Osvaldas Grinius
www.kamane.lt 2007 06 13

Lana Gordon. Photo from www.bernardinai.lt

In brief: It is said that conductors may be distributed to three groups: the ones conducting for themselves, the ones conducting for the audience and the ones conducting the orchestra. Donald Chan who conducted Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra on June 9 could be called the conductor of the third category – it is not often that one may hear Kaunas collective playing with so much temperament and so harmoniously.


Musical and jazz prevailed in the almost full hall of Vytautas Magnus University, where one of Pažaislis Music Festival concerts took place. The orchestra conducted by composed and demanding conductor’s gestures turned into one joint instrument diving in the waters of the genre loved by American composers - musical. The usage of microphones also helped to purify the sound.


Another star, the singer Lana Gordon also had some influence on the high quality of the performance. She is a specialist of the music genre that prevails in Broadway. After the first sounds, L.Gordon proved to be a real goddess of musicals. She has a strong and powerful voice, it is pure, inspirational, colourful and managed professionally. The original voice timbre typical to Afro-American singers grants exotics, mystery and lyrical nostalgia to the vocal of L.Gordon. However, a good voice is not sufficient – heart should also be used while performing. Therefore, energy shining from the vocalist charmed the entire audience in Kaunas without any doubts.


The concert version of one of the most popular musicals – “West-Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein sounded in the second part of the concert. The concert performance was interesting by the fact that vocals of four kinds were combined with the energetic sound of the orchestra. L.Gordon who performed the part of Anita created a snappy image of the heroine by her jazz vocal and moderate acting. Joana Gedmintaitė, a soloist of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, performed the part of Maria in her light, pure and very high voice.


Meanwhile, the biggest load was put on the performer of Tony part Mindaugas Zimkus, a soloist of Kaunas State Musical Theatre. The soloist used the possibilities of lyrical tenor successfully adapting them to the stylistics of L.Bernstein music. The fourth example of vocal was the singing of the vocal group of Kaunas State Choir singers. Six men and six women performed the role of the choir and some smaller solo parts. It is only a pity that the names of the choir singers were not stated in the concert programme – their merits were really worth the respect.


The energy of the two parts of the concert differed slightly – even though the “West-Side Story” was performed sincerely and in a lifted manner, the small bit of the highest quality was lacking to be able to say that it was unrepeatable. Still, the audience applauded to the performers standing.

Perhaps it was gratitude for the intoxicating light of musicals and especially gratitude for the elemental energy of the first part of the concert. One could hear people saying while leaving the hall: “Wonderful!..”.

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