On August 19, Peeter Vähi’s oratorio “Peuangelion kata Marihamm” (Mary Magdalene Gospel) will be premiered in Riga St. Peter’s Church at the international sacred music festival. An hour-long and seven-part work will be performed by Sevara Nazarkhan (soprano, Uzbekistan, Mary Magdalene), Priit Volmer (bass, Jesus), Tõnis Mägi (narrator), State Choir Latvija, Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Risto Joost. An extensive piece was commissioned by mixed choir Latvija and The International Sacred Music Festival. Work is written on lyrics in Coptic language that was spoken in Egypt until the 16th century. The performance includes also phonogram with nature sounds and Coptic liturgy.
14th Riga International Sacred Music Festival (August 13–28) is organised by Latvian largest professional choir Latvija. The emphasis of the program is on the performance of contemporary large-scale vocal sacred works. The choir has a long-term musical relationaships with Estonia, including participation in premieres of works by Estonian composers (Tõnu Kõrvits, Galina Grigorjeva, Arvo Pärt, Jüri Reinvere, Veljo Tormis, Andres Uibo).
Peeter Vähi graduated from Heino Eller Tartu Music School in music theory in 1974. In 1974–1980, Vähi studied composition with Prof. Eino Tamberg at Tallinn State Conservatoire. Vähi’s music is characterised by Oriental stylistic sources, exotic tunes and electronic sounds. In his works can be found meditative-filosophical moods and motoric movement, archaic and contemporary, also pop music elements.
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