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  • Aivars Kalējs – Toccata on the chorale Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’

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    Cristiano Rizzotto, organ

    Recorded live in concert at the C. B. Fisk Organ, Opus 111, in Gothic Hall at the University of Oklahoma (USA).

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    Having performed extensively in North America, Europe and South America, Latvian Brazilian Cristiano Rizzotto Vidal Pessôa is an active international recitalist who frequently premières and performs the works of contemporary composers. He has actively promoted and supported the ongoing development of new music for the organ. Composers such as Carson Cooman, Composer in Residence at Harvard University, Aivars Kalējs, organist at Rīgas Doms (Latvia), and Antoine Giovannini, Titular Organist at L’église Saint Vincent de Nay (France), have dedicated pieces to him.

    Cristiano is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma (OU – DMA: Doctor of Musical Arts), under the advisory of Dr. John Schwandt and Dr. Damin Spritzer.

    Cristiano Rizzotto is the Organist & Choirmaster at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Golden Valley, MN. He also holds a Master's degree in Sacred Music from East Carolina University (ECU), where he studied with Mr. Andrew Scanlon, and a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he studied with Dr. Miriam Grosman.

    He became a published composer after his Toccata was released by Wayne Leupold Editions in March 2014.

    Cristiano Rizzotto worked as the organist at the Benedictine Abbey of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, until July 2011.

    Cristiano’s current goals are to continue to develop his skills as a church and concert musician in the United States; to use the knowledge obtained to cooperate with the development of the organ culture in Brazil; to represent and bring awareness to Latvia and Brazil through his work abroad; to establish a stronger dialogue between the organ sceneries and professional organists of Brazil and the United States of America; and contribute to the American musical and liturgical scenery.

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    Aivars Kalējs (b. 1951) — Tokata par Korali “Gods Dievam augstiba”

    Aivars Kalējs is one of the most important and prolific Latvian musicians of his generation. He studied composition and organ at the Latvijas Konservatorija (Latvian Conservatoire) in Riga between 1969 and 1977, under Ādolfs Skulte and Nikolajs Vanadziņš, respectively. Having performed in almost all the European countries, Japan, U.S. and Canada, he is internationally known as a recitalist, composer, and a musicologist with published articles about organ history. Kalējs wrote about 100 opus numbers of symphonic, organ, piano, chamber and choir music. The organ works occupy the central place among his compositions.

    Kalējs worked on the monument board of the Latvian Ministry of Culture between 1980 and 1985. He focused on the history and preservation of the organs in Latvia, and was able to add 250 organs to the country’s index of protected cultural monuments. He has been organist at Rīgas Doms (Rīga Cathedral) for almost forty years. Built in 1211, this is the largest medieval cathedral in the Baltic States and is home to the notorious E. F. Walcker organ, which, at the time of its construction was the largest instrument in the world. With 144 ranks assigned to 124 stops, this prime example of German Romantic organ building at its highest is one of the only great Walcker organs still in its original condition. Kalējs also holds the position of organist at the Jaunā Svētās Ģertrūdes Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca in Rīga (New Church of St. Gertrude).

    Nikolaus Decius wrote the text to Allein Gott in 1552 as an adaptation of the Catholic Gloria for the newly created Protestant church:

    Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr'
    Und Dank für seine Gnade,
    Darum daß nun und nimmermehr
    Uns rühren kann kein Schade.
    Ein Wohlgefall'n Gott an uns hat,
    Nun ist groß' Fried' ohn' Unterlaß,
    All' Fehd' hat nun ein Ende.

    To God alone on high be glory
    and thanks for His mercy,
    since now and forever more
    no harm can touch us.
    God is pleased with us,
    now there is great peace without cease,
    all feuds have now an end.

    This hymn is especially associated with Easter because the melody is an adaptation of the plainsong Gloria of Mass I, Lux et origo (tempore paschali), after the words “Et in terra pax.” However, unlike the chant, the chorale repeats its first two lines.

    Written in 1998, Kalējs’ Toccata presents the chorale unornamented and continuous in its entirety three times, first on the tenor, then bass, than in canon between the soprano and the pedal. The improvisatory-like and sparkly accompaniment is often quintuplets plus quadruplets (5+4) alternating with 4+4. Show less
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