Liene Jakovļeva about cantata “God, Your Earth Is Burning!”

Liene Jakovļeva
Her music takes you from the earth, it lifts you towards the stars and the sun. There is in her music the power of gentleness that cleanses and clarifies.” As a composer, pianist, music theorist and pedagogue Lūcija Garūta was told by the writer Zenta Mauriņa.

The fragile composer passionately followed the achievements in aviation, collected newspaper news and in 1938 his musical story about a man about to conquer space, told in the opera “The Silver Bird”.

The story of L. Garūta’s life leads through the piano and compositions of the Latvian Conservatory classes at the Paris Conservatory, through the status of an active concert artist and pianist work both at the Riga Opera and Riga Radio on the pedagogical activity of the music of Jāzeps Mediņš school and Latvian State Conservatory.

The numerical superiority in the composer’s work can be attributed to the songs; next to them essential there is a place for piano music, symphonic opus and vocal instrumentals compositions, chamber music, works for organ, choir. However, in the long piece in the list, in a special musical and historical context, a cantata for tenor, baritone, for choir and organ “God, Your Earth Is Burning!” (1943) with Andrejs Eglītis (1912–2006) a text that has become a sign of the tragic entanglement of Latvia’s fate, a poignant era artistic documents, people’s prayers full of despair and hope, about Soviet times would be banned and kept silent for Latvian listeners until the second awakening of the nation masterpiece.

On March 15, 1944, in the crowded Riga Old St. In the Gertrude Church, the cantata “God, thy earth is aflame!” premiered by the legendary Reiter Choir, singers Ādolfs Kaktiņš, Maris Vētra; at the organ, replacing the ill Alfreda Kalniņu, the author herself. The author of the passionate and bright text is Andrejs Eglītis, whose writing was recognized as the best In the contest announced by the pastor of Kuldīga parish, Reverend Sakārnis, on the topic “Latvia pray to God”, listened to the premiere while standing in a dense crowd near the to the church door.

Until 1982, there was an opinion that the complete version of the cantata was irrevocable lost, because the recordings of the piece were liquidated in Soviet Latvia. However, the composer Longinus Akkals, using musical material found in the archives of several German radiophones, the cantata was reconstructed to allow it to be performed for the first time on May 8, 1982 in Stockholm Exile.

In 1988, the conductor Imants Kokars and the “Ave Sol” chamber choir gave the cantata to the Latvian to the people, singing it in emotional concerts all over Latvia and passing it on as a legacy for other collectives in Latvia, as well as for choirs in Germany and Japan.

As a separate value outside the context of the cantata, the especially emotional prayer “Our Father in Heaven”. The most succinct assessment of the cantata text was given by the poet Jānis Peters: “”God, Your Earth Is Burning!” – for these four words, I envy Andreja Egliti.” And besides, more Zenta Mauriņa’s words: “Musicians are happy, happier than poets.” They don’t need to translator, their language is understood everywhere, they themselves can unite the homeland with their artistic power the wide world. I believe the star-studded Lūcija Garūta will. The peculiarities of his own people will take to distant lands.