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Zalitis, Janis (1884 - 1943)

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Jānis Zālītis
Jānis Zālītis
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Janis Zalitis is among the last Latvian composers to graduate (1915) from the legendary St.Petersburg Conservatory of the days before the Russian Revolution, and one of the first to be deeply influenced by the new artistic ideas of symbolism appearing in the early 20th century.
With a heavy workload, both as a music critic and the first director of the Latvian National Opera, he was not a prolific composer; his heritage amounts to some forty solo songs, about forty works for choir, a few folk song arrangements and a few works for piano, yet the remarkably lyrical and refined quality of his compositions renders them a valuable part of Latvian music.Over half of his choral works were composed prior to 1918. This period reflects a mature, developed style of choral writing. It shows originality in the use of colourful chromatic harmonies, a poetically refined musical language to express the text, and often a texture characteristic of chamber music.

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