Anatolijus Šenderovas Wins European Composer's Prize at young.euro.classic

Today one can hardly categorically claim that the great symphony orchestras, opera theatres, and prestigious festivals avoid including contemporary music in their concert season repertoire. Though entry into this ritualized milieu usually demands adherence to certain rules - giving priority to classical music genres and a more traditional musical language. Today the unpretentious and inspired scores of composers like Arvo Pärt, Gyia Kancheli, Einojuhani Rautavaara or Henryk Mikołaj Górecki find acceptance among traditional classical music concert audiences, which willingly discover a new flow of time, and a sometimes pure and contemplative, sometimes unabashedly emotional musical manner.

Lithuanian composer Anatolijus Šenderovas joined the ranks of public favourites, with his new Concerto in Do, dedicated to the famous cellist David Geringas. Discriminating Berlin fans applauded for a good ten minutes after the premiere at the highly-respected young.euro.classic festival - European Music Summer in Berlin - expressing their thanks for the composition and performance (soloist David Geringas, and the Lithuanian Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, led by Robertas Šervenikas). On top of that, of the 16 new symphonic works performed at the festival, the 11 member "public jury" gave Anatolijus Šenderovas' Concerto in Do their best vote, and at the beginning of September, the composer received the honourable European Composer Award (granted for the third time; the first winner in 2000 was the Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg). "The description 'for authenticity' would probably be most appropriate in this case," summarized jury chairman Jürgen Grözinger. "The work won the jury with its integrity, and a certain reductionism vis-à-vis the musical material, which was totally convincing aesthetic and craft-wise, and which revealed a very personal and true musical language."

The twenty-minute long musical drama grows out of a striking, constantly repeated descending melody - dynamically, rhythmically, articulately moderated - permeating the entire work. The Concerto in Do is filled with haunting aural images, varied colours and textures, sharp contrasts and shattering climaxes. The cello sings with a heartfelt, yet refined emotion; it is conceived dramaturgically with a strong linear flow and an expansive sense of musical time. The gravitational centre of the entire work is the c (do) note, c minor tonality. Here, as in the title of the piece, lies encoded a dedication to the inspiration and first performer of the work, David (Dovydas) Geringas who will play its Lithuanian premiere at the Gaida Festival on Oct. 10.

© Daiva Parulskienė

Lithuanian Music Link No. 5