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Onutė Narbutaitė's oratorio Centones meae urbi at the Miłosz Festival in Cracow [Classical / Contemporary]

Onutė Narbutaitė. Centones meae urbi
Sinfonietta Cracovia, Polish Radio Choir
Asta Krikščiūnaitė – soprano, Ignas Misiūra – bass-baritone, Egidijus Ališauskas – birbynė, Robertas Šervenikas – orchestra conductor, Romualdas Gražinis - choir conductor, Onutė Narbutaitė – composer, honorary guest
Cracow Opera, 13 May, 21:00
Onutė Narbutaitė, considered one of Lithuania’s most important contemporary composers, wrote a remarkable oratorio in 1997 for soprano, bass, choir and symphony orchestra. The premiere took place in Vilnius’s St. Catherine’s Church on 9 August 1997, and the work was recorded for the Vilnius Recording Studio, with the participation of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; it evoked a lively response from international music circles and critics. It was honored with Lithuania’s highest distinction – the Culture and Art Award (1997). Narbutaitė’s work is a tribute to Vilnius, a city of culture and art, with very strong intercultural ties – among them the very important Polish-Lithuanian literature. This is why the most impressive and rich part of the oratorio is its texts: songs in Lithuanian, Polish, Latin, Yiddish, Hebrew, and other languages used in the Lithuanian capital. Narbutaitė constructed her musical work on texts by writers shared by both nations. Among them are poems by Czesław Miłosz – fragments of the epic "City Without a Name" (the "Return of a Poet" fragment), and of the epic "Where the Sun Rises and Whence It Sets".

Participants in this gala festival concert of the Miłosz Festival will include outstanding soloists and conductors from Lithuania: Asta Krikščiūnaitė (soprano) and Ignas Misiūra (bass-baritone). They will be accompanied by the Polish Radio Choir, conducted by Romualdas Gražinis, and the Sinfonietta Cracovia with Robertas Šervenikas at the helm. A major artistic attraction of this event will be the elaborate multimedia set design: projections of the overlapping texts, entwined with images of Vilnius. The composer herself, Onutė Narbutaitė, will be attending the concert, which will be crowned by the presentation of the Transatlantyk Award – the most important Polish award for the popularization of Polish literature abroad. Krakow will also be hosting Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski, and Lithuanian Minister of Culture Arūnas Gelūnas.

Broadcast: Polish Radio Program 2, EBU
The Miłosz Festival info
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