“Hymn to the Future” will address environmental issues. The programme’s main highlight is the performance of the cantata-concerto Cantus ad futurum (Hymn to the Future) by Algirdas Martinaitis, a benchmark work distinguished for remarkable lyricism and emotional suggestiveness. Composed in 1982, it rounded off the series of works known as the composer’s ‘nature cycle’ to become a manifesto for the entire generation of the so-called neoromantic composers, which encapsulated their shared aesthetic and moral attitudes, feelings, fears and hopes. The work has acquired new significance due to the recent threats against Lithuania’s forests and parks and, consequently, endangered birds and animals living in these habitats.
The outer movements of this cantata-concerto sung to Latin text give voice to birds included in the Lithuanian Red List of Threatened Species. An analogy between the dead language and endangered birds, echoes of the medieval plainsong lend an archaic, ritual character to the piece. The middle movement features onomatopoeic vocables characteristic of Lithuanian polyphonic sutartinės, while the manner of singing is reminiscent of monophonic folk laments (raudos): “Nightingale of the eternal night, sing with us, sing in us, sing without us... Sing, o nightingale, sing!” The work ends symbolically with the cry of the solitary flute…
Other pieces in the programme pick up the theme of nature conceived as a source of inspiration, well-being and a place of repose for a human inhabitant of the urbanized and computerized world. The Baltic Sea forms yet another thematic thread since all composers come from the Baltic countries and present their contrasting impressions of the sea, both delightful and distressing, e. g. Mirusios kopos (The Dead Dunes) by Zita Bružaitė and Pro memoria “Estonia” by Egīls Straume.
Among the performers of the “Hymn to the Future” are the bewilderingly homogeneous vocal duo “Cantus Coronatus” (soprano Simona Liamo and mezzo-soprano Nora Petročenko) and the celebrated chamber ensemble “Musica Humana” led by Robertas Beinaris.