Piotr Tchaikovsky and Dmitry Shostakovich listens to Lukas Geniušas…

Concert review of the live broadcast by Lukas Genius and the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra

The elephant in the auditorium of the House of Congress is what is not in it. The soloist bends over empty rows of chairs, turning it left and right. Shakes hands with the orchestra’s primacy, the conductors thank the conductors for the flowers. When the strings are strung, they rise and fall, stirring the air without touching the stands. There is unconvincing applause from individual musicians. Smiles guard security masks. The former hesitant silences and applause doubts between the parts of the work are now turning into a truncated grave silence, matching the frozen white flowers in the pots. But the image is just an accent. All repetitive movements serve the magic of sound. When you think that the music has caught and carries both the musicians and you, then the notes of Gintaras Rinkevičius, the accents of Piotr Tchaikovsky’s concert start to jam. Like the sound of an alarm clock, it doesn’t allow you to fully empathize with the concert, reminding you that it’s a simulation of a whole ritual.


In one way or another, it did not matter who visited what, who was waiting for it and how strongly convinced themselves of the real experience, but the connection between the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and its listeners took place. Many other, more difficult to see connections were disappointing – each of the listeners got a precious opportunity to touch on Tchaikovsky’s creative suffering, the still dramatic drama of Dmitry Shostakovich’s survival, as well as the young pianist Lukas Genius’ acquaintance with these music giants in Grandma Vera Gornosta the analytical interpretive section of the works and even the experiences of the “locked” orchestras, who silently accompanied the soloist’s eyes. Paths have opened up to distant surfaces of time and space. With the help of technology, the concert was even deeper and layered differently.

1884 The fantasy created in 2006 is inspired by the pianist Eugene d’Albert, who fascinated Europe and performed in Moscow at the time. The composer’s wrinkles of anxiety in his forehead seem to speak of the pitfalls and hesitations of creative and personal life. His diary is strewn with lines: “… with failed ideas (…), very disappointed in himself, because everything that comes to my head is banal.” Initially planning to write a regular concert, he chose a form of concert fantasy that opened the door new experiments with structure and expression. For the premiere of this work he is looking for the famous performer Sergei Taneev. Although the work is not yet finished – orchestration and corrections remain – Peter wants to give the pianist a note so that he can start studying a few months before the premiere.


At the other end of the Zoom room, a pale L. Genius appears. “Overcoming a new piece and learning it is really not an easy task,” he admits in an interview. Lithuanian Russian pianist, 21st century. the benchmark of early music performance, freshly, with an open heart, continues the aristocratic line of the Russian school. Not surprisingly, Luke’s repertoire shines with masterpieces of the Russian pianist tradition, including Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninov and, of course, Tchaikovsky. Luke is already on stage. On the screen. The net flow of music flows under his fingers – passages float and trilies are silenced. He plays for Tchaikovsky. For him alone, sitting somewhere in the hall … The whole performance radiates the composer’s characteristic musical life, light, illustration. The free form of fantasy adheres to the contrasts – the melodic singing is replaced by gently exciting, sensitive episodes. The two themes of the concert are triggered by a huge bubbling piano term, in which 10 pianist fingers perform one virtuoso trick after another. During the performance, a powerful arsenal of Luke’s means of expression shines: virtuosity, style, temperament, intelligence. Pianism shines with pathologically thinned melodies and frowns. The orchestra carefully envelops the soloist’s intuitive, listened, maintained performance. Qualitatively, but safely, along the dotted line drawn by traditions, he successfully maneuvers between episodes that require exceptional endurance and dexterity, solving the atypical structure of P. Tchaikovsky’s concert-fantasy.


The second call. D. Shostakovich’s eyes are resting restlessly on the screen of the chronicle, here he speaks “turning off the microphone” … He will also listen. And in the concert hall, G. Rinkevičius’ bridges also express what Shostakovich did in 1937. forced to speak (“This is the creative response of a Soviet artist to reasoned criticism”) and what he really wants to say in the work, reveals the political drama, the traps of criticism and at the same time the subtleties of musical expression that lie in this history of creation. The symphony contains all the “correct” elements of music: clear language, lyricism, heroic tone, developed melodic lines, even Pushkin’s quotes, musical ideas borrowed from Ilya Glazunov, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Beethoven, Gustav Mahler’s finale and even triumphant fanfare.

Officially, D. Shostakovich interpreted the symphony as an expression of the formation of a successful personality of the communist era. However, the ambiguous work also held a high artistic level of cartel, and the more observant listener could catch the irony of Soviet clichés and even the dictator himself.
One evening, the inspired meetings in the space of music were smoothly orchestrated – the meeting personalities coordinated and enriched each other on the stage. L. Genius’ mastery unfolded like a perfect ring. Such experiences make it easier for you to spend days and nights waiting for the rebirth of live music. “There is no doubt that it will not be possible for everyone, both listeners and performers, to give up the emotions of a live concert,” Lukas assures.

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