GEORGE ENESCU – String octet in C major, Op. 7
RICHARD STRAUSS – String sextet from the opera Capriccio, Op. 85 (TrV 279a)
VIDMANTAS BARTULIS – Golden Angels for two string quartets
Not so often two quartets perform together. The Kaunas String Quartet, a recipient of the Prize of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and Čiurlionis Quartet, a recipient of the Lithuanian National Prize, have shared the stage quite a few times in the past: in Thomas Mann Festival, Kaunas Philharmonic Hall. In Thomas Mann Festival the audience was offered seldom performed works including Richard Strauss’ Sextet from his final, the 15th, opera Capriccio the theme of which can be summarized as “Which is the greater art, poetry or music?” The opera opens with the aforementioned string sextet. George Enescu composed his 40 minute-long Octet in C major at the age 17. “An engineer launching his first suspension bridge over a river could not feel more anxiety than I felt when I set out to darken my paper” said the composer. Vidmantas Bartulis’ Golden Angels for two quartets will reinforce the colourfulness and theatricality of the programme. Composed in 2012, this opus was voted the Best Composition of the Year.
The Kaunas String Quartet is one of the most prominent classical music ensembles in Kaunas. For its role in promoting contemporary music the Kaunas String Quartet was awarded “Tikra muzika” (The Real Music) prize of the year (2008), and was honoured with the title of The Most Memorable Kaunas Creative Collective (2009). In 2012, for its contribution to Lithuanian culture and art the Kaunas String Quartet was awarded the Prize of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The National Philharmonic’s own Čiurlionis Quartet was one of the first in Lithuania to receive the Lithuanian Culture and Art Prize (1990). It has been representing Lithuanian music culture throughout Europe, China, the USA, and the UAE for many years.