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Vytautas Bacevicius (1950-1970): Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Piano Concertos nos 3 & 4; Spring Suite, Op. 64 / GabrieliusAlekna, piano

Album Summary

>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Concerto for Piano no 3, Op. 44
>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Spring Suite, for orchestra, Op. 64
>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Concerto for Piano no 4, Op. 67 "Symphonie Concertante"
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Vytautas Bacevicius remained virtually unknown as a composer during his lifetime, in contrast to the fortunes of his sister Grazyna Bacewicz, who retained her Polish nationality. Rendered stateless by the outbreak of WWII while on tour as a concert pianist in Argentina, he eventually settled in New York until his death in 1970, giving acclaimed piano recitals, teaching, and writing astoundingly original orchestral scores. He never lost his deep allegiance to and nostalgia for Lithuania. This recording gives an eloquent introduction to his pianistic virtuosity and mystical, Scriabinesque orchestral vision.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Listeners interested in exploring neglected mid-century modernist experiments of the sort that Bacevicius attempted will find a far more skillful and accomplished composer in the 1962 Inventions and 1971 Piano Concerto of another displaced Pole, AndrT Tchaikowsky, on Toccata 104 (May/June 2014).

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: National Philharmonic Hall of Lithuania, Vilnius (06/24/2013-06/28/2013).



Reviews

A welcome rediscovery
Lithuanian composer and pianist Vytautas Bacevicius lived and worked mostly out of the spotlight. Exiled from his homeland by the Second World War, he eventually settled in New York City. Bacevicius resisted assimilation into American culture.

Though born in Poland, he celebrated his Lithuanian heritage, even changing the to the Lithuanian spelling of his name (unlike his more famous sister, composer Grazyna Bacewicz). He never engaged with the New York music scene, and he never returned to Lithuania, thus cutting himself off from his largest potential audiences.

Although obscure by choice, Bacevicius' music is well-crafted and deserves a hearing. Bacevivius developed his own version of atonality that, at least in these works, sounds more like post-tonality to me.

The 1946 Piano Concerto No. 3 has some very distinctive jazz elements. Some sections to my ears sounded like a highly chromatic version of Gershwin, perhaps crossed with Hindemith.

Completed in 1967, the fourth piano concerto is less tonal, and decidedly more original than the third. Bacevivius is an original and imaginative orchestrator, especially when it comes to percussion.

The 1958 Spring Suite serves as an effective bridge between the two concertos. It opens in a light, gauzy manner that reminded me of Martinu. As it progressed, its disjointed melodies seemed similar in style to late works by Shostakovich.

Pianist Gabrielius Alekna does a tremendous job. Bacevivius demands a lot from the soloist, and Alekna delivers. The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra directed by Christopher Lyndon-Gee also perform credibly, though in some spots the recorded ensemble seemed a little lacking in detail. Those are minor quibbles, though.

I was glad to see this release labeled "Volume 1." Bacevicius was indeed an original composer, and his music merits further exposure.
Submitted on 07/10/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Concerto for Piano no 3, Op. 44
  • Performer: Gabrielius Alekna (Piano)
  • Conductor: Christopher Lyndon-Gee
  • Ensemble: Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: National Philharmonic Hall of Lithuania, Vilnius (06/24/2013-06/28/2013)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1946

>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Spring Suite, for orchestra, Op. 64
  • Conductor: Christopher Lyndon-Gee
  • Notes: National Philharmonic Hall of Lithuania, Vilnius (06/24/2013-06/28/2013)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1958

>Bacevicius, Vytautas : Concerto for Piano no 4, Op. 67 "Symphonie Concertante"
  • Performer: Gabrielius Alekna (Piano)
  • Conductor: Christopher Lyndon-Gee
  • Notes: National Philharmonic Hall of Lithuania, Vilnius (06/24/2013-06/28/2013)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1962