Vaiva Mažulytė, 2008 06 24

Petras Bingelis. Photo by A.Barzdžius

Pažaislis Music Festival honoured people who died in wars. On June 20, “Requiem” of the Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas was performed at the 9th fort of Kaunas in memoriam of victims of all times.

Contrary to the new generation of composers of the 21st century, Hidas, who died last year, represented the ones who believed in the traditional concept of tonality and harmony. He endeavoured that his creative works would be understandable to everybody. “I am the last romanticist Hungarian composer,” F.Hidas spoke about himself.

To be a real romanticist is not the easiest task for a composer in the 21st century. One thing is to look at the past and ignore present tendencies and another thing is to add something new and important to the past. In the majority of similar cases attempts end by partial copies of good ideas, which do not have any bigger persistent value.

This was the case this time as well. “Requiem” of F.Hidas reminded of musical thoughts on the topic of requiem mass expressed by Giuseppe Verdi some time ago and the interpretation of wind instruments similar to Wagner.

True, the idea of the composer to honour victims of all wars by this monumental work was really noble. Moreover, having in mind that the idea was supported by the majority of listeners. Even though not entirely original melodies sounded, they had an undisputable impact on hearts of people.

The impression was fortified by the abundance of participants. The number of performs on the small concert stage of the 9th fort did not differ much from the number of listeners. “Requiem” was performed by Kaunas State Choir (artistic director and chief conductor Petras Bingelis), Šiauliai State Chamber Choir Polifonija (head Gediminas Ramanauskas), State Wind Instrument Orchestra Trimitas (artistic director Algirdas Budrys, chief conductor Romas Balčiūnas) and soloists: Asta Krikščiūnaitė (soprano), Rita Preikšaitė (mezzo-soprano), Mindaugas Zimkus (tenor), Liudas Norvaišas (bass). The conductor was P.Bingelis.

The acoustics of the hall may be described by a rather big echo, which, due to the abundance of performers, rather fast tempo, harsh sound of the wind instruments orchestra, became a problem while trying to distinguish separate layers of melody, harmony, instruments and voices. It was hard to notice drawbacks of performance as well as advantages which should have been present with such a powerful team of performers.

Anyway, the concert touched hearts of people. The audience applauded standing. The victims of wars were honoured, at least by the minute of silence when the conductor’s baton stopped in the air for a while.

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