Eight World Premieres. The Beads of Eternity

At the opening concert of Riga Festival on June 7, an ambitious set of choral work premieres titled The Beads of Infinity will take place, performed by the Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Kaspars Putniņš. Eight contemporary Latvian composers have composed new works with poems written by Nora Ikstena that she dedicated to the planets of the Solar system. These poems serve as gratitude and amazement at our presence at this brief stop in the course of infinity - Earth.

The project features Latvian composers of different generations who have had a musical connection with the Latvian Radio Choir and the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers over the years – Arturs Maskats, Santa Ratniece, Anna Fišere, Mārtiņš Viļums, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Juris Karlsons, Andris Dzenītis. But for Platons Buravickis, this will be the first collaboration with the renowned choir.

The eight acrostics written by Nora Ikstena are simultaneously direct and coded messages to planets in the solar system. Nora Ikstena: “Eight planets live in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Each is a unique gift from the Creator and the universe. Mysterious, wrapped in myth and legends, still sparsely explored. Laying the number eight down horizontally, we get the infinity symbol. The earth is a pearl among these beads of infinity - the only one to host the human kind. What would be the message of this planet of people to the other sisters and brothers in space? To the hot and feminine Venus spinning clockwise, to the God of time Saturn and Mercury, the bastion of masculinity, who are winding towards the opposite direction; to the endless sky of Uranus, to Neptune, the ruler of waters; to the source of peace, light and strength Jupiter, to the war-red Mars? What words, what language in Babylon to dress it in, through what musical power to celebrate it? In the acrostical top-down reading of the first letters, we read the word that was at the beginning. The Word and music - this is how we express our joy, remembrance, celebration, and how we send out the letters we have written here and now into the Universe.”


Premieres eight composers’ works with Nora Ikstena’s poetry.

Arturs Maskats (1957) Mercury
Santa Ratniece (1977) Venus
Anna Fišere (1988) Earth
Mārtiņš Viļums (1974) Mars
Platons Buravickis (1989) Jupiter
Ēriks Ešenvalds (1977) Saturn
Juris Karlsons (1948) Uranus
Andris Dzenītis (1978) Neptune



Latvian Radio Choir
Conductor Kaspars Putniņš
Roberts Rubīns, video artist
Guntars Freibergs, percussions
Viktors Veļičko, double bass

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