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Bronius Kutavičius
Northern Gates

Year of Composition:  1991
Duration:  18
Instrumentation:  perc-str[6.4.4.4.2]
Text (language):  Karelian folk (Karelian)
Samples:   Score    Audio

Second movement from cycle "Gates of Jerusalem"

 

Programme note

The Gates of Jerusalem, for which the composer was awarded Lithuania’s highest artistic distinction, the National Arts and Culture Prize 1995, consists of four pieces for different combinations of instruments and voices, comprised of three sections each, which corresponds to the following lines in the Book of Revelation: “One of the seven angels came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he (...) showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. (...) It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. (...) There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west” (Rev. 21:9–13).

 

In this majestic cycle, the composer’s intention was to reveal the geographical panorama of religious rites and reflect their essential features through some recognisable elements of the old musical cultures. In The Northern Gates (1991), written for percussion and strings, this intention took shape of a special Northern kind of Missa pro defunctis, ending with the ‘Nordic fugue.’ The sound of the gran casa and the iron chain in the first section resembles the ritual dance of the Yakut shamans. The next two sections are based on the authentic text from the Karelian incantations of the ling fish.

Divine things surprisingly manifest themselves through the multitude of earthly things, and it is the creative power of the composer that makes us sense it.

 

Released recordings:

CD Baltic Works for String Orchestra Vol. 2, Finlandia Records 4509-97893-2, 1995 (Northern Gates; perf. Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, conductor Juha Kangas)
CD Song of Dawn: Highlights from the Estonian & Baltic Music Series, Finlandia Records 3984-23014-2, 1998 (Northern Gates; perf. Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, conductor Juha Kangas)
CD Finlandia Records 3984-26810-2, 2000
CD Bronius Kutavičius. The Gates of Jerusalem, Dreyer.Gaido 21003, 2001 (complete cycle; perf. St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, conductor Donatas Katkus)

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