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2019 02 14

Kaunas State Choir returned from the 35th Canary Islands International Music Festival, where with great success he performed one of G. Verdi's most beautiful pieces - Requiem. The choir was assisted by soloists Bryn Terfel, Celso Albelo, Mariangela Sicilia and Marianna Pizzolato and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Karel Mark Chichon.
"The trip was difficult," said Choral conductor Prof. P. Bingelis. "We participated at a high-level festival that was both a great test for us and a great creative experience."
"We are very happy to invite the most famous European and world music groups and performers, to offer a program that will give unforgettable moments: acquaintance with international class performers and orchestras, music of different epochs, wonderful soloists," said the festival organizers.
The festival was attended by the Hamburg and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras, the Bremen Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Kadakes (Catalonia) Orchestra, the famous Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich, the ancient music ensemble "Hisperion XXI" and other recognized artists.
"The Kaunas Choir was supported by a magnificent Gran Canary Philharmonic Orchestra, whose performers have been gathered from various countries around the world," said Kaunas Philharmonic Director J. Krepšta. "Preparation for the concerts took place four days, very intensively and responsibly. We performed a well-known piece that Kaunas choir knows for many years, but this time the tasks were quite different".
This creation of Italian composer was performed for the first time at the Canary Islands Classical Music Festival. The first concert took place in Tenerife, at the Auditorio de Tenerife Adan Martin Hall, followed by another in Gran Canaria, at the Auditorium Alfredo Kraus.
Conductor K. Chichon, in his first rehearsal, said he had a completely different view of this "Requiem" than the works of Mozart, Berlioz, or Brahms. He equated the work with Verdi's operas, with dramatic development and dynamics. K.M. Chichon has been an assistant to Riccardo Muti, the most famous Verdi specialist, in preparing this piece, and has also worked with the famous Kurt Masuru, so he could compare two very different interpretations of the work.
"The choir of Kaunas has never sung this Requiem," said Maestro P. Bingelis, "It depends a lot on the conductor, as he understands the work. K. M.  Chichon conducts many operas by Verdi and Puccini, well versed in Italian music. This piece requires special vocal expressions, based on a dramaturgical line, similar to opera, and the conductor's requirements were great, we were happy to meet them. The audience welcomed us wonderfully. During the concert, the hall was dominated by deadly silence, and they listened with great attention and respect.
Kaunas choir was fascinated by the acoustics of the halls. These two small islands have excellent halls, inviting famous performers. Famous soloists sang: Mariangela Sicilia soprano, Marianna Pizzolato, mezzo-soprano, and boss Sir Bryn Terfel, together with his debut Tenerife tenor Celso Albelo. Warm response about Kaunas choir was given by B. Terfel: "I attribute your choir to the strongest choirs in the world, to work with you with honor and good experience".
"It was very nice to see how the conductor and the audience thank the performers at the end of the concerts," J. Krepšta said. - Traditionally, the majority of applause goes to soloists, but this time the choir has received particularly high ovations. When maestro Petras Bingelis came to the stage and presented the choir, the hall just burst out of applause and cry. This reaction rarely occurs".