The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the city's glittering new landmark, opened in January 2017. 'Light &
Dark' is the world's first recording of a solo organ recital in the Grand Hall. Featuring a range of
appealing contemporary works, the album showcases the wide tonal spectrum of the
Elbphilharmonie's organ. Built by the Bonn-based firm Klais, the organ is an instrument of
superlatives. 4,765 pipes extend over five rows of seats, their lengths ranging from just eleven
millimeters to an imposing ten meters. Thanks to the very open structure of the hall's ''white skin''
around the organ, audiences can actually look inside the instrument and some of the pipes have
been coated such that they can be touched without leaving any marks. The organ fits perfectly into
the spectacular architecture and has a very impressive sound. ''There's nothing this organ can't do,''
Iveta Apkalna enthused. ''It's warm and rich, with many beautiful fundamental tones that sound from
everywhere, and from the depths. The sound embraces the audience.''
With its modern selection of repertoire, seemingly tailor-made for both the organist and the
instrument, the album compellingly draws listeners into a fascinating world of sound. At the heart of
the recording is the work that gives the album its name Sofia Gubaidulina's 'Light and Darkness', a
piece of great extremes that penetrates every fiber of the body. Two composers, Aivars Kalejs and
Lucija Garuta, hail from the organist's native Latvia, and the album also includes works by Leo
Janacek, Gyorgy Ligeti, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Thierry Escaich. Iveta Apkalna has made an
album that brings to life the qualities of this organ with a modern and extremely diverse selection of
works. Iveta Apkalna is one of the world's most famous organists and, as titular organist, knows the
Elbphilharmonie instrument like no other musician. She is fully committed to seeing the glittering
beauty of the organ better represented in concert halls. Iveta Apkalna is a cultural ambassador of
Latvia and dedicates this album to her country.