Rising star Latvian pianist Reinis Zarins performs solo piano music by Jāzeps Vītols (1863‐1948) in the 150th anniversary year of his death.
Jāzeps Vītols is regarded as the most important personality in Latvian musical culture of the first half of the 20th century. He taught in St Petersburg for 30 years, numbering Prokofiev among his many pupils. He was also Rector of the Latvian Conservatoire for 25 years, which now bears his name.
Reinis has chosen repertoire which he describes as demonstrating "beauty, elegance and humour alongside spirituality and nationalism"
Vītols composed more than 70 pieces for piano and even more songs, choral arrangements and folksong arrangements.
His music makes use of lively folkloric elements for example in the Ten Latvian Folksongs included here.
His Sonatine is a real discovery neoclassical elements with rich romantic harmonies combine to produce a dense and original sound world.
Reinis Zarins was born in Riga in 1985 and studied in Latvia, the US and the UK. He was awarded a 'Great Music Award' in Latvia in 2012 and has won top prizes in many international competitions.