Born in 1946 in Latvia, composer Peteris Vasks counts as kindred spirits such Eastern contemporaries as Arvo PÄrt, Giya Kancheli, and Henryk GorÉcki, as well as forebears Schnittke, Luto

Born in 1946 in Latvia, composer Peteris Vasks counts as kindred spirits such Eastern contemporaries as Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, and Henryk Gorécki, as well as forebears Schnittke, Lutoslawski, and Shostakovich. Yet Vasks has developed a highly organic and individual sonic signature, one in which even the darkest moments admit light. His emotive music has proved popular on disc, and this latest album presents the premiere recording of his dynamic, dramatic Symphony No. 2, as well as the second rendition of his seraphic Violin Concerto, "Distant Light" (Gidon Kremer having premiered the piece on Teldec). The Finnish performances here are excellent, as is the recording; the entire production does justice to this great music, which manages to be both potently meaningful and accessible. Distributed in the U.S. by Koch.—BB