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Vidmantas Bartulis


Photo: Romualdas Rakauskas

Among Lithuanian composers, Vidmantas Bartulis is unrivalled in his versatility of styles, genres and sensitivities, continuing to surprise audiences with unexpected twists and turns in every new work. He can write anything – from chamber miniatures to opera and large orchestral works, from harmonizations of folk songs to huge open-air events, from a monumental Requiem to music for fashion shows, arrangements of pop hits, etc. His early compositions were marked by contemplative, elegiac moods, a particular laconicism and the frequent images of nature typical of the whole generation of Lithuanian composers labelled 'new romantics', by the time of their debut in the late 1970's. It must have been his experience as a theatre composer for many years that prompted him to take up independent direction of his own 'dramas' – spectacularly surreal, uncannily ironic compositions of instrumental theatre, which caused a great stir in the late 1980's. In nearly all of his compositions, Bartulis recalls his favourite music from the past, inserting certain fragments and remodelling their meaning within present-day controversial contexts. Sometimes the use of borrowed music in Bartulis' work is so extensive that it reaches a degree where the composer seems to dissolve his own identity.


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