SEASON'S FINAL CONCERT IN THE AULA MAGNA OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LATVIA
On May 21, Sinfonietta Riga concluded its 16th concert season in the Aula Magna of the University of Latvia. Under the leadership of conductor Normunds Šnē, two opuses by representatives of the Bach dynasty were played - Johann Sebastian Bach's Third Suite and Christian Philipp Emmanuel Bach's First Symphony. The orchestra's concert programs are characterized by contrasts, the coexistence of different musical eras and paradigms. Also in this programm, the baroque era are contrasted with the musical compositions of recent times - the Italian avant-garde classicist Lucian Berio's piece Requies and the American John Adams’s Violin Concerto, in which Aleksandrs Sitkoveckis, already known to the Riga public, brilliantly demonstrated his musicality, virtuoso technique and stage charisma.
In a review in the "Latvijas avīze", musicologist Armands Znotiņš, reflecting on the performance of the Adams’s Violin Concerto, assesses: "Taking into account the passionate virtuosity of John Adams's violin concerto, the natural charm of the instrumental concerto genre and the composer's approach to the listener (undoubtedly to a greater extent than in the case of Berio and Saariaho), it must be accepted , that for a large part of the audience, the performance of this concert became the peak of the concert. The fact that John Adams "glorifies romanticism and the triumph of melody" in his violin concerto can be debated - at least in my view, the author's characteristic post-minimalist rhythmic intonational compositions, overlapping of neon lights with a nightly meadow in the summer atmosphere and mystical illuminations of the impulses of the human or even the collective subconscious were rather expressed here . However, whatever the musical language of this opus and the complexities of its content, it must be admitted that Aleksandrs Sitkoveckis and the "Sinfonietta Rīga" ensemble interpreted Adams's violin concerto brilliantly. Both the professional preparation and imagination of the famous violinist, which was realized in a colorful range of timbres and images, and the dramaturgical architectonic parameters supervised by Normund Šnē were really convincing, while the performance of "Sinfonietta Rīga" with the integrally important participation of each musician and the rich expressiveness of the soundscape became one of the orchestra's moments of triumph."