TIME TO CELEBRATE: Tallinn Baroque Orchestra will convey the Christmas spirit through Claudio Monteverdi’s masterpiece “Vespra Della Beata Virgine.”
RIGA - Another year comes to its logical end, and everyone is ready to evaluate the moments lived in 2011, and set goals which need to be accomplished in the next year. Till then people can breathe the wonderful Christmas air and enjoy its festive mood, honoring the most spiritual time of year and renew the perfectness of one’s inner-self. To make it all happen, the city of Riga offers a diverse concert program to delight its residents and visitors in the period of Christmas and New Year. There is a song about the silent night which speaks about the calmness and pureness that surrounds the world and invites everybody to see the strength which lives inside and wants to break out.
The silent night is an ordinary friend, which is somehow praised only at Christmas. While being blamed of becoming too commercial or dependent on the traditions of religion, the Christmas celebration is still the favorite for many. Eyes are happy when they see the festive table, the Christmas tree and presents. These are the things we can measure, though! Next to them people are able to feel the warmth of the soul and heart when the loved ones are beside them, or when there is the overall sense of being good by sending a simple smile to a stranger. Christmas is the time that shows us that the biggest treasure lies within our spirit.
The events guide in Riga provides many opportunities for how to make our spirit shine, but there are three concerts which stand out. At first, Riga is repeatedly visited by the Harlem Gospel Choir, a group which can gather full attendance where the visitors are left inspired and thrilled, no matter what age they are and which religious faith they honor. Created by Allen Bailey, the choir has become the herald of religious chants, developed in the rhythms of jazz, blues and even rap, but it also enjoys performing popular pieces as well. Through the years the Harlem Gospel Choir has worked with many superstars, including U2, Avril Lavigne and Gorillaz.
The choir will sing on Dec. 30 at Riga Congress Hall. Another interesting musical experience visits the city a day earlier, on Dec. 29 at Arena Riga, in the faces of Chris Norman, Bonnie Tyler and the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra. These names are not new on stage. Chris Norman, playing in the legendary band Smokie, has released many hits, like “Living Next Door to Alice” and “Oh’ Carol,” which can still be heard on the radio today. Bonnie Tyler is just as successful. Her voice carries away, and nobody can stay uninterested.
Her hits “Lost in France” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” are world-known pieces, placing her amongst the most powerful ladies in the music industry. The two are accompanied by the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, which has performed in many international festivals. Finally, Riga concert halls and churches are enchanted by the festival “European Christmas.” Stressing the peace of Christmas and New Year, the festival offers a fantastic program in classical music where Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi and other composers are presented. One of the concerts, taking place on Dec. 28 at St. John’s Church in Riga, spreads the Christmas joy playing Claudio Monteverdi’s composition “Vespra Della Beata Virgine.”
The experienced baroque musicians from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Estonia are to ensure an amazing journey in the masterpiece of sacral music. Christmas time is a magnificent period to arrange one’s thoughts and decide to look forward. In this silence, which unifies both the human and nature, there is no talk about hate, dishonesty or betrayal! It is a time of forgiveness that leads to the pureness of the personality. Music is probably one of the ways in how to let emotions cleanse and give space for new feelings to come in. Feel free to use it!