‘Live in Riga’ is the new recording from the celebrated 31 year-old British violinist Thomas Gould and the first of a three-album deal with forward-thinking British jazz and classical record label Edition Classics. Recorded live in concert, with Sinfonietta Riga, on April 11th 2014, at the Great Guild Hall in Riga, Latvia, it confirms Gould’s enormous potential as one of the most inventive and colourful instrumentalists of his generation. His most recent release on harmonia mundi, of the 'Goldberg Variations' with the Britten Sinfonia, is Gramophone Editor's Choice in the April issue and, at the time of writing, this featured in the Specialist Classical Chart.
Over the last decade he has been in demand as a soloist and as leader/director with major orchestras worldwide, including the CBSO, Hallé Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ACO2.
Sinfonietta Riga is an orchestra with a story to tell. Formed in 2006, their vision is as bold as Gould’s. Equally happy to play in concert dress or T-shirts they are intent on building new audiences whilst reaching for the highest artistic standards. Their collaboration is a perfect match and this live concert recording bears witness to this special musical symbiosis.
To release an album featuring Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams’s 'The Lark Ascending' is a bold decision: as two cornerstones of the violin repertoire, there are plenty of performances to compare. However, Gould’s versions demonstrate a brilliance of tone and colour that demands attention; his flexibility and breadth of musical interests is fully evident. Gould’s playing has the clarity you would expect from any major performer but radiates a freedom in its expression, as though improvised, with an immediate elegance and poise.