The international award-winning Latvian Youth Choir BALSIS, under the direction of Ints Teterovskis, is one of Latvia’s most accomplished choirs. The choir’s repertoire includes music of many periods, from Early Music and Renaissance to the Romantic era, culminating in contemporary experimental works and Latvian folk song arrangements. The choir sings primarily a cappella, but it also perform diverse repertoire with symphony orchestras and as guest artists with other international choirs.
Missa a cappella 1
Uģis Prauliņš MISSA RIGENSIS (2002)
1. Kyrie (3:18)
2. Gloria (6:27)
3. Credo (9:14)
4. Sanctus (3:53)
5. Agnus Dei (3:18)
Vytautas Miškinis MISSA BREVIS ES-DUR (2010)
6. Kyrie (3:49)
7. Gloria (3:57)
8. Credo (7:58)
9. Sanctus (2:25)
10. Benedictus (3:20)
11. Agnus Dei (3:42)
(Total CD Length 51:28)
Latvian Youth Choir BALSIS
Conductor Ints Teterovskis
Soloists Valdis Tomsons (1), Kristīna Zemberga (2,3), Ivo Sildegs (4,5)
The Missa a cappella project
In the fall of 2010, BALSIS launched a long-range commissioning and recording project called Missa a cappella. The project involves recording and producing a new CD every year which will be launched as part of an annual Missa a cappella concert series. The project’s primary goal is to facilitate the creation and recording of new a cappella Mass settings by well-known Latvian and international composers.
The first of these recordings was released in December 2011, featuring Latvian composer Uģis Prauliņš’ Missa Rigensis and Lithuanian composer Vytautas Miškinis’ Missa Brevis Es-dur. BALSIS was pleased to present the world premiere of Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni’s Missa Liberationis in Riga, Latvia in December 2011, with a recording due out later this year. Future commissions and recordings include works by Latvian composers Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Rihards Dubra and Latvian-Canadian composer Imant Raminsh.
Note from Conductor
The idea for the creation of the Missa a cappella project came while I was rehearsing Ugis Praulins’ brilliant Missa Rigensis. The genre of the a cappella Mass is undeniably one of the cornerstones in the development of choral polyphony and is one on which our modern composers focus relatively rarely. I am grateful to all of the composers who have written new works for BALSIS or who plan to do so. I am especially pleased for the Latvian composers, whose music and emotions speak to people’s hearts around the world.
Notes from the Composers
Missa Rigensis is Riga’s Mass – a high tribute to the city of my birth. I am happy to see this dream realized – it is my turn to carry Riga’s name through Missa Rigensis to other continents around the world. The Riga Dom Boys Choir’s original commissioned version of this Mass has been performed by world famous choirs in world famous places. I feel fortunate, that the significance of Missa Rigensis has not been lost to this day - thank you to BALSIS for this new recording!
Every time I write a Mass, I am overwhelmed by the meaning of the liturgical text. I try to find an answer – what is meant by the Credo? Do I believe or not believe? This haunts me. What is the Agnus Dei? A symbol of spirituality or religion, or does it also explain that no one is judged and one can live in harmony with oneself? The Mass can be sung both as liturgy and in concerts, as in writing it I have preserved the liturgical canon.
Notes from the Choir
The energy generated by a wave of sound suggests the vibration of the soul. It creates a wave of light and lifts us to where we sing the Mass as praise, the Mass as affirmation, the Mass as connection, raising our sights to a clean place where the only thing which can spread further is light. Perhaps only in this way – by asking yourself the difficult questions, affirming your identity and connecting with a belief which is greater than mankind – is it possible to create a work which will summon something new for the listener.
Through the Missa a cappella project we are able to experience the thrill and excitement of the subtle nuances of each composers’ unique style of composition. In this way, we learn about Prauliņš and Miškinis, we learn anew about Ints and about ourselves. For us, this is an opportunity – to be entrusted to tell of a spiritual experience through music..
Sopranos: Inese Bērziņa, Madara Blūmere, Madara Brikmane, Agnese Daškeviča, Baiba Eiduka, Ginta Grauzdule, Līga Grāvelsiņa, Endija Helde, Katrīne Lerhe, Agnese Rolava, Ilze Rubika, Līga Staņa, Antra Upīte, Rūta Veinalde, Kristīna Zemberga
Altos: Sanita Arbidāne, Dace Bilzone, Evita Kalniņa, Dace Kaļķe, Anna Labuce, Ance Mekša, Laura Miltiņa, Viktorija Pakalniece, Ilze Peipiņa, Linda Pranča, Ieva Rasa, Rasma Riktere, Zane Rudzīte, Elīna Seile, Māra Vēliņa, Laura Zavodska
Tenors: Rūdolfs Bacāns, Reinis Dundurs, Ainārs Eidons, Ingars Kaktiņš, Andris Lazdiņš, Edgars Legzdiņš, Kristaps Nauzeris, Ivo Sildegs, Jurģis Tālants, Valdis Tomsons
Bass: Rūdolfs Bērtiņš, Jānis Bērziņš, Zigmārs Brants, Armands Dziļums, Andis Freimanis, Edgars Jeršovs, Jānis Muzikants, Jānis Tālums, Aigars Zvanītājs
Missa Brevis Es dur
Sopranos: Alise Adoviča, Eva Baļule, Sabīne Birzgale, Madara Blūmere, Madara Brikmane, Zane Buiķe, Agnese Daškeviča, Baiba Eiduka, Endija Helde, Ilze Paeglīte, Agnese Rolava, Līga Ruciņa, Sabīne Soida, Līga Staņa, Anete Šķēle, Dita Tarvida, Rūta Veinalde, Kristīna Zemberga
Altos: Sanita Arbidāne, Ilze Bērziņa, Līva Drēviņa, Dace Hildebrante, Evita Kalniņa, Laura Leontjeva, Ilze Peipiņa, Linda Pranča, Rasma Riktere, Elīna Seile, Zane Stafecka, Laura Zavodska
Tenors: Ainārs Eidons, Ralfs Gūtmanis, Andris Lazdiņš, Edgars Legzdiņš, Didzis Linde, Kristaps Nauzeris, Arvis Ostrovskis, Ivo Sildegs, Valdis Tomsons
Bass: Rūdolfs Bērtiņš, Armands Dziļums, Romāns Feoktistovs, Andis Freimanis, Jānis Kokins, Ēriks Ļipuncovs, Jānis Muzikants, Kalvis Ruckis, Mārtiņš Sīpols, Jānis Strazdiņš, Jānis Tālums, Francis Upaciers, Roberts Zommerovskis, Aigars Zvanītājs
BALSIS – www.balsis.lv
Musica Baltica – www.musicabaltica.lv
Uģis Prauliņš – www.ugispraulins.blogspot.com
Vytautas Miškinis – www.azuoliukas.lt
Laura Adlers – www.theadlersagency.com