Šimkus and Ziedonis’ archival collaboration released

As the tributes to departed Latvian poet Imants Ziedonis continue, of the many archival recordings that have been recently released, one of the most memorable is Atsaukšanas (Upe tuviem un tāliem, UPETTCD074), released to coincide with what would have been the poet’s 80th birthday.

From a performance recorded at the Latvian Society House on July 1, 2004, Ziedonis teams up with famed Latvian pianist Vestards Šimkus to present a performance of Ziedonis’ poetry and Šimkus’ piano talents.

The recordings alternate between Ziedonis reading his own poetry and Šimkus performing solo piano works (mainly Romantic era works by such composers as Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt, as well as works by Russian composers such as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Scriabin).
The release also contains a DVD of the full performance (including an introduction by Ziedonis of the origins of the idea for the performance), which was recorded by Latvian Television. The DVD also reveals the very intimate nature of the performance, with listeners sitting just a few feet away from the performers, as well as surrounding them.  The CD booklet also contains additional selections of Ziedonis’ poetry (not on the broadcast).


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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