Osvaldas Grinius, 2006 11 16

Improvisations of A.Anusauskas inspired the audience

In brief: What are jubilee evenings otherwise called commemoration evenings usually like? They are interesting, sometimes boring, sometimes very long and sometimes (in very rare cases) – too short. The solemn jubilee evening for commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union and the 75th anniversary of the magazine Muzikos Barai, which took place at Kaunas Juozas Gruodis Conservatory on November 14, was exceptional by its contrasts.


The evening is a part of the concert cycles “Great Musicians’ Parade” organised by the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union in the entire Lithuania. Contrasts became prominent from the first accord of the jubilee evening – the solemn sound of LMU call-sign sounded from a recording rather than live, performed by a brass instruments band. The mixed choir of Kaunas J.Gruodis Conservatory, which started and closed the evening, contrasted with other musicians of the jubilee.


The programme of the choir was chosen carefully. The concert was started by the music pieces of the founders of the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union Nikodemas Martikonis and Klemensas Griauzdė. At the end of the concert, music pieces of Kaunas composers were presented by the choir. The singers performed sincerely, their head Donatas Jokūbonis and the choir master Ramutė Štreimikytė conducted the choir emotionally; however, the level of the performance was not too high. The collective is young and is constantly changing. The balance between groups of voices, listening to others and synchrony was insufficient during the concert.


Meanwhile, other musicians who presented their programmes during the evening were of very high professional level. Only two musicians of the trio ensemble Grazioso stepped on the stage and performed the suite on the themes of G.Bizet opera “Carmen“. Both musicians played in a lifted and virtuoso manner. The ensemble sounded the best when the third member stepped on the stage. The listeners were charmed by the song of J.Benedict “The gipsy and the bird” and vocal miniature of H.R.Bishop “Lo! Here the gentle Lark”.


After a speech presenting the activity of the Musicians' Union, the pianist Gintaras Januševičius played “The Spanish Rhapsody” by F.Liszt. This show became the climax of the evening without any doubts. It seemed that the winner of international competitions G.Januševičius used all the possibilities of the instrument of J.Gruodis, which is not of the highest quality. Afterwards Prof. G.Kuprevičiaus presented his congratulation-improvisation. The composer played an improvised gamma.


The programme was continued by the performance of the singer Liudas Mikalauskas (bass) and soloist of Kaunas Musical Theatre Sabina Martinaitytė (soprano). A real feast of sounds followed when the pianist Artūras Anusauskas and saxophonist Aleksandras Fedotovas came on the stage and played two music pieces “Feast of Silence” and “Refreshment”. The musicians testified that jazz steps side by side with academic music.


Thus, wonderful performances of musicians intertwined with long speeches and organisational misunderstandings during the evening. The audience got tired because of the length of the event. Perhaps the organisers of the event should consider a possibility to testify about their activity by deeds rather than words in future.

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