The festival will open with the “Midday Bells” concert, starting at noon and featuring carilloneurs Kęstutis Kačinskas and Stanislovas Žilevičius. For almost three decades they have been loyal servants and promoters of this majestic instrument in Klaipėda. They have also given carillon concerts on tours in Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the U.S., recorded carillon music for several CDs, edited scores, arranged and composed music for this instrument. At an opening concert Kačinskas and Žilevičius will perform their own compositions, along with the premieres of six new works composed by Vaida Striaupaitė-Beinarienė, Zita Bružaitė, Vytautas Germanavičius, Laima Jedenkutė, Rytis Mažulis, and Remigijus Šileika. Some of these new pieces are scored for carillon and trumpet. The sounds of trumpet in the masterful hands of Algirdas Januševičius will merge with the ringing of bells, thus paying symbolic homage to professor Julius Juzeliūnas whose centennial is being celebrated this year. One of the most prominent Lithuanian composers and music educators of the 20th century, Juzeliūnas was also a political activist who had fulfilled his civic duties by taking part in the movement for Lithuania’s independence.
The “Afternoon Bells” at 3 p.m. will feature a family duo of carilloneurs Toru Takao and Katarzyna Piastowska-Takao who have been working together since 2011 to represent and promote the carillon cultures of their native countries – Japan and Poland – and Germany where they currently reside. Both musicians are prize-winners of numerous international carillon competitions, having studied carillon performance in the Netherlands and Belgium. These countries boast not only the oldest and most reputable carillon cultures, but also the largest carillon collections in the world: at the present time there are 182 carillons in the Netherlands and 89 in Belgium, while Germany only has 45 such instruments.
For the most part of their programme, the duo will perform compositions written specifically for carillon by the Dutch, Belgian and Danish composers.
The “Evening Bells” will start ringing at 6 p.m. operated by carilloneur Monika Kaźmierczak from Poland who is to make her second appearance at the Klaipėda Carillon Festival. She has garnered several prizes at international competitions and currently pursues an active concert career with frequent appearances in the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Belgium and the United States. She teaches at the Stanisław Moniuszko State Academy of Music in Gdansk and heads the Polish Guild of Carilloneurs.
This time Kaźmierczak will be joined by the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, under the artistic leadership of Mindaugas Bačkus. A new composition for trumpet, carillon and strings by the young composer from Klaipėda, Lina Posėčnaitė, who currently pursues composition studies in Germany, will contribute to the scarce repertoire for carillon and strings. Dancer Paulius Pinigis will accompany Kaźmierczak’s performance of music by famous British composer Michael Nyman with a piece of contemporary choreography. Calm tinkling of bells will be heard in the arrangement of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis’ piano prelude Angelus Domini, while Kamil Cieślik’s piece will evoke the image of scintillating water fountains. A harmonious and simultaneous ensemble of bells in the tower and an orchestra in the museum’s courtyard will be entrusted to conductor Modestas Barkauskas.
As the saying goes, every time a bell rings, angels spread their wings...
The “Night Bells” starting at 9 p.m., will round off the festival programme with the performance of Lumen fidei (The Light of Faith), a remarkable cantorio by Zita Bružaitė. The work synthesizing the genres of cantata (conceived as singing) and oratorio (conceived as prayer) is imbued with the medieval spirit that makes no distinctions between faith and experiences in everyday life. Sometimes this serene music is interspersed with improvisatory interludes, reflecting the sound of modern times through the interlacing of jazz, electronic, rock, pop and crossover music styles. The composer also uses musical cryptograms, ‘secret’ codes and other symbols to convey sacred meanings. She invites her listeners to contemplate music and sense the overall flow, expression, a kaleidoscopic change of moods and colours, which imparts the light of faith, guiding our steps in life.
The performance of the cantorio calls for the joint forces of the Jauna Muzika Choir, the Protuberus Brass Ensemble and numerous soloists, including countertenor Piotr Olech (Poland), bass Liudas Mikalauskas, saxophonist Jan Maksimovič, percussionistArkadijus Gotesmanas and carilloneur Austėja Staniunaitytė who appears to be the first woman in the country to present programmes of carillon music. Vaclovas Augustinas, a renowned conductor and composer, artistic director of the Jauna Muzika Choir, will be in charge of concord between voices and instruments.
Let the bells of the Klaipėda Carillon ring!