Peteris Vasks

Piano Works

Reinis Zarins, piano



Sleeve notes in English

World première recordings of Cuckoo's Voice. Spring Elegy and Cycle


May 2022

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1361-2


Track listing

CD 80:32
Peteris Vasks (1946-)
1 Cuckoo's Voice. Spring Elegy (2021) 12:30
Cycle (1976) 15:57
2 I. Prologue 3:21
3 II. Nocturne 3:59
4 III. Drama 3:11
5 IV. Epilogue 5:24
The Seasons (1980-2008) 52:05
6 White Scenery (1980) 8:37
7 Spring Music (1995) 19:37
8 Green Scenery (2008) 9:20
9 Autumn Music (1981) 14:26

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Complete description

The love for the Latvian landscape is audible in the piano works of Latvia’s greatest living composer, Peteris Vasks (b. 1946), especially in his Seasons, the composer’s most frequently performed piano work. For this album pianist Reinis Zariņš has brought two other piano works alongside The Seasons as first recordings: Vasks’ early piano work Cycle (Zyklus) from the 1970s, and a new piano work, Cuckoo’s Voice. Spring Elegy, written by the composer for Reinis Zariņš during the pandemic.


During the pandemic, Pēteris started composing a new piece for this album. I had no clue how far he was with it, when the news came that he had caught Covid. This was before the advent of vaccines, so there was some real anguish and many heartfelt prayers. But Pēteris kept composing the work throughout his illness. […] The new work is now poignantly called Cuckoo’s voice. Spring elegy, and I dearly treasure the memory of Pēteris showing me the fruit of his labour for the very first time on his home piano. […] There’s hardly a soul who knows the Cycle; not only because it reveals a certain rebelliousness that we do not find in his later oeuvre; but because it completes a beautiful arc of Pēteris Vasks’ life. His first, his last (to date), and his most monumental music for the piano. It’s all here. (Reinis Zariņš)


Ever since his concerto debut at the age of ten, Reinis Zariņš has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America. He has participated in prestigious music festivals including the Lucerne Festival, the Bath International Music Festival, and the Scotia Festival of Music. His thoughtful virtuosity has delighted audiences at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore hall, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. Reinis has collaborated with leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and with conductors Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Andris Poga, among others. His performances have been broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, NDR, Polish National Radio, and King FM. In 2018, he was Artist-in-Residence at Latvian Radio 3 and the Cēsis Concert Hall with his Trio Palladio. Reinis Zariņš regularly performs in his native Latvia and has won the country’s Grand Music Award four times in the Outstanding Interpretation category. He champions the work of Latvian composers — several of Reinis’ albums are dedicated to Latvian music. Following his foundational studies in Latvia, Reinis won several scholarships to refine his talent at the Yale School of Music in the U.S.A. and the Royal Academy of Music in London. His most important teachers have included Boris Berman, Raffi Kharajanyan, Christopher Elton, and Renē Salaks.