Vytautas Laurušas

Voices of the Night

Year of composition: 1969
Duration: 06′
Instrumentation: ttbb

Chorai. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1970
Lietuvos dainos. Lietuvių kompozitorių vokaliniai kūriniai. Pisni Litvi. Vokalni tvori kompozitoriv Litvi. - Kiev: Muzična Ukraina, 1971
LP Tarybų Lietuva. - Melodija 031965-66, 1972
CD Lithuanian Music in Context I. Lessons of the Avant-garde. - Vilnius, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre LMIPCCD065-066, 2011

The Poem Voices of the Night marked a whole new phase for composer Vytautas Laurušas and his choral music. The inception of this piece is linked with the biography of the quite popular at the time male choir Varpas (Bell), directed by Adolfas Krogertas. The Poem, composed in 1969, was commissioned by the aforementioned choir and after performing it at the Arece Choir Competition in Italy, the Varpas chamber group was awarded the highest prize and became the first ensemble from Soviet state to gain such a prestigious victory. The jury was impressed with the hitherto unfamiliar, novel sound of the composition.

Voices of the Night did not just change the course of Laurušas’s creative career, but also had an impact on the Lithuanian composers’ attitude towards the expressive possibilities of academic vocal music. Musicologist Loreta Tamulytė claims that this piece challenged even the “new rigor governing the creative urges – dodecaphonic and serial technique. The composer employed a so-called limited form of aleatory, which significantly enriched the sound palette of his music.”

Rita Aleknaitė-Bieliauskienė