German music software and virtual instruments company Orchestral Tools have finally rolled out their much anticipated contemporary chamber strings ensemble dubbed Pēteris Vasks Strings. The ensemble is the result of a collaboration between internationally renowned composer Pēteris Vasks and a team of talented musicians, including small sections and first-chair soloists from Sinfonietta Riga.
Inspired and guided by Vasks’ Voices, the ensemble captures the sound, styles, and spirit of the piece, with all its unique techniques and textures. The Pēteris Vasks Strings offer a fully-detailed chamber ensemble with a unique character and color. The strings organically fuse dissonance and beauty to inspire musicians and composers.
The ensemble is available for purchase now, and for a limited time, customers can take advantage of a special introductory price of €449, down from the regular price of €549. The offer is valid until April 26, 2023.
The ensemble features violins, violas, celli, and basses, with small sections and first-chair soloists. It includes unique “gestures” articulations, such as whispered sustains, harmonics, and atonal and harmonic glissandi. The ensemble also offers three legato styles for the solo instruments and three dynamic layers, with con sordino dynamics management. Additionally, there are six mic positions to choose from.
The Pēteris Vasks Strings were recorded at St. John’s Church in Riga, Latvia, and are performed by the acclaimed Sinfonietta Riga. The project was created in direct collaboration with composer Pēteris Vasks, known for his work that combines organic and melodic devices with experimental and atonal playing techniques.
Vasks’ first symphony, Voices (1991), was his international breakthrough, featuring a beautifully organic and natural fusion of styles and emotions, from poignant folk melodies to unsettling dissonances. The recurring themes in his work are nature, spirituality, and the human condition, notably the inherent conflict present in the interaction of those themes, concern, and hope.
The Pēteris Vasks Strings, like Voices, are said to have an intimate reverence, with small ensembles playing with little vibrato in a large, reverberant space. The experimental and atonal articulations, or “gestures,” add nuance and tension to the music, making for a uniquely colorful sound. The lower dynamic layers were recorded with mutes, and con sordino, and gradually removed for the louder layers, resulting in a beautifully colored sound with a unique character.
Musicians and composers interested in the Pēteris Vasks Strings can purchase the ensemble now and experience the unique character and color of this contemporary chamber strings ensemble.