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Musica Humana

12th March, 19,00 Small Guild Hall

Musica Humana

If ever there is a concert of Baroque music taking place in one of Vilnius’ halls, nine times out of ten you can be sure that it is being given by the Musica Humana Chamber Music Ensemble. This ensemble, consisting of a 2 flute, oboe, strings and harpsichord, has been playing early music for 30 years.

Over almost three decades, Musica Humana has given more than 3,000 concerts, in Lithuania, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. They have also performed at international festivals, such as the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Great Britain and the Arts Baltica in Nuremberg, to name just a few.

The repertoire includes the 16-concert cycle Early European Instrumental and Vocal Music, the ten-concert cycle The Baroque Road, and a cycle of eight concerts, French Musical Art from the Renaissance to Modern Times.

In recent years, Musica Humana has performed a lot of music by Bach – sonatas, concertos, cantatas, arias and even passions. In 2000, it gave ten concerts to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Besides Baroque, the ensemble also plays modern compositions by Lithuanian composers. Its artistry and skill have encouraged many composers to write chamber works for it.

Medžių kova (Fighting Trees) by Bronius Kutavičius and Šokių siuita (A Dance Suite) by Osvaldas Balakauskas are rightfully considered pearls of modern Lithuanian classical music. Algirdas Martinaitis’ Cantus ad futurum and his Musikalisches Opfer concerto were composed for the Bach project.

For some of its concerts, the ensemble invites more instrumentalists and vocalists, thus becoming a Baroque orchestra. The harpsichordist Giedrė Lukšaitė-Mrazkova, the French oboe player Jean Louis Capezzali, and the tenor Marcel Bekman from the Netherlands have been among the guest performers.

It has released seven CDs, with its best Baroque pieces and music by Lithuanian composers:
J.S. BACH ,,Musikalisches Opfer”
J.S. BACH Sonatas for flute
G.F. HANDEL Instrumental music
G.F. HANDEL Instrumental & vocal music
,,CANTUS ad FUTURUM” A. Martinaitis, B.Kutavičius, M. Urbaitis, V. Barkauskas
,,THE BRIDGE” A. Martinaitis, J. S. Bach

Musica Humana gave its first concert in Vilnius Cathedral in 1974. The four young musicians were brought together by their love of Baroque. They were among the country’s first musicians to interpret early music.

They were greatly inspired by Vizgirda’s studies at the Paris National Conservatoire in the mid-1970s. The leader, who has played since the beginning, studied the flute under Alain Marion and Christian Larde, both accomplished interpreters of Baroque music.

“These were the two teachers who inspired me to extend my knowledge of Baroque music,” Vizgirda says. He learned much by studying J.J. Quantz’s treatise on keyboard playing for those who perform 16th and 17th-century music.

On returning, Vizgirda had to deal with lots of problems, creative and otherwise. In Soviet Lithuania in 1976 there was not a single decent harpsichord; and, in Vizgirda’s words, to play Baroque music accompanied on the piano would have been a travesty. He recalls how, trying to improve their skills, the ensemble’s style of playing became slightly affected. “We realised that Baroque music is not a museum piece, and that we had to concentrate on the music itself, not on the playing techniques, all the more so when performing on modern instruments.”

Those who like going to Neringa in August may have already attended the annual chamber music concerts in the framework of the Kuršių Nerija Summer Music Festival, which appeared thanks to the organisational talents of Vizgirda.


Baha muzikas fonds, Hipokrata iela 35-32, LV-1079, Riga, Latvija, talr.: 29208181, e-pasts: