Vytautas Barkauskas, one of the most prolific Lithuanian composers, belongs to the same generation as Alfred Schnittke, Sofija Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli or Arvo Pärt. In the early 60-ies the composer was one of the first in Lithuania to experiment with serial and aleatoric composition, collage and other technics. In the 70-ies the composer moved towards more intuitive composition, aiming at the natural beauty of sound, writing more chamber and intimate compositions with "silent culminations" (Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra). "I do not restrict myself to any single composition system, but am constantly searching for a natural synthesis of styles. I want to write expressive, emotional and effective music", Vytautas Barkauskas says.
Sun - Sun
Barkauskas. Kremer. Bashmet - Partita. Praeludium, op. 12
Barkauskas. Kremer. Bashmet - Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra Op.63
Jeux - Jeux. II
David Geringas. My Recollections - Suite de concert op.98
Juozas Rimas. Lithuanian Auletics - Intimate Composition
Vytautas Barkauskas (b. 1931) is one of the most prolific Lithuanian contemporary composers. His works have been performed at international festivals, competitions and concerts in various European, American and Asian countries. Recent festivals were Schreyahner Herbst (1991, 1993, 1996, Germany), Schleswig-Holstein Festival (1992, Germany), De Suite Muziekweek (1995, The Netherlands), Baltische Woche (1996, Germany), Baltic Arts'96 (Great Britain), Bornholms Musikfestival (1996, Denmark), Rheingau Music Festival (1997, Germany), Sibelius Festival (1998, Finland), ISCM World Music Days 2000 (Luxembourg), Festival de musique de Toulon (2002, France), Usedomer Musik Festival (2011, Germany). His works have been interpreted by Gidon Kremer, Lothar Faber, Yuri Bashmet, David Geringas, Joachim Greiner, Juozas Domarkas, Raimundas Katilius, and others.
Vytautas Barkauskas is a winner of the Lithuanian State Prize. In 2000 his "Journey of the Princess. Fairy Tale", Op. 114 was awarded the prize at the composers' competition dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. His symphonic piece entitled "At the End is the Beginning", Op. 115 was awarded the prize at the "Sinfonia Baltica" International Composers' Competition in 2001. In 2003 the composer was awarded the Lithuanian National Award. In 2005 he won the prize for the best chamber work ("Echoes" for percussion solo) at the composers' competition organized by the Lithuanian Composers' Union.
In the 1960s Vytautas Barkauskas was one of the most active adherents of avant-garde music and new compositional techniques in Lithuania. The works of this period ("Intimate Composition" (1968), "Pro memoria" (1970) e.g.) manifested the lexis of structuralized forms. The greatest influences upon him at that time, as the composer himself stated, were Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and György Ligeti. Barkauskas was one of the first in Lithuania to experiment with serial and aleatoric composition, collage and other innovations.
Soon, the composer moved towards more intuitively arranged sounds, striving to create naturally beautiful music. He started to write more chamber and intimate compositions, sometimes those with "silent culminations" (Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra). Having mastered various compositional techniques of XX century, the composer consistently develops and perfects his musical idiom. "I do not restrict myself to any single, defined compositional system, but am constantly searching for a natural stylistic synthesis. I strive to make my music expressive, emotional and of a concerto type", Barkauskas says.
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