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 The 18th International Chamber Music Festival "Sacrum et Musica" ended with an enthusiastically received and artistically extremely successful concert. The Lomza Witold’s Lutosławski‘s Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra played, the Kaunas State Choir (conductor Roberto Šerveniks) sang and Jan Miłoš Zarzycki conducted. Franco Schubert's Mass in G major was sung by three soloists from Lithuania, and Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 Violins by Piotras Sawickis, deputy concertmaster of the Lomža Orchestra, and Darius Krapikas from the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. Six more musicians from Kaunas strengthened the Philharmonic Orchestra.


This year, the Sacrum et Musica festival organized by the Chamber Philharmonic included 13 concerts in 10 cities in the provinces of Podlasie, Mazovia and Warmia-Masuria. Their repertoire and cast was extremely diverse, and the culmination of the festival was traditionally this great concert in Lomza Cathedral. It was included among the events of the "Senior Weekend with Culture", which only increased the interest in the concert.

There was no need to encourage music lovers, and the members of the Lomža choirs did not miss the opportunity to listen to their great colleagues from Lithuania. However, the performance of the Kaunas State Choir had to wait a bit, because this spiritual feast began with two baroque concerts, both of which were by the famous Antonio Vivaldi. In the concert for strings in G minor RV 156, the orchestra itself was pleasing, supported by three violinists, a viola player, a cellist and a double bassist of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra.

Concerto for 2 violins in A minor RV 522 already had two solo heroes. Piotr Sawicki and Darius Krapikas, although they only had one rehearsal until then, pleased the audience not only with their virtuosity and perfect interpretation, but also with their harmony - the old rule that music is the most universal language was confirmed here in all its glory.

The standing ovation last long after this truly inspired performance; the orchestra led by concertmaster Izabela Bławat-Leoffredi deserved praise. A choir of nearly 40 people opened the concert with three pieces performed a cappella. The Lomža audience already knew the ensemble led by Robertas Šervenikas, as the Chamber Philharmonic has been cooperating with it for many years, but for the first time they had the opportunity to listen to Lithuanian singers without accompaniment. It was extremely impressive, the choir performed three works: "Sanctus" by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, "Os justi" by Anton Bruckner and "Lux aeterna" by Edward Elgar, dedicated to the victims of the Ukrainian war. After the orchestra joined the singers (Darius Krapikas played the concertmaster this time) and soprano Gintarė Ramanauskaitė, tenor Klaudijus Zajančkauskas and bass Deimantas Braukyla, Schubert's mass in G major D 167 sounded. It is not as widely known as, for example, Johann Sebastian Bach's Great Mass in B minor , Missa Solemnis in D major. However, masterpieces by Ludwik van Beethoven or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, such as the Mass in C major KV 317 "Coronation" or the Requiem in D minor, are among the more interesting typically liturgical works, of which the Austrian composer composed far more in his short life. The Mass in G major, consisting of six movements, was excellently performed not only by the soloists, but also by the choir and orchestra. They deserved an ovation and long applause, and the artists, satisfied with such a warm reception, performed the famous "Hallelujah" from Georg Friedrich Handel's oratorio "Messiah" with an encore. It was a great finale not only to this very successful concert, but also to the entire festival.

Wojciech Chamryk


Beethoven's Choral Fantasy



Kaunas State Philharmonic Orchestra and Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 present an exclusive international project with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra, visiting Kaunas for the first time, will present a special programme for the European Capital of Culture audience, together with the Kaunas State Choir and piano virtuoso Simon Trpčeski.

The first piece will be Sergei Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony”, created as a musical joke. When his contemporaries were already used to his “hooligan” style, he composed a symphony based on the styles of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This is Prokofiev’s first work to be composed without the piano. Speaking about the title of the work, the composer said: “First of all, it’s simpler. Secondly, my mischievous way is to blame, I wanted to annoy the geese. And then there’s the secret hope that in the end I’ll be right – that the symphony will indeed become a classical work.”

A genius improviser, a creator of perfect musical castles in front of the audience, and a demanding artist in his own right – all these epithets applied to Ludwig van Beethoven fit perfectly into one work – Fantasia for piano, choir and orchestra, which the guests from London will perform with the Kaunas State Choir and pianist Simon Trpčeski. This soaring hymn to the spirits of creation has become a veritable herald of van Beethoven’s legendary Symphony No.9, which the audience will realise immediately after the winged melody of the piano solo.

The concert will culminate with the Second Symphony by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, a work whose birth the composer said: “It seems that the Most High Himself is throwing the pebbles of the mosaic from the vault of heaven and letting me put them together into one whole.” The symphony, which quickly captured the hearts of the audience, is a majestic and weighty mosaic of sounds, ending with an apotheosis that glorifies the work.