Bronius Kutavicius - The Seasons (Oratorio)
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Label: Toccata Classics
Cat No: TOCC0200
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 25th September 2015
ArtistsDarius Meskauskas (narrator)
Vilnius Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika
St Christopher Chamber Orchestra
Bronius Kutavičius’ oratorio The Seasons (2005–8) sets texts from a classic Lithuanian poem by the eighteenth-century pastor-poet Kristijonas Donelaitis which describes the lives of the peasants as they toil throughout the year.
Kutavičius, born in 1932, is Lithuania’s senior composer and is regarded as a national treasure, rather as Vaughan Williams was in Britain. He has long been fascinated with Lithuania’s folk-heritage, and The Seasons mixes musical modernism and folk-inspired primitivism in a powerful portrayal of the interaction of human activity and natural forces.
This live recording is of the first complete performance, given in St Catherine’s Church, Vilnius, on 13 September 2012, in the presence of the composer, as part of the celebrations to mark his 80th birthday.
Darius Meškauskas, who reads Donelaitis’ poetry on this recording, is one of the best-known actors in Lithuania. The Vilnius City Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika is considered to be one of the most professional and vigorous vocal ensembles in Lithuania.
The St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1994, gives up to 80 concerts a year, ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary - its repertoire feature works by dozens of Lithuanian and other composers. Donatas Katkus, the artistic director and conductor of the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, has been in charge of the group since its inception.
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