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    Kaunas State Choir November 8 will perform "Requiem" by W. A. ​​Mozart with the Symphony Orchestra and soloists at the Yerevan Opera House in Armenia. Conductor - Constantine Orbelian (USA). The choir has been performing this work for almost half a century. It was the first major world classical piece performed by the collective at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic in 1971 together with Armenian soloists, the Lisicans family. It is symbolic that after half a century Kaunas choir will be visiting Armenia and performing with the best soloists and symphony orchestra in that country.

    Requiem, a mourning Mass for the Dead, one of W. A. ​​Mozart's most famous compositions, completed in 1791. This was the composer's last work for 4 soloists, a mixed choir and orchestra, completed by his colleague after the death of W. A. ​​Mozart.

    W. A. ​​Mozart produced relatively little church music. According to legend, a black-clothed stranger visited him and commissioned the composer to write a mourning Mass. About this visit a couple of months before his death, the composer wrote in a letter: “… I cannot forget this stranger, he stands before me - asking, persecuting, demanding. I keep going because work bother me less than rest. … I feel that my hour is coming; going to death; I'll meet her sooner than I could have enjoyed her talent. Life is so beautiful, it has been so promising, but what's for you won't change it. Nobody knows how many days are left, one has to devote himself to destiny. I finish because I have a mournful song waiting for me to finish. ”

    Requiem consists of 12 parts. Particularly memorable are the Dies irae (Daytime Cellar) and Lacrimosa (The Sorrowful). Dies irae is extremely dramatic, active, depicting the horror of death and people's begging for mercy. “Lacrimosa is an oasis of tranquility, characterized by subtle lyricism, accumulated moans, sighing sighs between words.


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    Synthesis of pride in Kaunas, Lithuania with music and video. The epic episode of Kaunas Music Festival “Kaunas. Resurrection I”. A hundred years ago Kaunas became the capital of Lithuania. So it's the first century. The full audience in Kaunas Philarmonic, in its center is the elected president of the country, Gitanas Nauseda. Video and sound effects at the entrance to Kaunas Philharmonic. “Music inspires, gives wings, and believes in a bright tomorrow. All of this we got today. We have had a wonderful feeling when we all sang together so much”, said G. Nausėda after the event, when J. Naujalis and Maironis "Lietuva brangi", was performed by Kaunas State Choir and Orchestra together with the audience. "Such a consensus and unity would tend to be in both politics and other areas of life. It is the synthesis of pride in Kaunas, Lithuania with music and video. "


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    Kaunas State Choir returned from the 35th Canary Islands International Music Festival, where with great success he performed one of G. Verdi's most beautiful pieces - Requiem. The choir was assisted by soloists Bryn Terfel, Celso Albelo, Mariangela Sicilia and Marianna Pizzolato and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Karel Mark Chichon.
    "The trip was difficult," said Choral conductor Prof. P. Bingelis. "We participated at a high-level festival that was both a great test for us and a great creative experience."
    "We are very happy to invite the most famous European and world music groups and performers, to offer a program that will give unforgettable moments: acquaintance with international class performers and orchestras, music of different epochs, wonderful soloists," said the festival organizers.
    The festival was attended by the Hamburg and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras, the Bremen Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Kadakes (Catalonia) Orchestra, the famous Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich, the ancient music ensemble "Hisperion XXI" and other recognized artists.
    "The Kaunas Choir was supported by a magnificent Gran Canary Philharmonic Orchestra, whose performers have been gathered from various countries around the world," said Kaunas Philharmonic Director J. Krepšta. "Preparation for the concerts took place four days, very intensively and responsibly. We performed a well-known piece that Kaunas choir knows for many years, but this time the tasks were quite different".
    This creation of Italian composer was performed for the first time at the Canary Islands Classical Music Festival. The first concert took place in Tenerife, at the Auditorio de Tenerife Adan Martin Hall, followed by another in Gran Canaria, at the Auditorium Alfredo Kraus.
    Conductor K. Chichon, in his first rehearsal, said he had a completely different view of this "Requiem" than the works of Mozart, Berlioz, or Brahms. He equated the work with Verdi's operas, with dramatic development and dynamics. K.M. Chichon has been an assistant to Riccardo Muti, the most famous Verdi specialist, in preparing this piece, and has also worked with the famous Kurt Masuru, so he could compare two very different interpretations of the work.
    "The choir of Kaunas has never sung this Requiem," said Maestro P. Bingelis, "It depends a lot on the conductor, as he understands the work. K. M.  Chichon conducts many operas by Verdi and Puccini, well versed in Italian music. This piece requires special vocal expressions, based on a dramaturgical line, similar to opera, and the conductor's requirements were great, we were happy to meet them. The audience welcomed us wonderfully. During the concert, the hall was dominated by deadly silence, and they listened with great attention and respect.
    Kaunas choir was fascinated by the acoustics of the halls. These two small islands have excellent halls, inviting famous performers. Famous soloists sang: Mariangela Sicilia soprano, Marianna Pizzolato, mezzo-soprano, and boss Sir Bryn Terfel, together with his debut Tenerife tenor Celso Albelo. Warm response about Kaunas choir was given by B. Terfel: "I attribute your choir to the strongest choirs in the world, to work with you with honor and good experience".
    "It was very nice to see how the conductor and the audience thank the performers at the end of the concerts," J. Krepšta said. - Traditionally, the majority of applause goes to soloists, but this time the choir has received particularly high ovations. When maestro Petras Bingelis came to the stage and presented the choir, the hall just burst out of applause and cry. This reaction rarely occurs".

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    Old Friends met In Germany, Wuppertal: Monday, January 8, at 20:00 Justus Franz and Kaunas State Choir (Artistic Director and Chief Conductor P. Bingelis) invited by the Philharmonie der Nationen had New Year's concert at Stadthalle am Johannisberg, Wuppertal's historic grand city hall.

     Justus Franz together with Kaunas State Choir will perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth symphony with the final choir "To Joy". The main idea of ​​the last leg, "All People Become Brothers", 1985 was declared the official anthem of the European Union. The manuscript of this work in the Ninth symphony was included in the "World Memory" catalog of the World Heritage List.

      The projects of the Philharmonie der Nationen are very interesting and airy: musicians from many nations meet during the intensive work and tourist projects several times a year, Serbs performing with Slovenians, Syrians with Israelis, Chinese with French, Russians with Ukrainians. Justus Frantz succeeded in gathering the most talented musicians in the world and creating a harmonious, top-notch music ensemble.

     Petras Bingelis and Justus Franz. Photo by Robertas Koncevičius

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