There are still supposed to be people who are crazy enough to think that Putin's plan to restore the old Soviet empire isn't so bad after all. Maybe they should talk to Pēteris Vasks.
In the work of the Latvian composer - born in Kurland in 1946 as the son of a Baptist pastor and as such prevented from studying composition for a long time - his time in the "People's Prison of the Soviet Union" is the darkness that must be alluded to and overcome. That too can be overcome. With faith, hope and love.
His father was a role model for him, this humane rhetoric, the freely extravagant, the accessibility of his sermons, which touched everyone. The certainty of believing that the world - no matter how disastrous one finds it - can be healed. This is how the concertos, the string pieces of the greatest of all Latvian composers, soar.
Out of nowhere, out of the dark. In a sometimes almost unearthly beautiful light. Right now we need that, we need beauty. As a remedy for the old madness. As food born of pain. For this, Pēteris Vasks received the Opus Klassik as Composer of the Year this year.