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2015 11 09

Sacral music and art festival of Rome and Vatican takes place already for the fourteenth time. It is one of the most prominent events in the cultural and music life of the Eternal City. To take part in the festival of this year that lasted since October 28 till November 4 and by its’ organiser – Foundation of Sacral Art and Music was dedicated to commemorate ten years from saint Holy Father’s – John Paul’s II death Kaunas State Choir has been invited as well.
The festival as well as other activities of the foundation is intended to focus social attention on the aims of this organization: to patronize, protect, popularize and cultivate cultural heritage of Italy and to collect funds for developing restoration projects. Since the beginning of its’ activity the foundation actively contributed to the restoration of 24 monuments and in 2015 mainly focuses on the restoration works of St. Peter’s Basilica and famous Bernini’s colonnade surrounding St. Peter’s Square.

“The fact that we’ve been invited to represent Lithuania in the international event of the highest rank is indeed of great importance. Moreover that sacral music has always been an important part of the choir’s repertoire. The festival’s motto is “Art rescues art” since the essential aim of the organisers is to contribute to the nurturance and renovation of cultural, artistic and architectural heritage. We are proud being able to contribute to the realization of such noble aspirations by our creative activity”, - shared his impressions from the festival choir’s art director Petras Bingelis.

The programme of the festival is not only multifarious but as well spiritually plentiful. Masterpieces of sacral and classical music were performed by world renowned artists, meanwhile in the audience there were numerous high-standing persons representing Republic of Italy and the Holy See. The patronage over the festival took the President, the Senate, the Chamber of Representatives, the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Cultural Heritage and Home Affairs of the Republic of Italy.

On October 31 in one of the four papal basilicas – St. Paul’s under the baton of the German pianist and conductor Justus Frantz, with whom the collective is linked by long-lasting creative collaboration, the choir and the Nations’ Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performed “Symphony No. 2” (“Resurrection”) by Gustav Mahler.

“This piece is not new for the choir singers but rather comprises an inseparable part of the repertoire that is being permanently revived. Just during this year “The Resurrection” symphony has been already performed in Šiauliai Cathedral and Klaipėda Concert Hall under the baton of Gintaras Rinkevičius. It is meaningful that “Resurrection” symphony sounds so often particularly this year when we commemorate 120 years anniversary from its’ first performance in Berlin, - underlined director of Kaunas Philharmonic Justina Krėpšta.

J. Frantz, once again having an opportunity to give a concert together with Kaunas musicians, expressed his gratitude for P. Bingelis and expectancy that soon he will meet the choir on the stage anew. Generous with compliments for the excellence of the Lithuanian singers, expressivity of the performance as well was the singer of the Ukrainian National Opera - Angelina Shvachka who performed a solo part.

After their return from Italy, choir singers together with their leader P. Bingelis shortly will visit Latvia where on December 30, in Riga’s arena that can seat 12,5 thousand of audience, together with soloists and dancers from all over the world will introduce the Latin American pop-opera “Carmen Cubana”.
Rimantas Klevečka