Riga enchants with beautiful Advent melodies

  • 2010-12-16
  • By Sam Logger

O Wisdom,
O Holy Word of God,
You govern all creation with your strong,
yet tender care.
Come, and show your people
the way to salvation.

Lighting the fourth and final candle of the Advent wreath, it’s time to evaluate everything we’ve done this year and seek guidance. At this time we find our strength in prayers which warm us from the inside. It’s the moment when we put down our material property and pay attention to our spiritual property.

How to speak to your spirit? It’s a building process! In the Christian religion Advent initiates a four week waiting period for Jesus Christ’s coming. Generated from the Latin word ‘adventus’ Advent can be translated into ‘arrival.’ Thus dedicating more time for personal purification, the spirit is led to be open for every Christmas miracle. Use the prayer above to purify yourself alone or delight your spirit in a more modern way – attend one of the concerts at Advent time.

Nowadays December is associated with the most silent time of the year – it’s dedicated to forgiveness, love, family and also charity. However, for ancient Latvians this winter solstice was devoted to celebration and noise! This is somehow reflected today – the period of Advent is full of amazing and soulful concerts throughout the capital of Latvia.
One of these concerts is the world premiere of “7 Stories of the Gospel of Thomas,” taking place on Dec.17 and 18 at the Gertrude’s Old Church in Riga. The composition is based on the gospel of Thomas, which was found in Egypt in 1945 and is argued to be the fifth gospel of the Christian religion.

The author of the composition is the expressive Latvian musician, percussionist Rihards Zalupe. Being a part of Latvia’s National Symphonic Orchestra, he also implements independent projects which include both serious and popular music. Zalupe writes instrumental and vocal music and participates in the Latvian band “Otra Puse,” which releases successful hits in popular music. His contribution in music was honored in 2008 when his album Marimba Dance received the award of Year’s Debut at Latvia’s Music record awards. Apart from Zalupe and his instrumental band “Xylem Trio” the concert also stars the choir Maska, conducted by Janis Ozols, one of the members of vocal group “Cosmos,” and singer Ieva Kerevica, who gained popularity by participating in the musical show Koru Kari 2 (War of the Choirs).

The program of “7 Gospels of Thomas” is described as rhythmic expression which is supplemented by vocal arrangements portraying a resemblance with the most dramatic Hollywood movies.
Tickets for concerts are available on www.bilesuparadize.lv and in all Bilesu Paradize box-offices. Both concerts start at 7 p.m.

With many concerts planned at the end of the Advent time, it must be said that the most soulful programs will be held in churches offering sacred compositions and traditional Christmas songs. Another field of Advent music is serious music, and many concert halls, including Spikeri Concert Hall and the Small Guild, let their audience enjoy instrumental melodies of Christmas.

There is a Christmas spirit in all of us. When we let it out we see how beautiful the world around us is. The Advent time introduces the most peaceful and joyful time of the year when all we really need is to feel that we have a purpose in this life. What is more important – look around and value what you have. Latvia is so white this year – and the gift from nature couldn’t have been better!