The immortality of a melody

Yesterday, March 23, 2011, my musician friend, Vadim Bordeaux, who had just returned to Israel from a trip to Riga, Latvia called and suggested that I telephone Lieutenant Colonel Dainis Vuskans, Head Conductor of the Latvian National Armed Forces and Chief of the National Armed Forces Band.

In our conversation Lieutenant Colonel Vuskans told me that when the Soviets took over Riga in 1940, they gathered all the Latvian military band music and burned it.
Someone took the “General Balodis Parade March” that Marc Lavry composed just before he left Riga, probably in 1933-4, and hid the music in a wall between the second and the third floors of a building.

In 2009 a property developer purchased the building and, while remodeling the place, found the music that had been lying there for 69 years. He donated the score to the Military Band Music Library in Riga.

Looking for new repertoire for his band, Lieutenant Colonel Vuskans came across the “General Balodis Parade March”. He was impressed by, in his words, “the extremely well written composition.” Since the rediscovered music contained only the hand-written orchestral parts, Lieutenant Colonel Vuskans reconstructed the score and on January 2011, the Latvian National Armed Forces Band recorded it. The Band also performed the march at a concert at the Ventspils City Theater House “Juras Varti” in Riga, on February 4, 2011.

I received the recording today, March 24, which is also Marc Lavry’s 44th remembrance day. Kismet, karma, higher power or just coincidence, I couldn’t help but feeling that Dad is still with me.