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Andris Dzenitis "Mara" (27/09/2018)

New work “Māra” for simphony orchestra  by Latvian composer Andris Dzenītis will be premiered in Leipzig, Germany, next Thursday, 4th of October.

Commissioned by the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Boston Symphony Orchestra, it will be premiered in Leipzig Gewandhaus by the Gewandhausorchester and conductor Andris Nelsons. On 13th of October “Māra” will be performed in Latvian National opera, and on 16th of October in Liepāja concert hall “Great Amber”.

Andris about his work:

“The olden times of the Latvian folk in the centuries prior to the advent of Christianity are fraught with mystery. No written records of the archaic Latvian folk wisdom survive, but the holy ritual sites, their position, signs, and symbols speak and tell stories without words. We learn about the ancient daily life, annual customs, history, cosmology, philosophy, and sacred rituals from the verbal tradition: folk songs, proverbs, legends, and fairy-tales surviving since ancient times to the modern day. Latvian jewellery, belts, clothing, crockery, everyday objects, even the facades and roofs of houses are often decorated with the signs of the guardians, protectors, helpers pertaining to different aspects of life, embodiments of the features that a person wants to foster or overcome over the path of life.

The triad is central to the archaic Latvian mythology: the highest, immaterial power, the God, and two of its manifestations in the wordly realm – Laima and Māra. Māra manifests in different ways. We encounter her in every step we take, whenever we see, hear, smell, touch, or feel. She is in charge of birth and death, of the matter and substance of the world, space, both the tangible and the evanescent. Air and water. Dewy meadows and mould. A mystery. The energy that comes into being and leads to its own destruction. The beginning and the end.

In the composition I reflect on the manifestations of Māra both in a sacral - mythological, and a graphic sense: by tracing different meanders and line segments characteristic of Māra symbolic signs in the facture and sounds.

I want to use sound to let the power of Latvian mythological signs reach every corner no matter where the piece will be performed. This is the musical encoding of my personal understanding of what it means to be Latvian. The work is dedicated to my coeval, the great conductor Andris Nelsons.”

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