1 800 222 6872

Vladas Jakubenas: Chamber and Instrumental Music / Kasparas Uinskas, piano

Audio Samples

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Quartet for Strings Op. 4
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Tone-pictures (2), for piano, Op. 2
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Melody-Legend, for violin & piano
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Serenade, for cello & piano
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Prelude and Triple Fugue, for string orchestra in D minor

Album Summary

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Quartet for Strings Op. 4
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Tone-pictures (2), for piano, Op. 2
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Melody-Legend, for violin & piano
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Serenade, for cello & piano
>Jakubenas, Vladas : Prelude and Triple Fugue, for string orchestra in D minor
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Jakubenas (1904-76) was one of the major cultural figures in pre-WWII Lithuania: he was a prominent composer, critic, teacher and musical activist. After WWII, he was one of many Baltic composers exiled to the USA, in his instance Chicago. Nicknamed 'the Lithuanian Hindemith', this is the first recording of his music on CD.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
The String Quartet, 'Melody-Legend' for violin and piano, and Prelude and Triple Fugue for string orchestra are from the Berlin period; the Two Pictures for piano were written just before that, and the Serenade for cello and piano is from 1936. He became known as the "Lithuanian Hindemith" in Berlin because of his neoclassical bent. II has some modality and uses Lithuanian folk music. There are attractive moments, and the piece is a natural fit for the quartet medium. The Two Pictures are titled 'From the Land of Fairy Tales' and 'Legend', and that alone gives you a very good idea of how they sound. The 'Melody-Legend' and Serenade impressed me the most, with their elegance and Lithuanian and Spanish colorings. The performances are most excellent. Talented composer. Notes in English.



Reviews

A great rediscovery
Vladas Jakubenas has been called "The Lithuanian Hindemith," and this new collection from Toccata Classics helps explain why. Jakubenas moved from his native Lithuania to Berlin in the late 1920's to study with Franz Schrecker. He remained until 1932, then returned home. The Second World War forced Jakubenas to eventually make his way to the United States, where he died in 1976. The war had a disruptive effect on his compositional output. during the postwar years Jakubenas devoted more time to writing and teaching, becoming a respected contributor to journals, encyclopedias, as well as drama and music critic.

The album opens with Jakubenas' 1929 String Quartet No. 4. The work receives a spirited performance by the Vilnius String Quartet in this recording. The modernist (and mostly tonal) harmonic underpinnings of the work make it sound very much like a Hindemith composition with a hint of Janacek. Jakubenas wasn't as interested in counterpoint as Hindemith, though, so the quartet spends a great deal of time developing and presenting long, flowing melodies supported by dense harmony.

The Two Pictures, Op. 2 are charming miniatures for piano that seem more influenced by Rimsky-Korsakov than the Berlin school of the 1920's. They would be right at home in a recital of Medtner and Debussy.

Jakubenas based his 1930 Melody-Legend for violin and piano on a Lithuanian folk tale. And that folk influence becomes more pronounced as the piece progresses. Jakubenas moves from a mild form of atonality to a romantic and emotive conclusion.

The Serenade for cello and piano is the latest to be written, and suggests the direction Jakubenas was moving towards. The modernist tendencies found in his earlier works are largely absent from this 1936 composition. Instead, Jakubenas seems to using Ravel as a starting point. The cello line is smooth and elegant, without being overly expressive. The piano's harmonies have a shimmery quality to them, strengthening the connection (at least to my ears) with Ravel.

The most ambitious work on the album is the 1928 Prelude and Triple Fugue in D for string orchestra. The prelude flows along at a brisk pace, the voicing of the ensemble reminded me quite a bit of Benjamin Britten's early works. The fugue, though, represents a return to the Hindemith ideal. The counterpoint is rigorously worked out in a tonal framework that Hindemith would have approved of.

Before auditioning this release, I was completely unfamiliar with Vladas Jakubenas. After hearing the works on this album, I'm interested in hearing more, especially his larger more ambitious works, such as his symphonies. Kudos to Toccata Classics for this fine disc of world premier recordings.
Submitted on 01/08/14 by RGraves321 
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased



Previous


Next


Works Details

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Quartet for Strings Op. 4
  • Conductor: Donatas Katkus
  • Ensemble: St Christopher Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 25 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929-1930

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Tone-pictures (2), for piano, Op. 2
  • Performer: Kasparas Uinskas (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Kaskados Piano Trio
  • Running Time: 7 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926-1927

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Melody-Legend, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Albina Siksniute (Piano); Rusne Mataityte (Violin)
  • Ensemble: Vilnius String Quartet
  • Running Time: 6 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930-1931

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Serenade, for cello & piano
  • Performer: Albina Siksniute (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Jakubenas, Vladas : Prelude and Triple Fugue, for string orchestra in D minor
  • Conductor: Donatas Katkus
  • Running Time: 16 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928-1929