Following his Bachelors and Masters degrees in composition at the Music Academy in Riga, Ešenvalds undertook a wide range of occasional studies—with Jonathan Harvey and Michael Finnissy from the United Kingdom, with the American Richard Danielpour, and with Klaus Huber from Switzerland, among others. Contact with such differing aesthetic outlooks and compositional philosophies has helped him develop a flexible musical language that can encompass the fiercely articulate modernism of Frontiers of time (for strings), the neo-Impressionist orchestral study Clouds, as well as a simple a cappella arrangement of Amazing grace. He has written much instrumental and chamber music as well as a successful opera, Joseph is a fruitful bough, and if the choral medium has become an increasingly prominent strand of his practice in recent years, that should come as no surprise, for he is born of a culture that places choral singing at the very heart of its national identity. Indeed, he is intimate with the workings of the choral repertoire from the inside, as he is also a tenor in the professional State Choir Latvija. Yes, Eriks Ešenvalds is a pragmatic composer, embracing a medium he knows he has much to offer, and a truly modern one, creating opportunities for himself by reaching out to the world from his tiny country, researching his texts on the internet, and taking his inspiration from such diverse sources as the Jan Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble Officium CD on the ECM label, or a French recording of Albanian folk music.
from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2011
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
|A drop in the ocean (Ešenvalds)|
|Legend of the walled-in woman (Ešenvalds)|
|Long Road (Ešenvalds)|
|Night Prayer (Ešenvalds)|
|Passion and Resurrection (Ešenvalds)|