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2016 01 18

Having started the year in the largest Kaunas public space – “Žalgiris“ Arena with the concert dedicated to the Freedom Defenders’ Day during which “Requiem Mass” by W. A. Mozart was performed, Kaunas State Choir is promising to its’ listeners the indeed intense and sapid winter-spring concert season. During the concerts that will take place in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and other towns’ concert halls the choir accompanied by the National Symphonic Orchestra and Kaunas City Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by the most prominent masters of the baton – Juozas Domarkas, Modestas Pitrėnas, Petras Bingelis, Robertas Šervenikas, Konstantin Orbelian  will introduce an indeed miscellaneous and impressive repertoire that will not lack pieces of the most famous Lithuanian and foreign composers of the 20th century.


On January 23rd in the Lithuanian National Philharmonic having recruited numerous forces of Lithuanian musician and with the participation of Australian born and performing a lot in the UK countertenor of the exclusive voice timbre Russell Harcourt the monumental “Faust Cantata” by A. Schnittke will be performed. The mentioned cantata was composed in 1983 and later used by the composer in the opera “Historia von D. Johann Fausten”. The particular popularity gained microphone performed “Devil’s Tango” that sneers at Faust’s death and is characteristic for this element that is not traditional in the academic music. “Historia von D. Johann Fausten” performed by the choir sounded in Vilnius and Kaunas philharmonics in 1999 and then gained appreciation from the public. R. Harcourt whose voice is described as penetrating and having glint – edged clarity will perform A. Schnittke’s piece for the first time but claims that composer’s decision to write Mephistopheles’ part for such a rear and exclusive voice as countertenor does not seem for him incidental but rather well thought-out and excellently revealing the demonic character of the embodied personage.


On February 5th on the stage of Kaunas Philharmonic the choir traditionally will congratulate Kaunas City Symphonic Orchestra celebrating its’ birthday. In the concert dedicated to this occasion the choirs belonging to the golden treasury of opera from “Il Trovatore”, “Nabucco”, “Aida” By G. Verdi, “Cavalleria Rusticana” by P. Mascagni will be performed.  


To commemorate celebratory the Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence that is significant to the nation as a whole and to every citizen the choir invites to the concert “We are singing Freedom” that will take place on February 15th in Varėna Centre of Culture. In the programme – the most beautiful compositions of Lithuanian and Western European composers that have become the symbols of inexorable desire of freedom and struggle for it.


The 19th Festival of E. Grieg and M. K. Čiurlionis on March 20th in the hall of Kaunas Philharmonic will gather Kaunas State Choir conducted by Petras Bingelis, saxophonist Petras Vyšniauskas and percussionist Arkadijus Gotesmanas who together will perform oratory by V. Bartulis “Kelias” (“The Way”) composed to commemorate 130th anniversary from the birth of M. K. Čiurlionis. In the oratory there is used the prose of M. K. Čiurlionis (“The Tale”), letters to his wife Sofia. The aim of the oratory is to countervail the sweet and kind of “post-card” style of reflecting M. K. Čiurlionis’ personality and oeuvre, to reveal the complicated and dramatic race of the human and the creator, to take notice of the solitude that depressed the artist, suffering, love he has experienced, mental insanity he has fallen ill with. The composer is convinced that the main role in the oratory falls to the choir and told he is pleasured that this time the piece will be performed by Kaunas choir singers.  


During the concerts that will take place: on April 21st in Kaunas, April 22nd – in Klaipėda and April 23rd in Vilnius the choir will perform the symphony-oratory “ Epitaphium temporum pereunti” by B. Kutavičius. Mysticism, afflatus, capturing of the moment and air of eternity that are characteristic for oeuvre of B. Kutavičius as well sound in the “Epitaphium”. In its’ texture there are masterly inwrought the most significant events of Lithuania’s history – the christening of the country, founding of the capital, establishment of the university, embossed the most important dates of Vilnius’ history. The piece has been written in two stages. The first two parts for the small orchestra and male ensemble using the texts from the Annual of Lithuania – The Bychovc Chronicle and “Ars et pracis musica” by Žygimantas Liauksminas were composed commemorating the 650 years anniversary of Vilnius city founding. Twenty five years later B. Kutavičius opened the score once again not only edifying it and changing the instrumental cast but as well writing two more parts based on the texts of poet Sigita Geda. The Lithuanian music culture will be as well represented by this score during the 71st international music festival “The spring of Prague” that will take place in May. “Epitaphium” will be performed by the choir for the first time in the Czech Republic.

Rimantas Klevečka