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Bank of Latvia Issues Silver Coin Honoring Composer Dārziņš and His Work


By Bank of Latvia….
On Tuesday, 6 October, Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Banka) will issue a new 5-euro silver collector coin dedicated to Valse Mélancolique, one of the most excellent pieces of the Latvian symphonic music produced by the likewise brilliant composer Emīls Dārziņš.

Ilmārs Blumbergs created the graphic design of the coin, and Jānis Strupulis is the author of the plaster model. The coin has been struck by the Royal Dutch Mint.

The obverse of the coin depicts a shooting star, half-encircled by seven concentric bands of an arc at the top that symbolise a rainbow. The reverse of the coin features the inscription VALSE MÉLANCOLIQUE at the top. According to Ilmārs Blumbergs, the shooting star represents Dārziņš’ premature and tragic death, while the seven bands of the rainbow symbolise turning to God through music.

Emīls Dārziņš (1875–1910) personifies the soul of Latvian classical music. He lived to be only 34, had a very talented son, composed 17 choir songs, 19 solo songs (one was destroyed, another one lost), four compositions for symphony orchestra (three destroyed), two fragments for an unfinished opera, wrote reviews and descriptions, and ended up dying a mysterious death on railroad tracks. Along with simple, non-pretentious compositions, Dārziņš’ oeuvre also contains opuses of great symbolic power. Yet Valse Mélancolique, having miraculously escaped the fate of being destroyed by the author himself, stands above all else.

The collector coin Valse Mélancolique is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. Its maximum mintage is limited to 5,000 coins.

As of 6 October, this coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepājā) and such traditional points of sale as coins shops, bookshops as well as souvenir and jewelry shops (https://monetas.bank.lv/images/stories/pielikumi/nauda/Monetu-tirdzniecibas-vietas-170815.pdf). The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices is 39 euro.

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