi es ietu – Emīls Dārziņš

8. Ciānas bērni – Emīls Dārziņš

9. Sapņu tālumā – Emīls Dārzinš

10. Minjona – Emīls Dārziņš

11. Ziedoņa rīts – Alfrēds Kalniņš

12. Šūpļa dziesma – Alfrēds Kalniņš

13. Pavasara jausma – Pēteris Barisons

14. Zilie sapņu kalni – Pēteris Barisons

15. Mūzai – Pēteris Barisons

16. Kad nakts – Jānis Zālītis

17. Birztaliņa – Jānis Zālītis

18. Vasaras vakars – Jāzeps Mediņš

19. Jānīts kalnā; Jānīts lejā – Jānis Kalniņš


Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area . 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.

One thought on “Latvian Radio Choir performs classic Latvian choir songs

  1. I am looking for the recording of Birztalina that is in the Diena Aust cd that you reviewed. Do you know if it is available online?

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