Work | Vykintas Baltakas

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Instrumentation:soprano, tpt
Publisher:Chez Muziek

9 Febr. 1996
Schloß Gottesaue, Karlsruhe (DE)
Rita Balta (sopr.), Rochus Aust (tp)

Dedication:to Rita Balta and Rochus Aust
Note*:graphical notation


Many beautiful ideas in the contemporary score are hidden with a dense layer of details. Often information of the second rank hinders the ‘visibility’ of the essentials - the composer’s intentions and ideas. The aspiration to perform these details as precisely as possible takes most of musician’s concentration and resricts the time and energy dedicated for musical thinking.

In ‘RiRo’, I tried to reduce the amount of details by condensing them into one main graphical image; this should lead the player to perceive my musical intention first, and only afterwards to think about ways of realization.

Believing that a good performer, if he has understood the composer’s musical intention, cannot misinterpret the piece, but instead - with his personality - can only enrich it, I tried to make my ideas as clear as possible and provide the freedom for an intelligent musician to explore them.

Many ways exist to musically express the same idea. That is why I decided, instead of notating dynamics (p, f, etc), to use notes and lines of different sizes to represent the different levels of intensity/importance, so as to intensify the perception of the hierarchy of the musical elements. As in each piece, some notes have the base function, some are nice ornamentation and some of them are key-points, which hold the form together.

The performer, by respecting this hierarchy, is free to play with the sound and form as given, to search and improvise, to react to the context of the moment and the acoustics.

Sept. 2001


text is written using international phonetic symbols



RiRo (1997) for trumpet and soprano is the fruit of a close collaboration with the soprano Rita Balta and trumpeter Rochus Aust, and in fact the first two letters of their first names make up the title. The piece evolved over several performances to its final form, allowing Baltakas to take risks impossible in other situations and to stretch his writing for both instruments. The soprano and trumpet are equal partners, by turns challenging or supporting one another. The vocal part uses the medium of a syllabic text without meaning to add a dimension of vocal color that the trumpet cannot match. Flexibility of meter and delivery gives the piece the quality of ritual proclamation.

Tanglewood Festival of contemporary music, 2000


RiRo ist ein Stück, das durchgehend in Intensitäten komponiert ist: Lediglich Tonhöhen und eine vage zeitliche Orientierung, bzw. gelegentliche Pulsangaben sind festgeschrieben. Trompete und Sopran werden gleichwertig als Instrumentalstimmen behandelt, die Sprachlaute haben nur Farb- und Artikulationsfunktion.

Das Stück entstand in enger Zusammenarbeit mit Rita Balta and Rochus Aust, wurde von ihnen 1997 uraufgeführt und bis Heute in vielen Proben bearbeitet und diskutiert.

"Eine der seltenen Gelegenheiten so eng mit Musikern zusammenzuarbeiten, das ich das Risiko eingehen konnte, Fehler zu machen, daraus zu lernen, wieder etwas riskieren, wieder lernen... solange ich fand, daß ich noch auf der Suche war." (Vykintas Baltakas)

Aust Musik Verlag, 2000

The Berkshire Eagle
Monday, August 14 2000
Richard Houdek: "Art triumphs over nature on a rainy day at Tanglewood"

(...) LENOX - The tantalizing prospect of hearing five U.S. premieres on a single afternoon is enough to brighten the grimmest of days in this summer of our meteorological discontent. And, indeed, that's the way it was at Friday's edition of the Festival of Contemporary Music in Tangle-wood's Ozawa Hall: The heavens opened up once more, thunder roared intermittently; still, it was music that triumphed.
Elliot Carter, the 91-year-old eminence gris in American music and this year's festival composer-in-residence, was man of the day with three of his works in performance, including two premieres.
Other works new to this country arrived-via the Italian Ivan Fedele, the Frenchman Gerard Grisey and the Lithuanian Vykintas Baltakas.
Equally triumphant was her performance in RiRo, also U.S. premiere, by Baltakas. As with Lucia and Donizetti's flute, Baltakas establishes Shelton and Trumpeter Stephen Tilstaert as equal musical partners, alternately challenging and reinforcing each other. (...)

Ostfriesen Zeitung
27. September 1997
Joachim Klünner: "Ein überraschendes Klangerlebnis"

Mit Verve gestaltete Rita Balta die zeitgenössischen Kompositionen von Feliksas Bajoras und Vykintas Baltakas. Der letztere, erst 27 Jahre alte Komponist hatte im Auftrag des Ensembles ein beeindruckendes Duett für Sopran und Trompete geschrieben, das die Stimme der Sängerin wie ein in den allerhöchsten Lagen erklingendes Instrument einsetzte. Faszinierend wirkten die scheinbar mühelosen piano-Töne des Soprans in exponierter Höhe, aber auch das warme Timbre der Tiefe.

The Jakarta Post
September 28, 1997
Helly Minarti

(...) But the surprising element came from the youngest composer, Vykintas Baitakas, 27, who also studied music in Karlsruhe. His contemporary piece, RiRo, was composed earlier in this year especially for the group.
The melody is a collection of short yet mostly high tones out of Aust's eloquent trumpet, accompanied by the equally intense-curious cacophony from Balta. Sometimes she seemed to be putting all her strength into reaching high notes in an uneven scale, before she plunged into low ones by mumbling two consonants together in a stacatto-like effort. (...)