World première of Peteris Vasks's Third Symphony (30.11.2006)

Peteris Vasks's Third Symphony, a one-movement piece, received its world première performance in Tampere on November 25, 2005. The commissioning Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra was lead by its Chief Conductor Designate John Storgårds. At the end of the 50-minute performance, the audience accorded both the composer and the performers a standing ovation. October and early November had already seen two other world premieres of new works by Vasks, the Fifth String Quartet having been given in Tallinn and Missa for Choir and Strings in Helsinki.

Ondine plans to record the Third Symphony with the première performers and to release the CD in the autumn of 2006. The project builds on the major success of the CD release of Vasks' Second Symphony (ODE 1005-2) which was awarded 'Disc of the Year' at the Cannes Classical Awards 2004, in addition to a special 'Orchestral 20th Century Award'.

Peteris Vasks describes in his own words the circumstances in which he composed his Third Symphony: "Since 2002, when the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra magnificently performed my Second Symphony and subsquently recorded it for CD, I have been a passionate supporter and admirer of this orchestra. When I was asked whether I would agree to write a new orchestral work of 15-20 minutes for the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, I did not hesitate for one second. After a few months of work I started feeling that I would not be able to adhere to the given deadlines. I understood that I had no choice but to stop considering the time constraint and let the sound take me on a journey instead. Tonight you will have the opportunity to hear the result of this journey - the Third Symphony - for the first time. What do I want to suggest of with this Symphony? The beauty of God's world. The destiny of humanity and the destiny of a people. Love and loyalty to ideals. Losses and the ability to rise up and move forward. Ultimately, the endless struggle between light and darkness. Perhaps it would be more appropriate just to say that I thought of all this while working on the Symphony. After all, every listener takes a sound journey of his own."

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