Vytautas Montvila

Gothic Poem

Year of composition: 1970
Duration: 12′
Instrumentation: 2222-4330-3perc-str[12.10.8.8.8]

Published scores:
Leningrad: Sovetskij kompozitor, 1973

Released recordings:
LP "V. Montvila / J. Bašinskas. Simfonijos" – Melodiya C10-08275-6, 1977
LP Supraphon 141025470g
CD Lithuanian Musicians' Union LMSMBCD-020, 2001 (excerpt)
CD Lithuanian Music in Context I. Lessons of the Avant-garde. - Vilnius, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre LMIPCCD065-066, 2011


The Gothic Poem is the most vibrant orchestral composition by Vytautas Montvila. Its texture is comprised of two main components: dense, sustained orchestral chords and clusters, resembling Klangfarbemelodie technique, as well as the contrapuntal tunes of sutartinės (Lithuanian ancient polyphonic chants). The composition is particularly memorable for a short remarkable passage of micro-polyphony – the ‘Ligetian’ shifting clusters, where the string section of the symphony orchestra plays 46 independent, polytemporal parts.

Linas Paulauskis

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