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Sacred Chants. Lotus Blossom.

The “Lotus Blossom” programme features works by poets and composers who have tried to express Eastern religious culture in various ways. The distinguished British composer Jonathan Harvey has successfully merged Western and Eastern elements of culture and religion, and his opuses are full of balanced peace, wisdom and beauty. The contemporary Chinese composer Guo Wenjing, for his part, has composed The Echoes of Heaven and Earth, which involves a tight relationship with traditional music and echoes of original Buddhist chants. Toshio Hosokawa from Japan has dedicated his Lotus Blossom to the German Romanticist Robert Schumann, who composed several versions of Heinrich Heine’s poem Die Lotosblume. If the Heine text that is full of lyrics of love is viewed through the cultural and historical prism of the East, then it takes on a broader dimension. “Buddhism reveals the fact that the lotus flower symbolises that which is transcendental and is found beyond the boundaries of the spiritual and empirical world,” Hosokawa has said. “It is no accident that Buddha himself is shown sitting on a lotus blossom. The roots of the lotus flower are in heavy and damp soil which strengthens the plant as it is full of water, with the blossoms focusing on the heavens. In moonlight during the night, the fragile blossom resembles hands put together for prayer.”

Latvian Radio choir
Virdžīnija Laube, percussion
Ivo Krūskops, percussion
Kaspars Putniņš, conductor

Guo Wenjing (1956) The Echoes of Heaven and Earth for mixed choir and percussions
Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) The Forms of Emptiness for mixed choir
Toshio Hosokawa (1955) Sen VI for percussions solo
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Vier doppelchörige gesänge, op. 141
Toshio Hosokawa Die Lotosblume