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Bronius Kutavičius
The Small Spectacle

Year of Composition:  1975
Duration:  15
Instrumentation:  actress-2vn-2pf
Text (language):  Sigitas Geda (Lithuanian)
Samples:   Audio

Movements:

1. Prelude

2. Monologue

3. Entr'acte

4. Scherzo

5. Postlude

 

Programme Note:

The Small Spectacle for an actress, two violins, and two pianos (1975) was set to the previously unpublished poems by Sigitas Geda. Kutavičius was probably given their manuscripts after meeting with the poet and explaining his idea to compose an unusual song cycle (many of these poems were later published, in 1977, in the collection titled Mėnulio žiedai (Blossoms of the Moon). In the selected texts, the poet uses the imagery of primeval nature to convey archetypes hidden in the unconscious, the passing of time, glimpses of happiness, and unexpected illuminations. In the ‘performance,’ those deep, though incomplete, spontaneous poems are read in an unusual manner: the rhythm of the words is not syllabic, but created by the composer. The intonations are also divergent from customary speech; they are musical, abstract, and modern. Just as the poet has done with the words, the composer also lays out the sounds wide apart, allowing them to rise, reach intensity, and decay.

 

The spectacle for one actress is not a performance full of special effects. It is a restrained movement akin to Chinese or Japanese theatre, wherein tiny changes and rests are important. Though, where does it take place? Perhaps the actress reads the lines while sitting at the edge of a lake, standing under a tree, lying in a field of grass, or perhaps she is just an observer and the performance is occurring around her? This notion is raised by the tercet at the end of the work: 

Let’s bow our heads,

My friend,

The nightingales are singing.

 

© 2011 Austė Nakienė

© 2011 translation by Ada Valaitis

Published scores:

Vilnius: Vaga, 1979


Released recordings:

LP Melodiya C10-12535-36, 1979 (perf.: by Nijolė Gelžinytė – voice, Eugenijus Urbonas – violin, Gediminas Dalinkevičius – violin, Liuda Grybauskienė, Kęstutis Grybauskas – pianos)

 

CD Liuda and Kęstutis Grybauskas: Lithuanian Musicians' Union, Lithuanian Radio, LMSMBCD-026, 2002 (perf.: by Nijolė Gelžinytė – voice, Eugenijus Urbonas – violin, Gediminas Dalinkevičius – violin, Liuda Grybauskienė, Kęstutis Grybauskas – pianos)

CD Bronius Kutavičius. The Small Spectacle. – Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, LMIPC CD 064, 2011 (perf.: by Nijolė Gelžinytė – voice, Eugenijus Urbonas – violin, Gediminas Dalinkevičius – violin, Liuda Grybauskienė, Kęstutis Grybauskas – pianos)

Information
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© Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, A. Mickevičiaus 29, 08117 Vilnius, ph: +370 5 272 69 86. E-mail your questions / comments to [email protected]
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