10 Maija EinfeldeMaija Einfelde – Violin Sonatas
Magdalēna Geka; Iveta Cālīte
LMIC SKANI 129 (skani.lv)

Every now and then there is an album that is simply captivating, the music so powerful that one feels the need to go back to it over and over again. This particular album of sonatas by senior Latvian composer Maija Einfelde (including world premiere recordings of the third sonata and a solo work) had that special effect on me. The three sonatas for violin and piano and one for solo violin were written over the span of the last 20 years of the 20th century. They do not feature any exuberant contemporary violin techniques (though the imitation of the clay bird whistle sounds in the second sonata is delightful) but rather share some similarity with the musical language of Messiaen. What they do feature is an abundance of darkness, shades of deep sonority, profoundness of the life lived and an encompassing artistry. 

This music is supremely focused, there is no note that is unnecessarily placed, and maintaining this sort of conceptual intensity requires both fortitude and heart from the performers. Violinist Magdalēna Geka and pianist Iveta Cālīte have both. These two powerhouses delve deeply into the music of Einfelde, as if their lives depend on it. Geka’s tone is so resonant, so intense and clear (especially in the high register), that one feels its reverberations in the body. What is most impressive is that both artists found a way to add another dimension to Einfelde’s music – joyful, triumphant moments between the waves of darkness. And this is the way that magic happens.

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