New CD to commemorate composer Jānis Cimze

Latvian composer Jānis Cimze, considered to be the father of Latvian choir music and culture, known for his arrangements of Latvian folk songs such as “Rīga dimd”, “Krauklīt’s sēž ozolā”, and “Teici, teici valodiņa”, staples of Latvian Song Festivals for more than 100 years, celebrates his 200th birthday in 2014.

To commemorate this significant anniversary, the Valka City Council (Cimze worked in Valka from 1849 to his death in 1881) commissioned the mixed choir Sõla, of the Latvian Academy of Culture, to record a CD of his folk song arrangements, simply entitled Jānim Cimzem – 200.

Sõla, conducted by Kaspars Ādamsons, recorded 17 of Cimze’s folk song arrangements, as well as three new works dedicated to Jānis Cimze by Latvian composers Selga Mence, Mārtiņš Brauns, and Raimonds Pauls (the lyrics for all three works are by renowned Latvian poet Jānis Peters). The CD includes both arrangements for mixed choir, as well as for men’s choir.

The CD booklet includes biographical information about Cimze in both Latvian and English.



Jānis CImze 200


Track listing:

  1. Krauklīt’s sēž ozolā (mixed choir)
  2. Pūt, vējiņi, dzen laiviņu! (mixed choir)
  3. Rīga dimd (men’s choir)
  4. Visi gani mājās dzina (mixed choir)
  5. Teici, teici valodiņa (mixed choir)
  6. Zirgi zviedza, velli brauca (mixed choir)
  7. Saulīt vēlu vakarā (men’s choir)
  8. Tumša, tumša tā eglīte (mixed choir)
  9. Jānīti, mans dēls (men’s choir)
  10. Kur tu iesi, jauns puisīti? (mixed choir)
  11. Tek saulīte tecēdama (mixed choir)
  12. Nu ardievu, Vidzemīte (men’s choir)
  13. Bāleliņa līgaviņa (mixed choir)

Midsummer songs from the Vidzeme region arranged by Jānis Cimze (mixed choir)

  1. Nītaurieši (arī Krustpilī)
  2. Ērglēnieši
  3. Cēsnieki
  4. Jāņa mate sieru sēja

New works dedicated to Cimze, lyrics by Jānis Peters

  1. Pusnaktī kad kalējs kaļ – Selga Mence
  2. Krauklis – Mārtiņš Brauns
  3. Stiprā pils – Raimonds Pauls

For further information, please visit the Valka region website at and the choir Sõla’s website at

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.

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