EDUARDAS BALSYS (1919-1984): Violin Concerto No. 1, Reflections of the Sea, Dramatic Frescoes for Violin, Piano and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04W002
Reference: ODE 1358-2
Description: Balsys was a key figure in Lithuania’s music from the 1950s until his death in 1984. This release by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Modestas Pitrenas includes his early breakthrough work, Violin Concerto No. 1, alongside two other orchestral scores. In these works, Balsys reveals himself as a master of rich, colorful orchestration. Balsys underwent a considerable evolution of style from his early compositions written in classical form, to his late expressionistic and dodecaphonic works. His oeuvre reflects turns and twists of the development of Lithuanian music, from ideologically motivated ‘folkloric’ romanticism (until 1958) toward new stylistic trends and compositional techniques. The concerto, written in 1954 after completing his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory, was the zenith of his first creative period and is still a traditional work not far from the world of the concertos of Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian. Dramatic Frescoes for violin, piano and symphony orchestra (1965) marked the beginning of the composer’s final creative period. This one-movement symphonic work merges the features of several genres: instrumental concerto, poem and symphony. Solo instruments are treated here as the main elements of the orchestra. In this work the composer sums up dramatic conflicts of our era, including the threat of war. Reflections of the Sea (1981), scored for string orchestra, is one of the composer’s final orchestral works. The work is saturated with expressive moods and sharp contrasts enabled by using a technique of dividing instrumental segments into smaller subsections. Džeraldas Bidva (violin), Indrė Baikštytė (piano), Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Modestas Pitrėnas.