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ĶENIŅŠ, T.: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6 / Canzona Sonata (Vižine, Latvian National


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Author Topic: ĶENIŅŠ, T.: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6 / Canzona Sonata (Vižine, Latvian National  (Read 117 times)
dhibbard
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« on: April 30, 2021, 05:11:41 pm »

A new CD of the music of Kenins 

https://www.amazon.com/Symphonies-4-6-Santa-Vizine/dp/B08YQR5VZG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1619799057&refinements=p_32%3ATalivaldis+Kenins&s=music&sr=1-2


The first album of orchestral works by one of Latvias most prominent composers, Talivaldis Kenin (19192008), released in October 2020 has received a warm response from music critics around the world. This second volume by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under conductor Guntis Kuzma includes two symphonies from the 1970s alongside another concertante gem, Canzona Sonata for viola and string orchestra. Although born in Latvia, eni lived most of his life as an exile. He was educated in Paris, where he studied under Tony Aubin and Olivier Messiaen, and won several awards. eni emigrated to Canada in 1951 and became a respected pedagogue and a very influential figure in Canadas music life. Alongside his pedagogic work he wrote a sizeable catalogue of works, including several symphonies and concertos. At first eni focused on writing works of chamber music and completed his first symphony relatively late, in 1959. During the 1970s and 80s, eni wrote several symphonies more becoming a major symphonist. The two symphonies included in this volume are compact orchestral scores from the 1970s. Symphony No. 4 is rich with its fine French orchestral textures, while Symphony No. 6 is an impressive symphonic work based on a fugue theme. The expressive Canzona Sonata for viola and string orchestra written in 1986 is a relatively late work and a wonderful example of the composers skills in writing concertante music.
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 05:27:11 pm »

Thanks, Dave. If you go to the Presto Classical site here: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/search?search_query=Kenins%20 you can sample snippets of these pieces and other CDs of Kenins', which facility doesn't seem to be available on Amazon's website. I have had a quick listen and they are certainly colourful. I think I hear an influence of Stravinsky too, for what it's worth. Still, I guess he's hard to avoid for any mid-to late 20th century composer!
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 10:59:29 pm »

A welcome release, indeed! Symphony No. 4 was previously available on a CBC LP back in the 70s, coupled with Ķeniņš' Violin Concerto. Steven Staryk was the soloist and John Avison conducted both works.

I knew Ķeniņš back in the 1980s and had some interesting conversations with him, as well as a composition masterclass. He once told me that the fugue was his favorite musical form, and if you listen to any amount of Ķeniņš' music you'll encounter fugues quite frequently, as in the 6th Symphony.

There are eight numbered symphonies followed by a nonet subtitled "quasi una sinfonia," as a bit of sly humor to evade the "curse of the ninth symphony." There's also an excellent Sinfonietta from the 1970s. I attended the premieres of a couple of the late symphonies and they're long overdue for commercial recordings. In the meantime, some of Ķeniņš' works can be heard on the Internet Archive in the Pogonyi collection. Also, if you visit the Canadian Music Centre website and sign up for access you can hear all the symphonies.
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 11:33:50 pm »

My mistake -- the nonet is subtitled "L'ultima sinfonia."
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