Jan. 21, 2011
The recollections of the XIII International Accordion Festival Rima Povilionienė
Author: Rima Povilionienė
Jan. 21, 2011
Author: Rima Povilionienė
One more year passed. The traditional annual statements and reports are prepared. What has been done, what has not been done, what innovations appeared and what remained free of any changes. The first day of a year is as if a new reference point and before it, we feverishly try to complete all outstanding works. The calendar distribution is too deeply rooted. After the end of a year, we look back to it from time to time. As if such looking is required for moving ahead. Nevertheless, it is one more pretext for thinking and contemplation, even arising from statements or reports.
Now I remember the XIII International Accordion Festival that took place on 9-14 November of the last year in various places of Vilnius (Saint Catherine Church, the Centre of Culture and Enlightenment under the Teacher’ House, „Tamsta“ Club, Art Factory „Loftas“, and Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre). The pendulum of the Festival swung very broadly, it included creative workshops, seminars, academic concerts, and projects related electronic or jazz music. Twenty different events were united by four-letter abbreviation “acco”, such as „accoINFO“, „accoSOLO“, „accoCHAMBER“, „accoJAZZ“, „accoPC“ and so on. The accordion music Saturday started on 09 November at Saint Catherine Church by the music call-sign „accoPREMJEROS LT“, i.e. the premieres of Lithuanian music.
Accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius, the Art Director of the Festival (who is an original artist and often transgresses the limits of academic music genres in his concerts) planned the opening concert as a panorama of news of Lithuanian music for accordion. He and accordionist Geir Draugsvoll with Klaipėda chamber orchestra conducted by Vytautas Lukočius (the art director of the orchestra is Mindaugas Bačkus) performed compositions created by Arvydas Malcys, Giedrius Kuprevičius, Remigijus Merkelis and Anatolijus Šenderovas for an accordion and string orchestra. All the said compositions were united by the sign of premiere. What premieres? Two of them may be more exactly referred to as versions of earlier works. One of two is “The Evacuation” by R. Merkelis (2010) – the turning back and a new sight of the author towards his piece of the same title for a saxophone, a trombone, an accordion and the string orchestra created in 2004 and presented in the same year at „Gaida“ Festival. For the Accordion Festival 2010, “The Evacuation” was recomposed for an accordion and the string orchestra. The second composition was „www.dg-gd-Song“ by A. Šenderovas - it was a new version (2010) of the opus „David's Song“ for a violoncello solo and the string quartette dedicated to violoncellist Davidas Geringas in 2006 that was recomposed by A. Šenderovas for two accordions and the string orchestra for this Festival and was performed by Geir Draugsvoll, one of the most eminent accordionists of the Nordic countries. The third premiere of the Festival was Concert “The Elegy for Those Who Left the Homeland” for an accordion and the string orchestra created by G. Kuprevičius for 2009 m. Pažaislis Festival and performed in the same year at Kaunas Philharmonic (by R. Sviackevičius and the group of Kaunas Symphonic Orchestra conducted by M. Pitrėnas). So, at the XIII Accordion Festival, a premiere of this work in Vilnius took place. Nevertheless, the opening concert of the Festival presented a real premiere: it was “the newest” work of the evening – the Concert for an accordion and the orchestra (2010) composed by A. Malcys for this Festival and dedicated to R. Sviackevičius.
A. Malcys characterizes the said Concert as an original mix of serious music and light music composed by him in such a manner consciously, upon trying to delete the dividing line between them and deny any classification of music. Nevertheless, the specificity of the genre of concert keeps a firm grip on the composer: his last Concert (in general, over ten concerts had been created by A. Malcys!) is of the traditional three-part form, it is able to perceive also selection of the usual tempos (rapid, slow and rapid again) in it; enunciation of ideas in each part also is based on the dramaturgy of a classical concert: for the Part One, a conflict between two natural elements coded in the logic of a sonata already is typical; the lyric emotional center of the work is formed in the Part Two and the finale composed as a refrain discloses the nature of a dance. A. Malcys, as a violoncellist playing in a symphonic orchestra, knows excellently the structure of a classical instrumental concert and the logic of enunciation of the music idea. The first work composed by A. Malcys in the genre of concert should be considered „Vox clamantis in deserto“ for a flute a a chamber orchestra (1995). Then concerts for a viola (1997), for a trombone (2003), for a soprano saxophone (2004), for a tenor saxophone (2008), for a piano (2005), for a clarinet (2007), for a flute (the Concert No. 2 „Cantus sirenum“, 2007), the double concert for a violin and a viola „Sinfonia concertante“ (2008), and for a violoncello (2009) followed. So, his last Concert confirms once again that this genre is not only acceptable for A. Malcys, but is very close to him as a creator. He is not afraid to come back to the classical fountainhead and use the traditional model of a concert thus appearing maybe even old-fashioned in the context of modern music with its aspiration to innovations (?!).
The Part One of the Concert for an accordion begins by a slow prelude. In the exposition, an attention is focused on two contrasting layers and their continuous polyphony – the melodious and wistful line of an accordion grown up to meridian sallies are accompanied by rhythmically active accompaniment of the orchestra and the effective percussive sound of the strings appears to be bound with mannered rhythmic of A. Piazzolla tango. The Part Two, as A. Malcys states, is strongly personificated: the composer strove to show the spiritual state of a soloist and his conflict with the media and with himself that grows into a culmination of the whole work. A constant tension sounds in the melody of a accordion up to the end of this Part and is accompanied by sharply (painfully?) discordant harmonies of the reduced accords. After several minutes of a heavy expressivity, the finale of the Concert appears to be quite unexpected – the composer drastically breaks the dramaturgic line evolved in the Part One and the Part Two of the Concert: in the Part Three, an accordion enters with a light syncopation of musical theme taken from the light music category defined by the author as a simple melody. Such a manoeuvre is not alien to A. Malcys: an analogous interpretation of lightened finale and intonations of world music are found, for example, in his Concert for a soprano saxophone (2004).
A. Malcys is simultaneously a member of the community of performers and the community of creators. As a performer, he has mastered and deeply cognized the context of classical and modern music. This circumstance encouraged him to choose composing instrumental music, the favorite or familiar genres of it. The Concert composed by A. Malcys for the Accordion Festival in 2010 was the eleventh one in his creative activities; in this Concert, the author makes experiments on the possibilities of an accordion as an instrument and the effects of the timbre. A. Malcys excellently mastered using the solo opportunities of an instrument, the colourful orchestration, the variety of timbres, dynamics, strokes and facture as well as laconic music language - this is typical for the presented opus as well as for his earlier Concerts. His anthology of instrumental concerts formed within fifteen years encourages analyzing an evolution of the genre of a modern Lithuanian concert in the creation of this author.