The unique men’s vocal ensemble “Schola Cantorum Riga” gleans ideas and inspiration from the treasure-trove of early music heritage, especially from the Gregorian, Ambrosian and medieval chant. The ensemble was founded, in 1995, and is still led by Guntars Prānis who is highly regarded in Latvia as one of the most knowledgeable experts in early music performance. The ensemble also explores modern forms of finding ways to the hearts of their listeners. In its programmes, the ensemble discovers new creative possibilities in the combination of early music and contemporary sound.
Programme “Illumina” is a compilation of chants which is bound by the theme of light. Light becomes a keyword that signals an intersection of two distinct musical periods and styles. The sublime beauty of Gregorian chants, medieval harmonies and early polyphony, for example, of Spanish sacred hymns, epitomise the old era. Yet the other half of the programme features percussion improvisations by Rihards Zaļupe and Ivars Kalniņš, which help bridge past and present. By combining different sound worlds centuries apart this programme aims to create an original musical dialogue, both meditative and colourful. In 2006, “Schola Cantorum Riga” has committed this programme to disk. In June this year, it was presented at the Vilnius Festival for the first time in Lithuania and now it comes to Klaipėda.