Duo Collage presents "Music of Latvia"

Nona Krastnikova and Mariya Ruseva
Photo: courtesy of Duo Collage

On April 9, Monday, the Bulgarian Duo Collage will perform worksby Latvian composers. Soprano Nona Krastnikova and pianist Mariya Ruseva have prepared a program of twenty songs that will be performed in the original language.

“The Music of Latvia Concert is part of the successful project ‘Music of Europe’, which is carried out with the joint efforts of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music. We have the honor to present songwriting by composers from the country this concert is dedicated to. It was a great challenge. As a duo we have participated in various concerts, but most of themincluded familiar composers and works. The works we received for this concert were written by authors who create in the field of romantic musical styling. These includeEmīls Dārziņš, Jāzeps Vītols, Romualds Kalsons, Alfrēds Kalniņš, Jānis Ķepītis and others.”

It is well known that Latvia's national culture started to form at the end of the nineteenth century. Years before that, music had been developing in the spirit of German traditions. The works included in the program were written in the twentieth century –they date backto a period from the beginning of the century to the 1970s. While preparing for the upcoming concert, the two singershad the opportunity to get in touch with Latvian language for the first time. Nona received great help in studying the songs fromZiediteRunkule from Latvia - a pianist who works at the Pancho Vladigerov Academy.

“She helped me with the pronunciation, but also translated the lyrics, which is extremely important to the performer. Latvian is the strangest language I have ever sung in, but it turned out it was a very melodic language, making it very easy to sing in Latvian. In addition to that, the works show good knowledge of vocal music, they are very nice for singing and listening to. I think people who will come to our concert will be pleasantly surprised. As with other nations, at the beginning when national musical culture was being created, composers were influenced by the schools in which they received training. In this case they studied composition mainly in Russia and Germany. In some of the works, this can be felt. There are a few songs based on folklore. Lyrics are about love and are nice and gentle. Each song has its own charm and great beauty.”

English: Alexander Markov

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