April 19, 2017
Arvydas Malcys: the ritual of the anniversary concert
Author: Gintarė Čiuladaitė
Publication: Lietuvos Žinios
April 19, 2017
Author: Gintarė Čiuladaitė
Publication: Lietuvos Žinios
The concert at National Philharmonic on 22 April, Saturday, is dedicated to 60-year jubilee of Arvydas Malcys, a composer and a violoncellist of Lithuanian National Symphonic Orchestra (LNSO). In one of his works planned for the author’s concert of A. Malcys, the composer strived to delete the borderline between the “serious” music and “light” music. At Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, A. Malcys completed the study programme in violoncello and in addition studied music composition. From those times, he both plays and creates classic music. „I admire the talent of A. Malcys, – his colleague composer Šarūnas Nakas wrote. – Within twenty years, he created 29 compositions for orchestra. His record productivity equals to high-performance activities of an architect that coherently and rapidly forms parts of a town.“
The programme of the anniversary concert includes four music works: The Third symphony „Grünwald“ (2010), the Concert for a violoncello and orchestra (2009), the symphonic composition „Only the Sky over Us “ (2003) and the Concert for a soprano saxophone and Orchestra (2004).
How have you chosen the opuses for your 60-year anniversary concert? – we asked Arvydas Malcys.
Various versions may be possible. In this programme, each composition is of another form and orchestration; their purposes and histories differ as well. I chose the works in a simple way: the Third symphony was never presented in Vilnius, so I included it in the programme. Because I am a violoncellist, I wished to include the Concert for a violoncello (it will be performed by excellent musician Boris Andrianov). I communicated with Mstislav Rostropovich for many years (he was a great authority for me), so I wished to include “Only the Sky over Us”, one of two my symphonic works dedicated to the Maestro. The Concert for a soprano saxophone is an interesting example of combination of “serious” and “light” music, so it was really fit for the end of the anniversary concert.
Music ideas are unexpected.
You have created some works dedicated to other musicians. One of examples is the concert dedicated to Yuri Bashmet, the violist and orchestra conductor. Are performers one of sources of inspiration for you?
Music works inspired by performers usually are dedicated to those performers. Concerts for soloists with orchestra usually predetermine the decision. When it is clear who will perform the music work, search for a soloist is not required. On the other hand, a performer that takes an interest in modern music usually looks for new, never performed music works. It is a great joy for a composer. The Concert for a violin, a viola and the strings was created at the order of Y. Bashmet and performed at the hall of Moscow Pyotr Tchaikovsky Philharmonic. On occasion of his 60-year jubilee, Y. Bashmet arranged a grandiose cycle of concerts. Best performers were involved in it and ordered music works of composer, such as Giya Kancheli, Alexander Tchaikovsky, Giovanni Sollima, Igor Raykhelson and me, were included in the programme of the cycle. Of course, an appreciation of music works provided by eminent performers ensures self-reliance to the author.
– Musicologist Beata Baublinskienė named you a poet of music. What else, in addition to observance of moving clouds in your homestead or listening to booming bees, cause an appearance of your music ideas?
Everything around me may suddenly cause an appearance of inspirations, reflections, recollections or contemplations. In 2000, I passed two weeks at the Mediterranean Sea. I observed the sea, the clouds and the sun over the beach and gradually formed the structure, mood and rhythm of a future music work in my mind. At home, I only fixed everything. In such a way, “The Moment in the Eternity” for the string orchestra appeared. In my homestead, I like observing the sunset in evenings. I am glad to see a hawk, a roe, a fox or a hare near my homestead. While lying on grass, I may observe a travel of a beetle for hours. The homestead is built on a hill, so I admire the excellent images. All the said observations affect the subconsciousness and the self-awareness....
The only creative pause
– You modestly call you a craftsman, a yard or street composer. Although you mostly create for the own pleasure, please, say when, in your opinion, a composer reaches the creative maturity?
It is really impossible to answer this question. Some composers are wunderkinds since their childhood: they create operas and symphonies, everybody admires them. However, later they become invisible among other composers and their music works are not performed anymore. Some worldwidely famous composers die in the age of 35 years and others of the same age only start their creative activities. From history, we know abundant examples about composers that became famous after their deaths. There are abundant examples of persons who were appreciated only as performers and their compositions are discovered after their deaths. I think, the today artists should not feel them important or require an appreciation or exclusive attention. They should do the work that is interesting and meaningful for them. They are able to do such a work and there are persons that wait for new creations of a creator and are interested in them. Only always just and stony-hearted time will answer what creator you were.
–Why so many music performers are simultaneously authors or orchestra conductors? Is it a search for self-expression means?
I think, yes. An inquiring performer takes an interest in various details, for example, why a certain episode is inserted in the specific place, why the dramaturgic materials are suddenly changed and what does such a change cause? Abundant questions appear for performers of music created by other persons. Such a performer starts analyzing and tries to imagine, for example,
“Pelleas and Melisande” and then tries to compose … It is natural. They say that each person has a grain of creation; however, the said grain should be grown and cherished. It is very interesting to listen to new interpretation of a well-known music creation provided by another orchestra conductor. And it becomes clear that interpretation can change not only a drama, but also a symphony and cause a curiosity.
– Giuseppe Verdi did not compose for 19 years, Sergey Rakhmaninov after unsuccessful premiere of his symphonic work – for three years. Why such pauses occur? Were there any creative pauses in your activities?
Yes, I had a log pause as well. It occurred in the period of Sąjūdis, prior to restoration of Independence of Lithuania. In the said period, creation of music could not be the most important occupation. It was the time of self-determination and restoration of the Nation and the State. All the thoughts were linked with meetings, press dissemination, communication with likeminded persons, conversation about freedom… This period was very long in my life and it was difficult to come back to the world of suspicions, emotions and creation.
The noise goes away
What are your habits exercised before starting music creation? How do you disassociate from heard melodies or the daily noise that accompanies us everywhere?
If an idea appears and all my thoughts are focused on it, the noise or heard music motifs naturally go away. I switch on my imagination and it produces an idea. For creation of any genre of music, such as symphony or music for an instrument solo, the fit mood should appear that forms a nondescript state, feeling, and history. While keeping my ears open to everything above-described, I am provided a push for formation of certain dramaturgy and mood. Then I choose a form and themes, develop the music idea and finally - the rhythm, time signature (beat), tempo and picking.
– You are a musician of Lithuanian National Symphonic Orchestra and take part with it in educative concerts „The Orchestra Planet“: you play for schoolchildren and explain them how the orchestra “operates”; the orchestra conductor allows the schoolchildren “trying” his baton and observe how the musicians answer its movement. What kind of process provides the orchestra for you?
– For musicians of an orchestra, a concert is a peculiar ritual. Everything that existed before the concert is set aside. We, the performers, in our life are very different persons; however, a concert (to speak precisely, the music performed on the scene) unites us. We turn into an undivided community where “one for all and all for one” act. Even an error of the orchestra conductor would not “prevent” us from pursuing the object that unites us. If the music work is clearly written and well-prepared, we can hear with pleasure the doubling voices, the counterpoint, several lines of the accompaniment, the rhythmic pattern and all-uniting music flight. And start hearing the logic of recording the music work by the composer and his “kitchen”..
What do you create at present?
Just I have finished my largest work – ballet „The Master and Margarita“. At present, I am creating a work for Russian performers. In addition, I plan composing several works for Lithuanian performers; however, they are not finally agreed..