The cantata of Lūcija Garūta and Andrejs Eglītis “God, Thy Earth is Aflame!” will sound in the Riga Latvian Society House

The cantata of Lūcija Garūta and Andrejs Eglītis “God, Thy Earth is Aflame!” will sound in the Riga Latvian Society House

The Riga Latvian Society’s Music Commission invites Riga citizens and its guests to honor with presence the concert devoted to the Communist Genocide victims on June 14, at 18.00 in the Gold Hall. In the programme – cantata of Lūcija Garūta and Andrejs Eglītis – Latvian prayer “God, Thy Earth is Aflame!” - meditation for organ. Participate Jānis Kurševs (tenor), Andris Gailis (baritone), Ilze Dzērve (piano), Roberts Hansons (organ), University of Latvia graduates’ mixed choir JUBILATE (artistic leader and main conductor professor Juris Kļaviņš), Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy’s chamber choir FORTIUS (artistic leader and main conductor professor Māra Marnauza), Riga Latvian Society Mixed choir (artistic leader and main conductor Ārijs Šķepasts). Concert’s conductor - professor JURIS KĻAVIŅŠ.


God, Thy Earth is Aflame!

It would be enough only with one composition – the cantata “God, Thy Earth is Aflame!” that names of Lūcija Garūta and Andrejs Eglītis would be written in Latvian culture for ever. This Latvian soul’s prayer with heated poetry and music images, spiting different powers and at the same time passing through decades, uniting our so much suffered nation, has become one of Latvian nation’s music culture symbols. Holy and inviolable. Only sole, locked in every true Latvian’s heart. Nation, fatherland, freedom, future. How truly heatedly sound these words in both masters’ created composition! From gentle poets, people feelings and beauty, love fulfillment, nature beauty singers the poet and composer together with its nation in its tragic destiny grew up to be our soul pain and desire promulgators, inviting to fight towards foreign enslavers’ power, inviting to maintain carefully our mental values and nation’s ethic ideals. The cantata of Lūcija Garūta and Andrejs Eglītis “God, Thy Earth is Aflame!” is tightly interwoven in Latvia’s destinies.  Scooped in nation’s sufferings, it has come to comfort and strengthen in hard moments. Strength of Lūcija Garūta is in her deep humanity, loyalty to freedom and humanity ideals, when disaster and injustice has changed the understanding about good and bad.  In hearts of thousands of Latvians, who wandered in distant exile roads, echoed Andrejs Eglītis’ written prayers that sounded cordially and ardently – so, that those, who stayed alive brought it through the years of nation’s and its culture destroying, deeply locked in their hearts. His poetry’s sapidity, image variety, expressiveness, musicality, Latvian roots have become an inspiration source for many our composers in different places of the world. Cantatas, choir and solo songs and cycles – so varied are genres in which many composers of different artistic handwriting and generations have immortalized in sound images poetry of Andrejs Eglītis. Their number is already approaching four tens. Words in the title of the cantata have always been, are and will be topical to our nation in various its history periods. They have become a basis and symbols for everybody – you, me and us. During historic commemorative moments it is important to remind to Latvian generations about this outstanding composition.
There is no second such work in Latvian music as this cantata that is connected with our nation’s destiny so closely. Already since the legendary first performance on March 15, 1944 in Riga Old St. Gertrude church (Ādolfs Kaktiņš, Mariss Vētra, Teodors Reiters and  Reitera choir with the composer playing the organ), when outside the church the war sounds were heard, it has waken and strengthened our souls for common spirit during many decades. During the long enslavement years despised, forbidden and concealed, it lived deeply hidden in peoples’ minds and hearts, gave believe and hope to nation’s future.  During the renewed Latvian State the cantata is for sure the most often performed composition of Lūcija Garūta. During the years of awakening – the singing revolution, founding of Popular Front, days of barricades and in other important moments for our nation and state it has always been our life’s confrere. And also today, when the nation remembers its heroes, when all our thoughts hopefully stretch to the future – humane, fair and honest. Poet’s heated words again and again urge people to think about Latvia today and its future. Still topical are Andrejs Eglītis’ words written for the cantata – “Still there is no peace for fatherland”. And as in other important moments of our country, in our thoughts will prey for our Lat via, our fatherland, nation’s future -
Give us shield of belief bright over perishableness valleys,
So that we go into eternal kingdom through the fluidity of ages.

Arvīds Bomiks,
Riga Latvian Society
Music Commission Chairman


Project is financially supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This publication has been made with European Economic Area’s Financial Mechanism’s and State of Latvia financial support.
The Riga Latvian Society is responsible for the content of the publication.