Lūcija Garūta, 4 Preludes for Piano (08/04/2014)
Garūta's Preludes for Piano are among those of her works that are most frequently performed by pianists in concert programmes and recordings. Her preludes have been repeatedly recorded from the 1950s onwards by a range of pianists including Vilma Cīrule, Hermanis Brauns, Valdis Jancis, Artūrs Ozoliņš (Canada), Armands Ābols (Chile), Juris Žvikovs and Dzintra Erliha. Unfortunately there is no recording of the preludes as performed by Garūta herself.
The precise year of composition for each prelude is not known. The composer very rarely added the date of composition to her music, making research work difficult. In the list of Garūta's works given by Silvija Stumbre in her book about the composer Zvaigznes un zeme [Stars and the Earth] the preludes for piano are dated between 1927 and 1929. This is in accordance with information on their performance during this two year period in concerts devoted to her compositions.
These are significant years in the composer's life and her works mirror her emotions and experiences of the time. Pianist Valdis Jancis has testified that Garūta gave descriptive titles to two of her preludes: No. 3 in C sharp minor- Skumjas ilgas [Mournful Longing] and No. 4 in D flat major- Trauksmainās ilgas [Impetuous Longing], which concurs with the keys in which they are written, minor and major, respectively. Furthermore it is interesting to note that C sharp and D flat is the same note, which accordingly takes on the role of the keynote in the work. This sense of tonality plays a very significant role in the composer's music.
After 1929 Garūta herself published the preludes, each as a separate issue, and these form the basis of this edition.