Requiem in memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis
Record company: Naxos
Year of publication: 2004
Media: CD
Duration: 52'26
Price: 12 €
Purchase: MILC, internet shops
Osvaldas Balakauskas
Requiem in memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis
  1. Requiem [4'01]
  2. Dies irae [5'02]
  3. Tuba mirum [4'38]
  4. Rex tremendae [3'49]
  5. Recordare [4'52]
  6. Confutatis [4'04]
  7. Domine Jesu [2'44]
  8. Hostias [4'41]
  9. Sanctus [3'49]
  10. Benedictus [2'24]
  11. Lacrymosa [5'31]
  12. Agnus Dei [7'13]
Judita Leitaite, mezzo-soprano
Vilnius Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika, artistic director and conductor Vaclovas Augustinas
St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra
Conductor Donatas Katkus

Osvaldas Balakauskas who has been occupying a strong position on the top of modern Lithuanian music since the mid-1960s as one of the most remarkable artists and leading authorities. He belongs to those composers, not very numerous nowadays, whose ambition is the creation of their own precise musical system.

Requiem in memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis for mezzo-soprano, choir, and chamber orchestra written in 1995 expresses his deep reverence for the Lithuanian diplomat Stasys Lozoraitis who, as the composer puts it, was "a champion of liberty, and an example of honour and nobility". Requiem is a significant exception within the context of Balakauskas' work. It is his only religious composition, an dmarks a new turning-point in the direction of simplicity. Unusual also is the fact that, for the first time, the composer openly declares his spiritual, as well as his public principles.

Chamber-like in form, with a general atmosphere of consonant serenity, this Requiem emanates a sort of medieval spirituality, a peaceful contemplation of death and mourning without any attempt for consolation. "I do not believe that death is a problem, for we do not solve it; it is unyielding and always resolved for us. (...) It is a condition of life," the composer once said in an interview. Although this work occasionally refers to the mediaeval and renaissance tradition of church music – the Gregorian plainsong, organum, and Ars nova mensural motets – it does not keep to the canonic structure of a Requiem Mass. "It is even more old-fashioned than Palestrina" – is how the composer once described his Requiem. The impact of its pristine 'simplicity' is immediate and profound.