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Solo Piano - Released October 27, 2014 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Latvian pianist Vestard Shimkus takes us on a journey to the core of Rachmaninoff’s music both at its most brilliant and secretive. From the famous Piano Sonata No. 2 – in its original version – to the more uncommon Variations of a Theme of Chopin, to three of the most extraordinary Preludes of Opus 32, Shimkus reveals a clear and powerful style with a strong lyrical side. A truly astounding, mind-blowing album and a musician with exceptional eloquence. © Artalinna/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 21, 2011 | Wergo

Much of the music of Latvian composer Peteris Vasks is related to themes suggested by nature, a reflection both of his affection for his native landscape and a fierce commitment to environmental activism. The two works recorded here, The Seasons and Music for a Summer Evening, for solo piano, are highly personal evocations of nature as well as expressions of his religious convictions about the sanctity of the created world. Vasks' writing for the piano is highly idiomatic, even though he is primarily a string player. In general, his style in these works, which are entirely modal or tonal, could be characterized as broadly impressionistic, with elements variously reminiscent of Mompou, Ravel, and Messiaen, although a strong folk element is frequently an undercurrent. Three of the movements of The Seasons are written without bar lines, giving them a sense of spontaneity and improvisation. In the first movement in particular, "White Scenery," the very simple musical cells repeated and subtly varied with great rhythmic flexibility sound like they are being freely improvised. The unhurried unfolding of the material is a beautifully apt atmospheric depiction of the stillness and austerity of a winter landscape. "Spring Music" and "Green Scenery" are more active, even virtuosic evocations of Latvia's brief warm seasons, and "Autumn Music" presages a return to the long winter. Vasks wrote the cycle for Vestard Shimkus, who was 25 when he gave its premiere and recorded it. He plays with a real affinity for Vasks' individual style and with virtuosic assurance, and convincingly conveys the intensity of the composer's feeling for his subject matter. The accessibility and immediate attractiveness of Vasks' music make this a disc that ought to appeal to anyone who loves lyrical 20th century piano music. Wergo's sound is clean, clear, and very present. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released March 20, 2020 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet
For this recital in Paris, in April 2019, the Latvian pianist Vestard Shimkus imagined a program focused on preludes and fugues. A first part devoted to preludes confirmed his affinity with Scriabin (Preludes Op. 74) and his performance in Debussy also displayed a bewildering art of suggestion. In the second part, introduced with a majestic composition by the pianist, two excerpts from J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, which preceded two of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, performed with an impressive dramatic force. A very original journey, spanning three centuries of musical creation, by one of the most fascinating personalities of the classical scene. © Artalinna
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Classical - Released April 5, 2019 | ARTALINNA

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After a first album for Artalinna dedicated to Rachmaninoff, released in 2014, Vestard Shimkus now invites us on a journey to the heart of the work of Scriabin, one of his favourite composers, alternating “miniatures” (Feuillets d’album, Preludes) and large forms (Poème-Nocturne, Sonatas). Shimkus’ interpretations, devoid of violence, emphasize the formal clarity and harmonic modernity of the Russian composer, at times revealing unprecedented colours (Sonata No. 4). An album that showcases a singular and expressive universe. © Artalinna
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Classical - Released April 5, 2011 | Naxos

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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | ARTALINNA

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In September 2017, during the Brussels Chopin Days, the annual concert season entirely dedicated to the music of the Polish composer, Vestard Shimkus gave a recital that unveiled his irrefutable and oh so personal sense of construction, combined with a narrative power as rare as it is spellbinding, thus confirming his place at the apex among the most striking pianists of the new generation. © Artalinna
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Classical - Released January 3, 2012 | Ars Produktion

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Classical - Released November 6, 2012 | Ars Produktion

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Classical - To be released May 14, 2021 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet