Guntis Kuzma, clarinet;
Sinfonietta Rīga;
Conductor: Normunds Šnē

Programme Erkki-Sven Tüür, ‘Lighthouse’; Rolf Wallin, ‘Boyle’; Sebastian Fagerlund, Concerto for Clarinet; Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 3

The Nordic theme of this summer’s Cēsis Art Festival will brilliantly resonate in this concert programme created by Normunds Šnē, the artistic director of the Sinfonietta Rīga Orchestra. First, it is ‘Lighthouse’ by the solitary from the juniper island of Hiiumaa, Erkki-Sven Tüür. The title is a reference to Stravinsky’s words regarding some composers being like lighthouses – casting their light across centuries. In this particular case, it is Bach whose music, according to Tüür, has everything a composer would want to achieve: mathematic precision, clarity and lucidity – but also strong emotions. ‘Lighthouse’ is immediately followed by the eccentric Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin’s ‘Boyle’ – the ancient alchemist’s playing with the liquid mercury and the hard sulphur, an encounter between two completely different physical existences. The brilliant Guntis Kuzma will solo in the Finnish middle-generation composer Sebastian Fagerlund’s Concerto for Clarinet with its vibrations of the Northern Lights, echoes of joiks, seething energy and passionate contemporaneity. And then the finale – Sibelius, the harsh hermit from the Finnish forests whose 150th birth anniversary we are marking this year: on this occasion, anchored firmly in absolute C major and even in a somewhat happy mood.

Photo: Örvar Thorgeirsson