Amazing Janis Kepitis Miniatures Ripe for Discovery

Jānis Ķepītis was was concertmaster for Latvian Radio from 1934 through 1952. And he was on the faculty of the Latvian State Conservatory from the end of World War II until his death in 1984. He taught Chamber Ensemble, and was beloved by his students. 

Keptis was also a prolific composer. And despite the quality of his work,  his fame remained within the borders of Latvia. His work included six symphonies, two operas, and many chamber works. 

This release focuses on an even larger and less-explored portion of Keptis’ music. 

Keptis wrote hundreds of short solo piano music, many that were never published. Keptis lived in a Soviet-controlled Latvia. And music was as tightly controlled as all other forms of expression. Since his piano music was never published, it never had to be vetted by the authorities. 

Perhaps for that reason, there’s an honesty to these works that comes through time and again. These are simply well-crafted pieces written for the shear joy of creation.

Nora Luse plays with sympathy and enthusiasm. These may be small pieces, but she takes them seriously. And in the process reveals some marvelous miniatures of beauty. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Janis Kepitis: Piano Miniatures from the Manuscripts, Volume One
Nora Luse, piano
Toccata Classics

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