(Liepu st. 16)
About the Klaipėda Carillon
This is one of the two musical instruments offer this kind in Lithuania that has become an identity symbol of Klaipėda.
The largest in Lithuania Klaipėda Carillon was in-stalled in the central post office tower on 13 No-vember 1987. This instrument was made accord-ing to the project Peter Schiling and manufac-tured by Apold (Germany) Schilling bell foundry craftsmen. It consisted of 48 chromatically har-monized bells, and the 4 octave keyboard. The largest bell weighed 900 kilograms, the smallest was 15 kilograms. The total mass of bells was 6800 kg, but with all the structures it summed up to about 10 tons.
Musical bells are used for playing the works of polyphony masters, Western European and Lithuanian classical composers, written specifi-cally for this instrument.
Since the very installation of the instrument, the International of bells music festival of Baltic cities was regularly organized. Here, music of bells was played not only by Klaipėda musicians, but also visitors from Kaunas, Denmark, Germany, Hol-land, France, Belgium and Poland. The last festi-val took place in 2003 and was attended by all Lithuanian carillionneurs and instrument virtuosos from Kolding (Denmark), Mechelen (Belgium) and Gdansk (Poland).
The new Klaipėda carillon was molten in 2006 in the Netherlands, in the Royal Eijsbauts bell foun-dry. It consists of 48 new flat profile bells ranging in four octaves. The diameter of the heaviest bell (F1) is 1163 mm and weight 903 kilograms, the lightest (f5) bell diameter is 182 mm, weight - 10 kg. The total weight of the bells is about 5095 kilograms. They were cast from high quality bell type brass, which composition ensures the neces-sary frequency of both low and high tone bells. Each bell retains its sound and timbre not only in its tone structure, but in combination with other bells.
The last old carillon concert took place on 17 Sep-tember 2006. After that the bells were dismantled and the installation of the new carillon cast in the Royal Eijsbauts (Netherlands) company began.
The new carillon in the Klaipėda central post of-fice tower was installed on 11-12 December 2006, in the presence of Dutch masters. Its tun-ing took another week.
Klaipėda heard the sound of new bells for the first time during the Christmas of 2006. According to the carillonneur K. Kačinskas, the new carillon is a world level instrument, and Royal Eijsbouts company is known in all continents. During his concerts in USA the carillonneur played specifi-cally on the instruments from this company. S. Žilevičius told that in Asten (The Netherlands) the bell casting is a business of the fourth generation of this family and the town even has a bells his-tory museum.
Currently, there are more than 600 carillons in all continents of the world, mainly in the Netherlands – over 200. Lithuania has 2 of such instruments – in Kaunas and Klaipėda.
In Klaipėda, carillonneurs are Kęstutis Kačinskas and Stasys Žilevičius. Concerts can be enjoyed in the courtyard of the Clock Museum near the caril-lon.
Stanislovas Žilevičius – pianist, harpsichord player, concertmaster, carillonneur, professor of Klaipėda University. He completed the piano stud-ies in the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Thea-tre. Later studied as a trainee in N. Rimsky - Kor-sakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg (Russia), Latvian Academy of Music. Learned to play the carillon at G. F. Telemann School of Music in Magdeburg (Germany) at G. Bust. Laureate of the International Carillon Competition of 2001 in Hamburg (Germany). Released 2 CDs and 3 pub-lications of original music and arrangements to carillon. He has performed in Denmark, Germany, France and the United States.
Kęstutis Kačinskas is a carillonneur, assoc. pro-fessor of Klaipėda University. He studied choral conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and at the Conservatory of St. Pe-tersburg (Russia). Learned to play the carillon in Magdeburg, special courses in Løgumkloster (Denmark), Amersfoort (The Netherlands).
In 2001 graduated from the School of Church Mu-sic. Won the first prize in the Competition of Car-illon International Music Composition in 1992. Released 2 CDs and 3 publications of original mu-sic and arrangements for carillon. Since 1987 is the carillonnist in Klaipėda. He has performed in Denmark, Germany, France and the United States.
In October 2008, a four-octave exercise carillon with molten bell ring simulation mechanism was delivered to the Lithuanian maritime city from Asten, Holland. Its mission is to replace the old carillon analogue which was serving to Klaipėda carillonneurs for long years but currently does not meet the quality and new time requirements.
The delivery of this keyboard musical instrument, the only instrument of this type in Lithuania, to Klaipėda completed the works of the Klaipėda Carillon arrangement investment project. Me-chanical instrument for rehearsals was replaced by a new and innovative electronic carillon trainer. Stanislovas Žilevičius, a long-year caril-lonneur, was pleased to tell that the new acquisi-tion meets the high quality standard of the new carillon.
The four-octave chromatic keyboard musical in-strument for exercises is not only modern but also durable, since it was made from the highest quality materials in line with the latest global standards. Bells were cast from a special bronze alloy, the instrument’s hardware is made of stainless steel, and wooden parts are made ex-clusively of dried oak preventing deformations in the simulator over time. The aesthetic view of the instrument is ensured by high quality surface pol-ishing, and compliance with the twenty-first cen-tury standards is proven by the latest computer software. This configuration will allow performers to record, store, edit and replay the works played. Therefore, the bell tower sounds heard by Klaipėda residents and guests now will be a great result of convenient rehearsals.
In good weather, Klaipėda carillon music can be heard throughout the central part of the city. Car-illon music concerts traditionally are played every Saturday and Sunday at noon, 12:00.