Bacevičius: Piano Music, Volume 1
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Vytautas Bacevičius: Piano Music, Volume One

The Complete Mots

Catalogue Number: TOCC0134
EAN: 5060113441348
Release Date: 13 February 2012
Duration: 63:31

Aeolian-Skinner organ of the Church of the Incarnation, New York

Premier Mot, Op. 18
Deuxième Mot, Op. 21
Troisième Mot, Op. 37
Quatrième Mot, Op. 31
Cinquième Mot, Op. 59
Sixième Mot, Op. 72
Septième Mot, Op. 73

Gabrielius Alekna, piano
Matthew Lewis, organ
Ursula Oppens, piano

The Lithuanian pianist and composer Vytautas Bacevičius (1905–70) is one of the undiscovered pioneers of twentieth-century music. His series of seven Mots (‘Words’) for keyboard – five for solo piano, one for organ and one for two pianos – were written between 1933 and 1966 and show the evolution of his musical language from the post-Skryabin style of the early works, via the influence of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, to a highly individual modernism, akin to that of two fellow radicals, Varèse and Wolpe.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE ALBUM 63:31
1 Premier Mot, Op. 18 (1933)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano
8:53 play
2 Deuxième Mot, Op. 21 (1934)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Matthew Lewis, organ

(first recording)
13:54 play
3 Troisième Mot, Op. 37 (1935)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano

(first recording)
6:37 play
4 Quatrième Mot, Op. 31 (1938)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano

(first recording)
6:06 play
5 Cinquième Mot, Op. 59 (1956)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano

(first recording)
5:09 play
6 Sixième Mot, Op. 72 (1963)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano
11:06 play
7-9 Septième Mot, Op. 73 (1966)

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
Gabrielius Alekna, piano
Ursula Oppens, piano
11:46
7 I. Allegro moderato 5:23 play
8 II. Larghetto misterioso 3:25 play
9 III. Allegro con fuoco 2:58 play

Artists

Vytautas Bacevičius

Vytautas Bacevičius, composer
[credit: J. Abresch, N.Y.]

Gabrielius Alekna

Gabrielius Alekna, piano

Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis, organ

Ursula Oppens

Ursula Oppens, piano

Reviews

Distinctive and always interesting

[…] A revival of interest in his music has been headed by a group of his Lithuanian compatriots and, with the invaluable support of the Toccata Classics label, they are now well on their way to putting him back on the map. Bacevičius was a real individual, so triangulating his style against his many influences is a dangerous task. […]

His series of Mots spans the middle third of the 20th century. The music strenuously avoids tonality or any other kind of modal orthodoxy, although competing pitch centers are employed to structure some of the works. Elaboration of short motifs is another important structuring tool. The music gradually moves further from the influence of Scriabin as the decades go by, but Messiaen comes to fill his place as the primary point of stylistic reference.

The results are distinctive and always interesting. […] those with an interest in the more radical voices in mid 20th-century piano music are likely to find much to engage them here.

The young Lithuanian pianist Gabrielius Alekna gives masterly performances of what must be seriously challenging scores. His style is modern and efficient, with crystal clear articulation and only the minimum of rubato indulgence. […] The liner notes are by Malcolm MacDonald and are impressively detailed. The sound quality is good, too, the engineers finding an ideal balance between clarity and warmth from all three instruments. Also, the stereo separation between the two pianos in the Seventh Mot really helps the ear to follow their interactions.

An impressive release all around, and a perfect demonstration of the good work Toccata Classics is doing in giving voice to under-appreciated composers. […]

Gavin Dixon Fanfare November 2012

...Abstract, strong, interesting.

Laima WRUV Reviews 26th September 2012

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