Georgs Pelecis

Composer, musicologist




Georgs Pelecis – Latvia – one of the leading contemporary composers who writes new consonant music with an amazingly clear positive spirit and fresh harmonies. We can hear the reverberations of Renaissance and Baroque music in his compositions mixed with the minimalistic aesthetic. @polinaosetinskaya recorded many of his works and contributed to his popularity.

His suites for piano are real gems! Pelecis’s music, both naive and mysterious in style, also reveals his profound knowledge of the music of past cultures. As he himself says: “My musical language and my style of expression have been influenced by what I have learned and come to love in the music of the past; its melodies, its rhythms and its harmonies, which have evolved from the 14th Century to the present day through the German, Italian, English and French music of the 17th Century. The study of folklore has also deepened my understanding. I do not place great importance on the separation of “ancient” and “contemporary”. For me all great and irresistible music actually represents the glimmer of an ideal and conveys the psychological drama of the human spirit when confronted with this inaccessible ideal.”

Notable works include:

Revelation, Concerto for counter-tenor, piano, and trumpet Nevertheless, Concerto for violin, piano, and strings Buena-Riga The Last Song Flowering Jasmine, Concerto for violin, vibraphone, and strings Jack and the Beanstalk, Music for the Roald Dahl fable for symphony orchestra and narrators Concertino bianco for piano and chamber orchestra

Georgs Pelecis was born in Riga in 1947. He studied composition with Aram Khatchaturian at the Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatory. Since 1970 he has been teaching polyphony at the Latvian Academy of Music. He was appointed President of the Riga Centre of Early Music.

Moreover he has a vast oeuvre to his credit as an important composer of this century. His musical tonality seems to reverberate with an amazingly clear positive spirit. This very quality, whose genetic ancestry can be found partly in Renaissance and Baroque music and partly in the minimalist aesthetic, brings a spiritual strength to the composer’s creative output and brings to Latvian music a previously unknown, freshly breathing and pulsating activity. Of all the style classifications which the composer himself and musical critics have given to his works, the most precise would be new consonant music, where euphony is the harmonic ideal. The composer as a personality and a creator distances himself from the drama and the duality of the soul. His music cannot be called stylization, although it reveals a deeply understood knowledge of the music of past cultures. Georgs Pelēcis’s musical path became clear at the very beginning, in the 1970s, when similar creative tools among Latvian composers (both the goal of creating new works and the musical lexicon), including the new generation at the time, were non-standard and required an honest defense of the oeuvre’s criteria.

Polina Osentinskaya contributes considerably to the popularity of his works.

Discover more exciting modern piano music with Moving Classics TV.



What does music mean to you personally? Что музыка значит лично для вас?

Музыка для меня есть способ выразить радость и восхищение от дарованной Богом жизни.

Music for me is a way to express joy and admiration for God-given life.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy? Согласны ли вы с тем, что вся музыка - это наша фантазия?

Конечно, в какой-то мере музыка - плод нашей фантазии. Но главное, музыка - это звучащий резонанс человеческого сознания всему бытию.

Of course, to some extent, music is a product of our imagination. But most importantly, music is the sounding resonance of human consciousness to the whole being.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been? Если бы вы не были профессиональным музыкантом, кем бы вы были?

Честно говоря, совершенно не представляю, кем бы я мог быть, кроме музыканта.

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea who I could be other than a musician.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future? Аудитория классической музыки стареет, вы беспокоитесь о будущем?

Меня не особенно волнует, что аудитория классики стареет. Музыка, как и вся духовная жизнь - это проблема не физического, а духовного взросления и эволюции человека. Часто человек во всех смыслах, кроме физического, неразвит и инфантилен, всю свою жизнь. Тем хуже для него!

I don't particularly care that the classic audience is getting older. Music, like all spiritual life, is not a problem of physical, but of spiritual maturation. and human evolution. Often a person in every sense, except the physical, is undeveloped and infantile, all his life. So much the worse for them!

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role? Какой вы видите роль музыки в 21 веке? Вы видите, что происходит трансформация этой роли?

Роль музыки, как и всей духовной культуры, меняется в связи с лавинообразным нарастанием информации. Это и доступность и огромный выбор музыкальной продукции всех времён и народов (в котором можно захлебнуться). Это и уменьшение роли отдельных композиторов и музыкантов. Наступили времена не столько композиторов, сколько исполнителей.

The role of music, as well as the entire spiritual culture, is changing in connection with the avalanche growth of information. This is both accessibility and a huge selection of musical products of all times and peoples (in which you can choke). This can lead to the reduction of the role of individual composers and musicians. The time has come not so much for composers as for performers.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you? Считаете ли вы, что музыканту сегодня нужно быть более креативным? Какова для вас роль творчества в музыкальном процессе?

Главное, музыканту всегда надо быть честным и последовательным перед собой (перед своими особенностями и возможностями).

The main thing is that a musician should always be honest and consistent with oneself (with our own possibilities and capabilities).

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this? Как вы думаете, можем ли мы, музыканты, что-то сделать, чтобы привлечь молодое поколение на музыкальные концерты? Как бы вы это сделали?

Всем музыкантам надо просто продолжать делать своё дело. А проблема молодых - духовно взрослеть и оставить инфантильность. Проблема в них, а не в музыке и музыкантах.

All musicians should just keep doing their thing. And the problem of the young is to spiritually grow up and leave infantilism. The problem is with them, not with the music and musicians.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it? Расскажите о своем творческом процессе. Какое ваше любимое произведение (написанное вами) и как вы начали над ним работать?

Мой творческий процесс призван вскрыть и зафиксировать тот музыкальный поток, который я слышу в себе. Моё любимое произведение - REVELATION.

My creative process is designed to open and fix that musical flow, which I hear in myself. My favorite piece is REVELATION

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves? Можете ли вы дать несколько советов молодым людям, которые хотят открыть для себя классическую музыку?

Те, кто хотят открыть для себя классическую музыку, должны активно искать. Сегодня такие поиски совсем не сложны. Они даже весьма увлекательны.

Those who wish to discover classical music should actively search. Today such searches are not difficult at all. It can be even very interesting.

Do you think about the audience when composing? Думаете ли вы о публике, когда сочиняете музыку?

Когда пишу, иногда думаю и о публике. Но чаще - о своих единомышленниках и друзьях, как бы адресуя им свою музыку.

When I write, sometimes I think about the audience. But more often - about my like-minded people and friends, as if addressing them with my music.

What projects are coming up? Над какими новыми проектами Вы работаете?

Сейчас работаю над новой версией своего Реквиема.

Now I'm working on a new version of my Requiem.