Barkauskas and Šenderovas at ISCM World Music Days

Out of 750 works submitted for selection for the ISCM World Music Days festival to be held on Sept. 29 - Oct. 8 in Luxembourg, two works of Lithuanian composers were included in the programme and performed by worldwide known performers: on Oct. 5, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg performed the Konzertstück No. 2 by Vytautas Barkauskas, and on Oct. 7, Béatrice Rauchs (piano) played M. K. Čiurlionis' Sketches by Anatolijus Šenderovas.

Vytautas Barkauskas' list of works has long ago exceeded a hundred opuses. Some of his chamber works were published by Edition Peters in Frankfurt. 'Das Orchester' reviewer has singled out him from other Lithuanian authors as being the composer of the unalloyed style, whose imagination is not agitated by Christian images and not burdened by excessive symbolism. The performers enjoy his musical language, which is salient, performer-oriented and constructed within traditional framework. His works have been interpreted by such famous performers as Gidon Kremer, Lothar Faber, Yuri Bashmet, David Geringas, Reinbert Evers, Juozas Domarkas, and others. Even though the performers most often choose chamber works of Vytautas Barkauskas (so far exceptionally popular Partita for solo violin, Suite de concert, Op. 98 for cello and piano, Trio à deux for string trio, Duo for guitar and piano, Toccamento No. 2 for solo viola, violin, cello and piano), his Konzertstück No. 2 for symphony orchestra is currently often included in symphonic programmes as well - it is the music that is representative, shining with virtuosity and uncomplicated, composed with delight towards colour pallette of symphonic orchestra and classicalness of pliant triple form. The piece is regularly performed by Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra: it was performed to great acclaim on orchestra's tour to Barcelona and Madrid in 1996, Rheingau festival in Wiesbaden in 1997, and Jean Sibelius festival in 1998. Last year this symphonic piece received its Austrian premiere at Wiener Konzerthaus under the baton of Juozas Domarkas.

Although recent works by Anatolijus Šenderovas, the laureate of the Lithuanian National Award 1997, derive mostly from Jewish cultural and musical inspirations, elements of serial technique, aleatory, sonorism, stylistic interplay used in many of his instrumental works allow to characterize the composer as temperate modernist, who is concerned with dynamic contrasts, emphasized emotionality, variety of sound colours (especially the colouristic possibilities of percussion). M. K. Čiurlionis' Sketches for piano solo (1994), which were presented at the ISCM World Music Days, is typical of his instrumental writing: in this work of subtle lyricism the sequence of 10 movements is not determined by the author - it is up to the performer to create his/her own dramaturgical version of the composition. For this work the composer has been awarded with Diploma of Honour at the International Witold Lutosławski composition competition in 1994.

In the last decade Šenderovas' compositions have gained international fame thanks to famous performers: Due canti for cello solo (1993) has become one of the most favourite pieces of cello player David Geringas, and for the last four years has been regularly included in his concert tours in Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia. In 1998, in Ljubljana (Slovenia), David Geringas together with Tatyana Geringas (piano) and Slovenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and Choir have performed Šenderovas' concerto for cello, keyboard instruments, choir and orchestra Paratum cor meum... (1995). The regular performers of Der tiefe Brunnen... and Songs of Sulamite Judita Leitaitė (mezzo-soprano) and Vilnius Percussion ensemble (dir. Pavelas Giunteris) have presented them with great success on their tours to Finland, Sweden, Poland, USA (in 1999, Songs of Sulamite have been selected among the top five works at the Newport Festival).

© Beata Leščinska & Daiva Parulskienė

Lithuanian Music Link No. 1