Track listing Complete description Also recommended...

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Peteris Vasks

Oboe Concerto






World première recording of Oboe Concerto

Sleeve notes in English


September 2021

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1355-2


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Track listing

Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra (2018)
I. Morning pastorale

II. Scherzando

III. Evening pastorale

Vestijums (Message) (1982)

Lauda (1985)

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Complete description

Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks (b. 1946) is one of the most prominent names among living composers today. This album by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Poga includes the first recording of Vasks’ atmospheric and pastoral Oboe Concerto written for the centenary celebrations of Latvia’s independence in 2018 and performed by one of today’s leading oboists, Albrecht Mayer. The new concerto is coupled with two early orchestral works from the 1980s, Vēstījums and Lauda – both musical manifestations from the final years of the Soviet Union when occupied Latvia started its peaceful fight to regain the country’s independence.


Vasks’ writes: “The Oboe Concerto is possibly one of my brighter works.” The Concerto has two pastorale movements echoing the Latvian landscape with hints to Latvian folk music. However, the Concerto portrays something much deeper that Latvia’s beautiful nature. Vasks comments: “The concerto could be viewed as akin to a human life with its beginning, period of maturity, and departure.” The Concerto received its premiere on October 5, 2018, at the Large Guild Hall in Rīga, one month before the culmination of Latvia’s centenary celebrations. Albrecht Mayer and the LNSO performed the work under the baton of Andris Poga, as on this recording.


Vēstījums (The Message) (1982) for Two Pianos, Strings and Percussion belongs to Vasks’ early works. In this piece Vasks wanted to express “how exquisitely beautiful the world is and what we, in our hubris, are doing with it.” The work culminates in a moment when “the cosmos rejoices”: “We, the insane, will be lost but the miracle of the world will remain,” as Vasks explains. Lauda (1985) was the composer’s form of “spiritual protest” during Latvia’s final years as part of the Soviet Union, originally written for the 150th anniversary of Latvian folklorist Krišjānis Barons, a moment which resulted in a peaceful candle protest. The work received its premiere two years later, in 1987.


Albrecht Mayer began his career in 1990 as the solo oboist of the Bamberg Symphony. In 1992, he accepted the equivalent position with the Berlin Philharmonic. In addition to his solo career, Albrecht Mayer appears regularly as a conductor. Albrecht Mayer’s transcriptions of pieces by Bach and Handel have even found a place in the German pop charts. In 2006, 2008, and 2010, Albrecht Mayer was awarded an ECHO Klassik Prize; and in December 2006, he received the E.T.A Hoffmann Cultural Prize of the city of Bamberg. In 2013, he was taken into the Gramophone ‘Hall of Fame’ and was awarded the Bavarian Cultural Prize. Albrecht Mayer plays an oboe and an oboe d’amore built by the Mönnig Brothers.


The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra is one of the cornerstones of Latvian national culture, its history spans almost a century. The LNSO is a six-time winner of the Latvian Grand Music Award. Since 2013, the music director of the LNSO is maestro Andris Poga, a conductor sought after by top orchestras from around the world. The orchestra’s most notable former music directors include Jānis Mediņš, Leonīds Vīgners, Edgars Tons, Vassily Sinaisky, Olari Elts, and Karel Mark Chichon. Guntis Kuzma has been the orchestra’s conductor since the 2014/15 season and is the orchestra’s former principal clarinetist.

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