VYTAUTAS V. JURGUTIS (LT)

Ellipses for string quartet (2003)

Referring to an ellipse as a mathematical or geometrical term, the title denotes a certain trajectory, which is consistently reflected in the work’s macro- and microstructures, thereby affecting most of its musical parameters. It also alludes to yet another, linguistic, term of an ellipsis – a rhetorical omission of words that are nevertheless easily understood in the context of remaining elements.

Speaking of the form, the shape of circle also comes to mind, as a symbol of perfect symmetry that came to be somewhat overused and aesthetically hackneyed.

On second thought, the last two sentences have nothing to do with music.

The piece was commissioned by the Gaida Festival and dedicated to its first performers, the Arditti Quartet.

Vytautas V. Jurgutis

Vytautas V. Jurgutis (b. 1976) is best known as a composer of electronic music. At the start of his career, he was keen on using the elements of contemporary pop culture and giving them a new twist of meaning in his work. Later on he focused his attention more on the nature, production and refinement of sound, using advanced sound programming techniques. With his sophisticated, abstract electronic compositions, Jurgutis has secured his place at the forefront of the Lithuanian electronic music scene. In an attempt to expand the scope and strengthen the effect of musical expression, he also creates visuals for his compositions by programming real-time computer graphics. A distinctive coalescence of the features inherent in acoustic and electronic music can be also noticed in a number of his chamber and orchestral works.

The Chordos Quartet was formed in 1997. During its existence the quartet has demonstrated an enduring commitment to promoting the latest in Lithuanian music abroad and bringing the most recent as well as greatest pieces of contemporary repertoire to wide audiences in Lithuania. They were in fact the first in Lithuania to perform quartet pieces by many world-renowned contemporary composers, such as M.Feldman, G.Ligeti, G.Crumb, T.Riley, S.Reich, G.Bryars, etc.. Apart from contemporary works, which normally forms the centrepiece of the quartet’s concert programmes, its extensive repertoire encompasses a rich variety of different styles, epochs and genres. Chordos is often found participating in unconventional and innovative projects, which include collaborations with choirs, such as “Jauna muzika” and “Brevis”, and Lithuanian rock and jazz stars such as Andrius Mamontovas, Liudas Mockūnas, Baltic Jazz Trio. The quartet has been regularly performing with many prominent Lithuanian classical musicians, including David Geringas (cello), Liudas Mockūnas (saxophone), and Raimondas Sviackevičius (accordion). Its recent recording credits also include incidental music for films and theatre.

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