Nordic Pulse, part one | Music | DW | 03.05.2019
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Nordic Pulse, part one

Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden are the nine countries on the Baltic Sea. Germany's Usedom Music Festival focuses on the music of those countries, plus Norway.

Listen to audio 55:00

Concert Hour: Nordic Pulse, part one

The festival is closely associated with an orchestra that does the same, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, whose programs with music director Kristjan Järvi can be many things, but never dull. This one has a name: "Nordic Pulse."  

This performance from the festival's most recent season marked the 100th year of independence of five countries on the Baltic: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. 

Wojciech Kilar is known internationally on the strength of his film music, but the Polish composer also wrote a piece for strings. "Orawa" belongs to a cycle of works having to do with Podhale and its inhabitants. Podhale is a mountainous region in southern Poland, sometimes referred to as the Polish highlands, a place rich in folklore. 

Mari Samuelsen performing with orchestral musiicans in the background (Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation e. V.)

Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen

Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas creates a kind of minimalism with influences from pop and folk music. Premiering in 2015 in Zurich, his work "Mountains. Waters. (Freedom)" has to do with processes of nature. 

The program also includes music by not only the most famous composer from Estonia, but the most famous Estonian alive, Arvo Pärt, also the world's most often performed contemporary composer. His creations in a simple but very strictly structured style match a worldwide fascination for the Middle Ages and spiritual renewal. The first standout piece of this vein is "Fratres" (Brothers) from 1977. 

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic's founder and artistic director, Kristjan Järvi, has wide-ranging musical interests and is himself also a composer. His piece named "Aurora" is inspired by the play of light and colors at sunrise. 

Kristjan Järvi conducting, with an instrument and instrumentalist in the foreground (Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation e. V.)

Kristjan Järvi is open to a variety of music, particularly the energetic kind

Wojciech Kilar 

Gediminas Gelgotas
Mountains. Waters. (Freedom) 

Arvo Pärt
Fratres for violin, percussion and strings  

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora for violin and orchestra     

performed by:
Mari Samuelsen, violin
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi, conductor 
Recorded by North German Radio, Hamburg (NDR) in the Power Plant of the Museum of History and Technology in Peenemünde on September 22, 2018

Daniel Schnyder  
Trumpet concerto, 2nd and 3rd movements  

performed by:
Reinhold Friedrich, trumpet
North German Radio Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi, conductor
on 03126 / Enja Records ENJ-9460 2  

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