To maintain the tradition of promoting Lithuanian music, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) is pleased to announce the recordings of sonatas for violin and piano by famous Lithuanian composers of the 20th century and invite to two exceptional concerts. On August 1 at the Paliesius Manor and August 7 at the LMTA Great Hall, soloists Simona Venslovaitė (violin) and Veronika Kopjova (piano), who are frequent music performers in Lithuania and abroad, will play chamber music by Juozas Gruodis, Kazimieras Viktoras Banaitis, Stasys Vainiūnas, Povilas Dikčius, Julius Juzeliūnas, and Justinas Bašinskas. And what is more: on August 2-6, these works will be recorded by sound directors and a Grammy Awards nominees Vilius Keras and Aleksandra Kerienė.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor by Juozas Gruodis (1922), Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor by Kazimieras Viktoras Banaitis (1935), Sonata for Violin and Piano op. 38 by Stasys Vainiūnas (1971), Small Sonata for Violin and Piano by Povilas Dikčius (1971), Sonata for Violin and Piano by Julius Juzeliūnas (1972), Sonata for Violin and Piano by Justinas Bašinskas (1977) — all these works belong to the Golden Funds of the 20th -century Lithuanian chamber music and were last recorded over 30 years ago, while some of them have never been released as CDs. This has led to the poor appreciation and accessibility of these Lithuanian chamber music masterpieces to a wider audience in Lithuania and abroad.
Yet, the memories of the atmosphere and musical life of those times shared by earlier performers of these musical pieces as well as their colleagues have not faded: these reflections are particularly valuable when we want to come up with the interpretation of the works as skilfully as possible to follow the composers’ intentions. As a result, we have welcomed the idea to not only perform and record the works but also engage in a lively discussion with the experts of this repertoire —prominent Lithuanian chamber musicians and LMTA professors— pianist Irena Uss-Armonienė; cellist Rimantas Armonas; violinist Petras Kunca; violist, conductor, and musicologist Donatas Katkus; and violinist Simona Venslovaitė and pianist Veronika Kopjova, LMTA graduates who are preparing the performance (the discussion was led by Gerūta Griniūtė).
The ardent recording sessions are going to take place on August 2-6 at the Horseshoe Concert Hall of the Paliesius Manor which is more and more often preferred by world-class musicians as the venue for their recordings. The performers of the musical works — Simona Venslovaitė and Veronika Kopjova are LMTA graduates pursuing a career in Austria and Germany. Simona Venslovaitė plays with Ensemble XX. Jahrhundert (artistic director Peter Burwik), a contemporary music ensemble in Vienna, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra (artistic director Clemens Schuldt) in the first violin section. Pianist Veronika Kopjova teaches at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and is a member of the contemporary music ensemble Platypus. The recordings will feature exceptional instruments: the admirable Steinway & Sons concert piano and the especially valuable mid-18th century Florentine violin by Giovanni Battista Gabrielli. The sound director is Vilius Keras who has been nominated for the prestigious Grammy Award several times and whose recorded albums have been featured in international record catalogues (including Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s Deutsche Grammophon recordings).
The programme will also be available as a live event: August 1, 2 p.m. – Paliesius Manor (featuring sonatas by K. V. Banaitis, J. Juzeliūnas, J. Bašinskas and J. Gruodis); August 7, 5 p.m. – the Great Hall of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre located in the very central part of Vilnius (the programme includes sonatas by J. Gruodis, P. Dikčius, and S. Vainiūnas). The events are free of charge.
The recordings and concerts are part of project Juozas Gruodis, Kazimieras Viktoras Banaitis, Stasys Vainiūnas, Povilas Dikčius, Julius Juzeliūnas, Justinas Bašinskas: the most important sonatas for violin and piano by Lithuanian composers of the 20th century carried out by the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. The project encourages studies, performance, and promotion of the most significant Lithuanian chamber music repertoire of the 20th century in Lithuania and worldwide. The Paliesius Manor is the Project partner. The Project is sponsored by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.
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