Osvaldas Grinius
www.kamane.lt 2006 12 19

Soloist L.Grodnikaitė

Marimba virtuoso R.Sharajevski


V. Juozapaitis

In brief: The festival cycle of concerts of Kaunas State Philharmonic “From St. Christmas to the New Year”, which has already become traditional, gladdened Kaunas residents presenting programmes for listeners of various tastes. A free concert of Kaunas State Choir was offered to spiritual music admirers in the Garrison Church, marimba sounds of the guest from Russia Rostislav Sharajevski sounded for people who love exotics.


Music lovers could compare three symphony orchestras: the National (chief conductor Juozas Domarkas), the State (chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius) and Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra (chief conductor Modestas Pitrėnas). Enthusiasts of jazz music were pleased by the jubilee concert of Kaunas bigband and a gift to the popular culture was made by the event “Evening of Love”.


Multi-sidedness is an commendable quality. Everybody remains pleased with such a repertoire. Do “Evenings of Love” represent the high music culture of Lithuania, which cradle the philharmonic should be is another question already. The decision to organise concerts of Kaunas bigband and R.Sharajevski on the same day and hour is also doubtful as listeners had to choose one of the two quality events.


The cycle of concerts was started by Kaunas State Choir on the second day of St. Christmas. The choir sounded powerfully under the conduction of Algimantas Mišeikis and later Petras Bingelis as well. The aesthetics of strong sound was repeated during the New Year’s eve concert. Meanwhile, solo performers who gave a concert with the choir were not of exceptional voice quality. Soloists appeared really dim singing along with the choir, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra and opera grand Virgilijus Noreika on the New Year’s eve concert.


Marimba player R.Sharajevski could be heard two times during the inter-festive period as well. The artist revealed incredible qualities of this percussion instrument during the solo concert, and in the New Year’s concert the soloist showed real mastery while he was accompanied by Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. During the solo show, the Russian musician was accompanied by his mother Irina Sharajevskaja and pianist Lina Krėpštaitė.


Vytautas Juozapaitis who sang during the National Symphony Orchestra concert gladdened the audience by popular arias. Even though the singer has a perfect vocal technique, this time he did not reveal all shades of the voice and sounded rather dim. Milda Smalakytė sang on the same evening as well. The soprano of the young soloist studying in London is of pleasant timbre, it sounds soft and strong. Therefore, M.Smalakytė appeared as an equal partner of V.Juozapaitis and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Two singers participated in the concert of G.Rinkevičius orchestra – Liora Grodnikaitė and Edgaras Montvidas. Their duet sounded very pleasantly. The first part of the concert was dedicated to G.Bizette opera “Carmen”. E.Montvidas performed the dramatic part of Don Choze. His tenor revealed well in this part and in arias from sarsuelas as well as in Neapolitan songs. The programme of the State Symphony Orchestra was the most interesting and memorable from all three that sounded in the cycle. Opuses that are played rarer were performed along with well-known popular music pieces. The orchestra charmed with harmonious playing, outstanding expression.


The National Symphony Orchestra conducted by J.Domarkas played also very well; still, the programme was not the best choice perhaps. The theme of the evening could be described „sweet, sweeter, the sweetest“. The most popular waltzes and polkas of J.Strauss, arias from operettas and other famous music pieces were played.


Meanwhile, Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra conducted by P.Bingelis showed in the New Year’s evening that it still has some place to grow. No wonder, as the collective is still young. Even though the orchestra members played in an elevated manner, they lacked expression, equality of separate timbres.


In conclusion, while many concerts of academic music are offered to the audience of the capital, Kaunas may not boast of the abundance of such events. Therefore, the cycle of concerts organised by Kaunas Philharmonic “From St. Christmas to the New Year” occupies the biggest part of festive concerts market. Music admirers should be thankful to this institution for the possibility to enjoy Lithuanian collective, soloists and music of foreign performers. And the audience is not doubtful to such events – it was testified not only by full halls of people, but also by mobile telephone signals and hearty applause after the concerts.

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