FELIKSAS BAJORAS (b.1934): Symphony No. 2 "Stalactites", Suite of Verbs, Prelude and Toccata, The Sign for Soprano and String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01J011
Description: A student of Juzeliunas at the Lithuanian Conservatory, Bajoras partook of as much modernism as would still let you get performed in the Soviet Union which, in the 60s and 70s was apparently considerable. Although there is often reference to Lithuanian folk music in his compositions, he also uses brief sections of aleatory, pointillism, tone clusters and polychords in his second symphony from 1970. A nine-segment, 19-minute travelogue of a 1968 trip to Czechoslovakia ("Tatra Mountains", "Lidice", "Vysehrad", etc.), this work is also remarkable for having been recorded by Melodiya even though its final segment is titled "Departure (Russian Tanks)"! The brief, five-minute Suite of Verbs is an early (1966) experimentation with tone-rows but the biggest piece here is the 26-minute Signs which adds percussion to the strings-only scoring of all the other items on this disc. Written in memory of a Lithuanian poet who died mysteriously at the age of 35 in 1975 (apparently he "displeased" the KGB according to the notes), it uses its modern techniques to evoke the everyday tension and anxiety of living under Soviet occupation in those days, closing with a short soprano solo which seems to be a ray of hope. No texts. Nora Petrocenko (soprano), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra; Donatas Katkus.