Vestards Šimkus’ new album features Wagner’s piano works

Renowned Latvian pianist Vestards Šimkus (known internationally as Vestard Šimkus) has released his latest album Wagner Idyll on the German ARS produktion label (ARS 38 123), containing four solo piano pieces by Richard Wagner.

What makes the album slightly unusual is that Wagner is not particularly known for his piano works – his opera works being far better known. In fact, three of the four selections on the CD are piano arrangements of Wagner works by other composers (including Šimkus himself).

The CD was recorded at the Immanuelskirche in Wuppertal, Germany in May of 2011. The CD booklet features a lengthy biography of Wagner, as well as a briefer biography of Šimkus in both German and English.

This is the second CD Šimkus has recorded for ARS – the first one being 2011’s Interview with Beethoven (ARS 38 099).

Vestards Šimkus’ website –
ARS produktion website –

Track listing:

1. Isolde’s Liebestod (transcription by Vestards Šimkus)

2. Fantasia in F sharp minor, WWV 22

3. Spinnerlied (Franz Liszt)

4. Siegfried Idyll (Glenn Gould)


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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