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Peteris Plakidis

Songs for the Wind and Blood
Music for Piano, Strings and timpani,
Concerto for two Oboes and Strings,
Concerto-Ballad for Two violins, Piano and Strings

Peteris Plakidis (piano) Antra Bigaca (mezzo)
Uldis Urbans, Vilnis Pelnens (oboes)
Andris Pauls, Dzintars Beitans (Violins)
Riga Chamber Players/Normunds Sne

Toccata TOCC0004

A very engaging programme by a leading Latvian composer, b. June 1947. Plakidis builds upon Baroque and Renaissance polyphony spiced with Latvian folk music. Obliged to toe the line when the Soviets were in power over the Balkan States, he has forged a firm idiom and perhaps will find more individuality in the years to come.

The composer is soloist in his own music for Piano, Strings and Timpan, with a piano cadenza in its course. The Double Oboe Concerto made a particularly strong impression; it would score in concert performance, but though sincere and to some extent original, I doubt that it would retain its freshness on repeated hearings. That is perhaps even more so for the double violin Concerto-Ballad, in which Plakidis again takes the important pano part. The three dreamlike songs, for which Toccata provided multi-lingual texts in exemplary fashion, were bleakly expressive, and were well promoted by Antra Bigaca, a strikingly strong, persuasive mezzo.

An enterprising choice of niche repertoire.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also Rob Barnett in MW