Combining the magic of nature and music, the composer Kristaps Krievkalns, together with the mixed choir “Anima” from Saulkrasti and ensembles of musicians, recorded the symphonic poem “Belladonna. Black-eyed beauty." A video clip was also created for the composition, which was filmed in the most beautiful places in Latvia near fateful Daugava river - the Dole Island and in Riga, on the AB dam. The symphonic poem was written in honor of the 100th anniversary of one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the Baltic States - Kalceks, which is celebrated in December 2020.
“The origins of pharmaceuticals and medicines that are produced today in modern factories from artificially synthesized substances go back to nature. The centenary symphonic poem also deals with the plant growing in the open air in Latvia – the belladonna. Like the gifts of nature, music can heal, which is especially important at this time of change,”- composer Kristaps Krievkalns tells about the musical work.
The plot of the symphonic poem is based on a plant found in Latvian nature that can soothe, heal and beautify – belladonna (lat. Atropa belladonna).
“An analogue of the active ingredient of belladonna, due to its calming effect, is also used in one of the Kalceks medicines. In ancient times, the plant was often used for beauty, but today it is used only in medicine and under the supervision of specialist pharmacists. It helps to relax in proper pharmaceutical doses,”says Sanita Skladova, senior project manager for research and development at Kalceks, about the nuances of pharmaceutical and natural substances.
The musical motive of the piece begins with silence, the first drops of music merge with the motives created by the musicians – saxophone, trombone, guitar, motives of the ensemble of percussion and strings, and the voices of the choir singers, which at the climax give a powerful force leading to healing.
The symphonic poem was created by: composer Kristaps Krievkalns, Saulkrasti mixed choir “Anima” and its artistic director Laura Leontyeva, saxophonist Zintis Zvarts, trombonist Jere Tapani Niemi (aldo director of business development at Kalceks), guitarist Eriks Upenieks, bass guitarist Armands Treilihs, drummer Mikelis Vite and string ensemble.
The symphonic poem is a gift to Kalceks employees, partners in Latvia and 60 countries of the world for the 100th anniversary of the company, completing the cycle of celebrations. During 2020, an exhibition dedicated to the history of Latvian pharmaceuticals was created, a book was published in Latvian and English about pharmaceuticals in Latvia over 100 years and the development of Kalceks, as well as a series of stories about current and former employees in social networks.