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Requiem in Memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis. St. Christopher Orchestra, “Jauna muzika”, Modestas Barkauskas, Gabrielė Kupšytė

2024 06 13
Vilnius festival
Philharmonic Concert Hall
Organiser: Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society
Duration: ~1 h
Age restriction: 7 y/o


(artistic director and principal conductor Modestas Barkauskas)
Vilnius City Municipality Choir JAUNA MUZIKA
(artistic director and conductor Vaclovas Augustinas)
Soloist GABRIELĖ KUPŠYTĖ (mezzo-soprano)


OSVALDAS BALAKAUSKAS – Requiem in Memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis (Liturgical text)


Exactly 30 years ago, on 13 June 1994, Stasys Lozoraitis, a Lithuanian diplomat, public figure, and the President of Hope, died in Washington DC. It is said that March 11th was his achievement: on the eve of the event, when the Supreme Council was debating when to declare Lithuania’s independence, it was a call to Stasys Lozoraitis, the Head of the Lithuanian Diplomatic Service in Washington DC during the occupation, that was decisive. In 1995, Osvaldas Balakauskas, one of Lithuania’s foremost composers, wrote Requiem in Memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis for mezzo-soprano, choir and chamber orchestra, expressing his deep respect for the diplomat, who was, in the composer’s words, “a fighter for freedom, an example of honour and nobleness”.

According to Balakauskas and musicologist Beata Baublinskienė: “This is not a monumental work – rather, it is chamber-like and intimate, redolent of God-centred medieval spirituality and the quiet contemplation of death and mourning, full of consonant lucidity. “I don’t think death is a problem – we don’t solve it; it is inexorable and is always solved for us. (...) It is a condition of life”, the composer said in an interview. In this work, he refers to the medieval liturgical music tradition – Gregorian chant, organum, Ars Nova motets – although he does not follow the canonical structure of the funeral mass. “It is more old-fashioned even than Palestrina”, as the composer once described his Requiem. The ‘simplicity’ of the music in this work is indeed very affecting and profound.”

In September 1995, five movements of the Requiem were performed at the festival of cantatas and oratorios Vratislavia Cantans in Wrocław (St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Aidija Choir, Judita Leitaitė, conducted by Donatas Katkus). The premiere of the complete work took place in Vilnius in March 1996, and later in other Lithuanian cities. In 2004, Naxos, one of the largest music record labels, released a CD of the opus. In tonight’s concert, the opus will be performed by the aforementioned orchestra and the Jauna muzika Choir, who have recorded the CD. The mezzo-soprano part will be performed by Gabrielė Kupšytė, currently appearing mainly on foreign stages. Modestas Barkauskas, prize winner of international competitions and artistic director of the St. Christopher Orchestra, will grace the podium.

The festival organisers:
Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, PI “Vilniaus festivaliai”, Vilnius City Municipality

Free admission

Requiem in Memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis. St. Christopher Orchestra, “Jauna muzika”, Modestas...