Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Poème électrique for orchestra, Op.16 (1932)
Piano Concerto No. 1 Sur les thèmes lituaniens Op.12 (1929)
Symphony No.2 Della Guerra Op.32 (1940)
Symphony No.6 Cosmique Op.66 (1960)
Graphique for orchestra Op.68 (1964)

Aidas Puodžiukas (piano) Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra/Vytautas Lukocius etc;
Vilnius 2003-2005 first recordings


This release is a useful window into the poignant experience of a Lithuanian born composer (1905-1970), brother of the better known Grazyna.

Vytautas Bacevivius lived the greater part of his life abroad, composing his War Symphony in USA, exiled from his family. The notes leave no doubt what a struggle for recognition, with repeated rejections, dominated his life.

If you like Honnegger's Pacific 231 or Mosolov's Factory you will enjoy the astringency of his Poème électrique and empathise easilly with the harsh pictorialism of Symphony No.2.

The CD is a good example of the innovative Martin Anderson's tapping of uncommon sources for his Toccata label, and it is good that he has brought this determined and frustrated composer into the limelight, however belatedly.

For comprehensive background, I prefer not to duplicate the information from the excellent notes, readily available on line in Music Web's two reviews of this release, which traverse numerous supposed influences on this composer, who is of far more than historical interest.

The cover image is reproduced larger than our usual, because it is informative; the "squiggles" are in fact extracts from the graphic score of his late Graphique.

This CD is valuable complement to the ever increasing availability now of music which would have been even more unwelcome in the composer's native land during the era of Soviet domination.

Peter Grahame Woolf