Composer's Raimonds Pauls (1936) Songs
Latvia has had few greater ambassadors than Raimonds Pauls, a composer whose works have united cultures, crossed genres and bridged ideological divides. Whistled from Rīga to Vladivostok and beyond, his popular songs have brought joy to millions of people and enriched Latvia’s reputation as a nation of music makers.
Born in Rīga in a working class family, Pauls attended the Emīls Dārziņš Music School and the Latvian State Conservatorium, then with enormous talent and stamina for work set off on a remarkably diverse career. He is a gifted solo pianist and has headed numerous jazz and light orchestral bands, starting in 1956 with the first professional Latvian jazz outfit “The Radiophone Sextet”, vocal-instrumental group “Modo” and children’s ensemble “Dzeguzīte”.
But he is best loved for over 800 popular Latvian songs such as “The Wild Rose” (Mežrozīte), “Silent Song” (Mēmā dziesma) and “The White Sun” (Baltā saule). These intriguing blends of Latvian folk melodies, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, French chanson and other influences have been sung at karaoke bars, recorded on LPs and CDs by many artists then played at countless private parties, and sung by the massed choirs of the Latvian Song Celebrations. Pauls’ “For My Homeland” (Manai Dzimtenei) has been sung at many of the latter events and is a patriotic anthem for Latvians. He has put music to the words of poets such as Imants Ziedonis (1933–2013), Jānis Peters (1939) and Guntars Račs (1965).
Some 250 of his songs have been recorded in Russian, as well as Japanese, German, English and other languages. He has performed around the world and starred at New York’s Carnegie Hall as early as 1981. He has closely collaborated with superstars of the post-Soviet world such as Laima Vaikule (1954) and Alla Pugachova (1949). In the 2000s he was one of the initiators and organisers of the annual “New Wave” music festivals in Jūrmala.
In addition to his popular songs, Pauls has also written music for films such as “Devil’s Servants” (Vella kalpi) and “A Limousine the Colour of Midsummer’s Eve” (Limuzīns Jāņu nakts krāsā), theatre productions, instrumental works and musicals. In the 1990s and early 2000s he was also active in politics, serving as Latvia’s Minister of Culture immediately after the restoration of independence.
Now in his eighties, Pauls continues to compose and play in concerts, and he energetically supports talented young Latvian musicians and singers who perform his works.
Daiga Mazvērsīte on Raimonds Pauls in the Latvian Culture Canon, 2008. (in Latvian)
Raimonds Pauls' author concert on 26 February 1967. National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints. (in Latvian and Russian)
Raimonds Pauls’ light music programme for children "It All Began as in a Fairy Tale" (Viss sākās kā pasakā), 5 February 1988. National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints. (in Latvian)
Raimonds Pauls "Selection" (Izlase), 20 March 1993. National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints.
Raimonds Pauls – 50. Birthday concert on 10 January 1986. National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints. (in Latvian and Russian)
Raimonds Pauls: 75th birthday concert on 16 January 2011 in Arēna Rīga. (2011). Rīga: Lauku Avīze. National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints. (in Latvian)
Raimonds Pauls. Sirdij jau nevajag skaita (Heart Does Not Need Amount): [brochure]. (1996). Rīga, National Library of Latvia, Collection of Small Prints. (in Latvian)
Daiga Mazvērsīte on Raimonds Pauls in the Latvian Culture Canon, 2008.
Bet bet (mūzikas grupa) (). Nepārmet man… [CD]. Raimonda Paula dziesmas izpilda grupa „Bet bet”, Kristīne Čača u.c. Rīga: Mikrofona ieraksti. Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas Audiovizuālais krājums, Fcd/2463 (pieejams LNB tīklā).
Pauls, Raimonds. (). Raimonds Pauls un Dzeguzīte. 1 [skaņu kasete]. Rīga: MicRec. Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas Audiovizuālais krājums, Fmk/1531.
Pauls, Raimonds. (2006). Sonja Bishop sings Raimonds Pauls [CD]. Rīga: Mikrofona ieraksti. Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas Audiovizuālais krājums, Fcd/7485.
Pauls, Raimonds. (). Zelta 60: Raimonds Pauls [CD]. Izpilda O. Grīnbergs, N. Bumbiere, V. Lapčenoks u.c. Rīga: Mikrofona ieraksti. Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas Audiovizuālais krājums, Fcd/1154 (pieejams LNB tīklā).
Raimonda Paula dziesmu un populāru maršu popūrijs. (1998, 5. jūl.). Vispārējo 22. latviešu dziesmu svētku noslēguma koncerts. Latvijas Radio. Latvijas digitalizēto video un audio ierakstu piekļuves portāls „Diva.lv”.