Nov. 23, 2017
The anniversary birthday of Lithuanian composer Arvydas Malcys in Moscow
Author: Olesya Bobrik
Nov. 23, 2017
Author: Olesya Bobrik
On 26 October 2017, the author’s concert of Arvydas Malcys was arranged at the Concert Hall of Moscow House of Composers.
The concert devoted to 60-year birthday of Lithuanian composer and violoncellist Arvydas Malcys had been arranged with a support of Chairman of Union of Moscow Composers Oleg Borisovich Galakhov and the Embassy of Republic of Lithuania in Russia; at the ceremony of the congratulation of the jubilee, Ambassador of Republic of Lithuania in Russia Remigijus Motuzas was presented as well.
From the rich creative treasury of Arvydas Malcys consisting of about 50 music works for orchestra (including 12 concerts), for this concert, the following five works were chosen: three music pieces for a string orchestra, namely, “The Split Silence” (2004), “The Snow Hyacinth” (2013) and “Milky Way” (2004), and two concerts — the Concerto for an accordion and a string orchestra (2010) and the Concerto for a clarinet and a chamber orchestra (2007).
All the above-mentioned music works were performed by the State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” (conducted by Freddy Cadena); the soloists were charismatic musicians, laureates of international competitions Maria Vlasova (accordion) and Valentin Uryupin (clarinet). The event was guided by laureate of international competitions pianist Irina Grayfer.
The author’s concert of the Lithuanian composer in Moscow is not an ordinary event in our times. However, an acquaintance with the biography of the hero of the evening shows it to be not a lucky accident.
Selection of performers was not random: here, an important role was played by friendly creative relations of the composer with Russian musicians. Particularly important were the friendly relation between Arvydas Malcys and Yury Bashmet.
At an order of Yury Bashmet, Malcys created his music piece “Vortex” in 2010 on occasion of the 20-year anniversary of the State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” аnd in 2012 — the Concerto for a violin and a viola with an orchestra; at the premiere of the Concert in 2013, the soloists were the famous violist himself and violinist Alena Bayeva.
At the premiere, the orchestra was conducted by Valentin Uryupin who was simultaneously both a leading clarinetist and a conductor.
So, an involvement of the State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” guided by Yury Bashmet and of Valentin Uryupin as a soloist in the concert devoted to the anniversary birthday of Arvydas Malcys should be considered predictable.
Due to the concert activities of M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov Piano Quartet, chamber music by Arvydas Malcys is being presented on a regular basis in Lithuania and Russia (not only in Moscow, but also in other cities, such as Yakutsk, Kazan, Dubna, Aleksandrov etc.).
The retaliatory thankfulness of the composer to the group was attested by the piece “The Milky Way” (a version for piano quartet) devoted to the said orchestra. Irina Grayfer, one of the members of M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov Piano Quartet, was a mastermind and a co-organizer of the today author’s concert of Arvydas Malcys.
Music by Malcys shows him to be a master being well-aware of classical laws of music art and creating his music works in accordance with the natural intuitional sense. It is attested by the logic of his composition clearly perceptible on all levels of it – from smallest details of the facture to the construction of the form as a whole.
Such a feeling the music material “from the inside” is understandable, because Arvydas Malcys is simultaneously a composer and an orchestra player: for over 30 years, he is a leading violoncellist of the National Symphony Orchestra of Lithuania.
The inclination of the composer to string instruments is not random: he is aware of all nuances of their abilities. The technique of composing music for string instruments is highly sophisticated and very various.
The gradation of sounding of string orchestra ranges from the subaudible flageolet glissando or misty & soft (at the limit between a certain tone and the noise) non-rhythmicized ricochet sound to high-density expressive unisonous texture. (It is notable that the total melodious material and the unisonous imitations in some fragments of piece “The Split Silence” call to mind the main theme of the Symphony No. 5 by D. Shostakovich Part 1.)
In general, sweet many-second clusters softened by timbres of string instruments, both as accords and highbred various figurations, are typical for music by Malsys as well. In all cases, the consonances of string instruments are perfect and the balance between the elements of the facture is clearly felt.
The process of development in music by Arvydas Malsys is natural and intuitively understandable as well. According to the perception of the composer, the idea of each music piece for an orchestra presented at the concert is expressed by its title. (It is described in the book «Ten Stages of Creation by Arvydas Malcys” /“Десять творческих ступеней Арвидаса Мальциса”/ by Mikhail Kokzhayev, published recently by Moscow Publishing House “Kompositor”).
However, in spite of diversity, an application of stable methods of structurization of a whole is felt in music works by A. Malcys. One of them is development of music in periods of growing that achieve a culmination followed by a sudden interruption. Natural transfers from precisely fixed to aleatory free narration are typical and almost inaudible, so they create a sensation of a natural spontaneous process of the development of the idea.
Hearing to music works by Arvydas Malcys causes a pleasure also by elements of light music (first of all, jazz music) presented in them. They are particularly well audible in the Concerto for an accordion and a string orchestra as well as in “The Milky Way”.
Both Concerts presented this evening provided to the performers an opportunity to present live improvisation-based playing with sudden timbre assonances.
Abundant disclosed timbre-based concordances are astonishing: for example, the improvisation for an accordion in the flute register supported by slightly audible third-based accords of high register string instruments, or the first unison in the top register of a clarinet and violins in the beginning of the Concerto for a clarinet with an orchestra, or a fantastic solution of highest trill of a clarinet, an oboe and a flute in aleatory flageolet glissando of violins in the first part of the Concert. Such discoveries attesting a high sensitivity of the timbre-based hearing of the composer are abundant in his Concerts.
The performance solo by Maria Vlasova in the Concerto for an accordion with an orchestra may be considered ideal.
It was perfect both in the aspect of high sensitivity in respect of the balance between the “strict” following the music text and free improvisation, the aspect of sensitivity of conveying the timbre “modulations” of accordion sound to the orchestra and the aspect of emotionality of presentation of the contrasting material — the mysterious and obscurely mystic beginning of the Concert, the transparent elegy in the end of the first part and surprisingly light charming final with French “fleur”.
The performance of the Concerto for a clarinet by Valentin Uryupin was really masterful. A subtle accuracy of each touch, softness of the sound and simultaneously saturation of the timbre within the maximum register range of a clarinet, sensitive conveying the capricious rhythmic pattern and a broad swing of arpeggiated motions as well as a real artistic drive in the final of the Concert – all of them attest him to be a musician of the top level.
To the delight of the composer and the audience, the State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” conducted by Freddy Cadena presented for the first time five scores created by Malcys with such wholeness and artistry, as if played music known for a long time.
In addition to coherence of sounding as well as following the instructions of the composer related to the tempos and touches, the merits of the conductor include natural, as if spontaneous conveying the dynamics of each music work and finally the sensation of an integrity and unity of the whole concert in mutually reinforcing contrast of its parts.
The pleasure provided by playing this brightly nice music created comfortably, upon a thoroughful understanding the nature and technical abilities of the instruments, was clearly felt in playing of the orchestra “Novaya Rossiya” and the soloists — Maria Vlasova and Valentin Uryupin.
Namely, the joy caused by playing of the top level musicians was probably the most important “outcome” of the concert devoted to the anniversary birthday of Arvydas Malcys in Moscow.