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<<  -- 2 --  Carson P Cooman    A NEW SIMPLICITY


His largest musical work to date is included on this CD release, the twelve-movement, 53 minute Requiem (in memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis) (1995) for mezzo-soprano soloist, mixed choir, and chamber orchestra. It is indeed a deeply felt and tremendously communicative piece.

The dedicatee of the work, Stasys Lozoraitis (1924-1994) was a Lithuanian diplomat who represented the country in the Vatican and the United States during the Soviet era. He was defeated in the presidential election in a non-Soviet Lithuanian in 1993, but still remained a powerful political force in the nation. His death was unexpected and Balakauskas's work was written the following year. It follows the traditional liturgical Requiem text, set in Latin [listen -- track 12, 5:09-6:32].

The booklet notes comment that the piece is unusual in that it is Balakauskas's only religious composition to date and also marked a 'new simplicity' in his output. Indeed the work owes something to the traditions of religiously inspired 20th century works of composers such as Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, and Henryk Mikolaj Górecki. However, Balakauskas imbues this musical world with his own personal touches.

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Copyright © 14 January 2006 Carson P Cooman, Pittsburgh USA


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