The Johann Sebastian Bach Music Festival has denoted the start of the spring season at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic for the last several years. Originating from the Bach Music Week, the festival was held for the first time in the March-April period of 2007. This year the festival will be held for the fourth time, it will begin on February 6, and will end on Easter, April 1.
According to the originator of this ambitious event and its main performer - the artistic director of the orchestra "Musica Humana" Algirdas Vizgirda - the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach provides freedom and the ability to convey spiritual satori to the musicians. As if wanting to prolong exposure to the works of Bach, the performers spread out the six programs presented this year. Concerts will separated by rather long stretches of time, which, as pauses in music, will give time to reflect on the pieces.
The six programmes will allow to hear the works of Bach in several different contexts as well as bringing it closer to contemporary Lithuanian music. They are being prepared by the orchestra of the festival “Musica Humana”, its artistic director and conductor Algirdas Vizgirda as well as a large group of other performers: choirs „Vilnius“ (artistic director and chief conductor Povilas Gylys), „Aukuras“ (artistic director and chief conductor Alfonsas Vildžiūnas), singers Raminta Vaicekauskaitė, Simona Liamo, Vilija Mikštaitė, Julija Stupnianek, Saulė Šerytė, Renata Dubinskaitė, Mindaugas Zimkus, Steinas Skjervoldas, Ignas Misiūra and instrumentalists Ilona Girdžiūnaitė, Ramunė Grakauskaitė, Paulius Biveinis (violins), Ignė Pikalavičiūtė (cello), Ula Čaplikaitė (flute), Robertas Beinaris, Eugenijus Paškevičius (oboes), Balys Vaitkus (organ, harpsichord).
The inaugural concert “Bach and Lithuanian Music” of the 4th Johann Sebastian Bach Music Festival will be held at the Grand Hall of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic on February 6, 19.00. It will combine the genius of Baroque and contemporary Lithuanian composers: Vaida Striaupaitė-Beinarienė „Ancestors' Letters“, the world premiere of Osvaldas Balakauskas „Odyssey – 3“ (for flute, oboe and strings) and a masterpiece of Lithuanian new music composed for the Johann Sebastian Bach Year 2000 - concert-cantata „Musical Offering” by Algirdas Martinaitis, commissioned by the Vilnius Festival.
On February 10, 16.00 the programme „French Suites and Cantatas – I” will be presented at the Museum of Applied Arts with Bach’s cantatas and instrumental music. Bach has created around 250 cantatas, both liturgical and secular. The church cantata „Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten“ and two instrumental French suites – No. 1 in C major and No. 2 in b minor were chosen from the vast body of work. The programme „French Suites and Cantatas - II” will be presented on March 17 at 16.00 at the Museum of Applied Arts with suites No. 3 in D major and No. 4 in D major and the cantata „Non sa che sia dolore“.
Fans of Bach and Vivaldi will not want to miss the concert on February 17, 18.00 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church as the programme „Bach and Vivaldi – I” will be performed there. Its sequel - „Bach and Vivaldi – II” will be performed on March 24 at 16.00 at the Museum of Applied Arts.
The festival will culminate in „St Mark Passion” by Johann Sebastian Bach together with other works will be performed on April 1 at 19.00 in the final concert at the Grand Hall of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic.