R. Strauss. “Four Last Songs” for soprano and orchestra, AV. 150 (set to the poems by H. Hesse and J. von Eichendorff)
D. Shostakovich. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93
This autumn, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra led by its artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius, invites you to spend time with one of the most prominent Lithuanian sopranos of our day Aušrinė Stundytė, as well as with the extraordinary music of Richard Strauss and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Aušrinė Stundytė studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, in the class of prof. Irena Milkevičiūtė, and later continued her studies at the Leipzig University of Music and Theatre with prof. Helga Forner. The soloist started her career at the Leipzig Opera House, and soon sang in the most famous European opera houses in Austria (Vienna), Germany (Leipzig, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart), Holland, Finland, Poland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, as well as at the Seattle Opera in the United States. In 2020 A. Stundytė became the star of the prestigious Salzburg Festival, playing the main role in Richard Strauss' "Elektra" directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, where she sang together with Asmik Grigorian. A. Stundytė's performances do not leave anyone indifferent – both the audience and critics are charmed by the soloist's professionalism, talent, charisma and new approach to opera. "I always felt that I wanted to create opera in a different way – I see opera as a very intense and theatrical art form, which is why it always seemed too static to me," – said the famous soloist.
Tonight, together with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the artistic director and chief conductor maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius, the soloist will perform Richard Strauss' (1864-1949) cycle "Four Last Songs". Written a year before the composer's death, this work consists of the songs for soprano and orchestra "Spring", "September", "Going to Sleep" and "At Sunset", with verses by Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff. All the songs, except "Spring", are written on the theme of death, but at the same time imbued with a sense of serene peace, reconciliation and fulfilment.
In the second part of the concert, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by the artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius, will continue the series of symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and perform Symphony No. 10. The creative work on the Tenth lasted almost a decade: the first sketches were made as early as 1946, and the symphony was completed only in 1953, the year of Stalin's death. This is one of D. Shostakovich's most personal works. In general, the symphony is a "child" of the post-war years, so it embodies the disharmony of the world, its volatility, anxiety about the future. But this is not an epic or dramatic musical canvas. Lyrical psychological problems, characteristic of many of the composer's best works, dominate here. Its tone is vividly emotional, deeply personal and therefore very human.