The opening concert will present the programme “Classics Today” specially prepared by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Modestas Pitrėnas. It combines the evergreen classics with the music of our time.
The programme will open with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony that lent inspiration to American minimalist composer Michael Gordon to compose Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony (2006). In his programme note for this orchestral piece commissioned by the Beethoven-Fest Bonn he revealed: “Beethoven’s brutish and loud music has always inspired me. At the time it was written, it was probably the loudest music on the planet. The raw power of his orchestral writing burned through the style of the time. In Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, I retained one essential musical idea from each movement of the original work.”
Beethoven’s work was also an inspiration to Lithuanian composer Vidmantas Bartulis who unexpectedly passed away last year. Many years ago he impersonated Beethoven in his own performance Mein lieber freund Beethoven, in which he appeared wearing an oversized death mask of Beethoven…
The programme will feature his Piano Concerto, a work rich in stylistic references and appealing details. The second movement of this minimalist concerto is the composer’s tribute to his youthful fascination with Philip Glass’s music. This music is just so beautiful that it could go on forever but it stops abruptly, as if testifying to the idea that everything genius is simple.
“For me Bartulis is an epitome of creativity. He could make something out of thin air. He could write a simple, unassuming melody and add beautiful harmony, which is very difficult to write these days. He was a paradoxical, enigmatic personality…” says charismatic pianist Petras Geniušas who will perform the piano solo part in this concerto.
ORCHESTRA: LITHUANIAN NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTOR: MODESTAS PITRĖNAS
PIANO: PETRAS GENIUŠAS