To mark the 60th anniversary of composer Arvydas Malcys
Symphony No. 3 Grünwald
Concerto for cello and orchestra
Only Heaven Above Us for symphony orchestra
Concerto for soprano saxophone and orchestra
Tonight the audience is welcomed to a concert of works by Lithuanian composer Arvydas Malcys. Organized in collaboration with the Lithuanian Composers’ Union the concert features the soloists Liudas Mockūnas (saxophone) and Boris Andrianov (cello), as well as the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra led by young conductor Martynas Stakionis.
Instrumental music makes up the most significant part of Malcys’ creative output. In a number of his works for various instrumental settings, the tendencies of absolute music fit well with nearly expressionistic imagery and sound poetry reminiscent of the impressionism; a feel for neoclassical forms with aleatory and a penchant for colourful textures and specific sound effects. Having a discriminating ear, he takes special interest in timbre possibilities of different instruments in various registers of their range. Well familiar with peculiarities of instruments, Malcys manipulates manifold expressional possibilities of individual instruments and their combinations, and thereby shapes them to serve as strongly-flavoured personifications, well-nigh “theatrical” characters. His music is fraught with contrast, grotesque and irony.
Malcys’ works have been showcased at the international festivals Gaida, Jauna muzika and Iš arti (Lithuania), Ghent Contemporary Music Festival (Belgium), Ravenna Festival (Italy), International Review of Composers in Belgrade (Serbia), ISCM World Music Days in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Sinfonia Baltica in Riga (Latvia), Kremlin Christmas Music Festival, Moscow Autumn, The First International Gallery of Actual Music Festival and Yuri Bashmet Festival in Moscow (Russia), The 21st Century Perspectives Festival in Yerevan (Armenia), Two Days and Two Nights of New Music in Odessa (the Ukraine), Contemporary Music Festival Europe-Asia in Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia), Kiev Music Fest and Gogolfest (the Ukraine), Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus (Austria), Euro-Mediterranean Youth Music Expo (Cyprus), Schleswig-Holstein Festival (Germany), Silk Road Arts Festival in Xi'an (China), Sochi International Arts Festival (Russia), Echternach Music Festival (Luxembourg), as well as festivals in Ankara, Seoul, Berlin, Leipzig, Rotterdam, Haifa and Costa Rica. His music was performed in thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
In 2004, Malcys was awarded 3rd prize for the symphonic composition Only Heaven Above Us at the Sinfonia Baltica International Composers’ Competition in Riga, in 2005 – first prize for the Concerto for piano and chamber orchestra at the Juozas Karosas Composers’ Competition in Vilnius, in 2006 – the Conductor’s Prize for the composition In memoriam for string orchestra at the composers’ competition “Mozart 250” in Moscow, in 2008 – first prize for the composition Saxchord for tenor saxophone and string quartet at the Juozas Karosas Composers’ Competition. In 2007, his Cantus sirenum was awarded second prize at the Haifa International Flute Festival, and in 2009 his Narcissus was included in the obligatory program at the Max Rostal Viola Competition in Berlin. Twenty CD including eleven portrait ones of Malcys’ music have been released to date.
Tonight’s concert offers works representing various periods of the composer’s creative career. Based on three episodes from the Battle of Grünwald chronicles the Symphony No 3 Grünwald was written in 2010 and premiered in Kaunas Philharmonic Hall in 2011.
Concerto for cello and symphony orchestra (2009) was dedicated to the memory of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich. As a cellist of the LNSO the composer had many times collaborated with the legendary musician:” I wanted to write a composition, which would evoke the odyssey of an artist, the experience, suffering and longing of a man forced to leave his Homeland.” Yet another dedication to the distinguished Maestro, symphonic composition Only Heaven Above Us written in 2003, exposes pastoral impressions: “In my country estate I enjoy lying on the grass, watching clouds and getting carried by daydreaming and memories they evoke. They have magical effect.”
Concerto for soprano saxophone and symphony orchestra was written in 2004. The composer gave a precise description of the composition saying that he tried to erase the separation between ‘serious’ and ‘pop’ music. The renowned Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas, who appears in today’s concert, premiered the opus in 2007.