Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start Episode 229 of #AskVidasAndAusra Podcast. We’re continuing our discussion from the previous podcast conversation about our recent concert of Vilnius University Unda Maris studio. You can check it out in podcast Episode 228. So the next piece that was performed in the program was by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis. This was prelude in F Major, A lovely piece for manuals only and it was played by Ruta, our allergology professor.
A: Yes, and she’s also a member of our studio. I believe this is her sixth season as a member of our studio.
V: It’s always lovely to see her in the studio.
A: I know because she shows up so rarely. But she always amazes me because she appears before recital sometimes quite a short time before recital and she always will be quite well so she’s very talented woman.
V: I sometimes I forget how she looks and I always tend to take her photo at the organ so that she will also appreciate how she plays and how she looks on the organ bench. And last rehearsal I took the photo and after the concert sent this photo to her and she was very smiling at that photo and she wrote me back that she looks quite old you know and I said as long as you’re smiling you’ll never get old. And she wrote back that I’m probably right.
V: Prelude in F Major by Ciurlionis is a lovely piece. She played it with the Principal stop, maybe together with the Flute and Salicional on the first manual and it went much smoother than any other concerts that she performed I think.
V: Even though she comes to the studio very rarely she does seem to progress.
A: That’s right.
V: Maybe Ausra she practices on the piano at home.
A: Could be and I think she has a great potential if you know she would practice regularly.
V: Exactly because if she does that without any hard work imagine what she could do with hard work and practice.
A: I know because she has that rare quality you know no so often happen with Lithuanian folks that she has self confidence in her.
V: Right, she’s not embarrassed.
A: I know and Vidas asks her “Are you sure you can do it?” Oh yes, yes, I will do it. Sure. And it amazes me every time.
V: Yeah. We can learn this quality from her. Excellent. So then Mindaugas who is our actually graduating member from the studio from Chemistry Department he will be leaving us next year.
A: That’s very sad because we are so well connected with him and he is so dear to us.
V: Mindaugas performed March Gavotte in F Major by George Frideric Handel which was transcribed for the organ by Dubois. The registration was like a French Grand Choeur style.
A: Yes, that dialog of reeds between different manuals.
V: Nineteenth century registration style which suited the texture well although the harmony is eighteenth century. That’s how maybe Dubois would have performed it in Paris of nineteenth century.
A: I think so, yes.
V: And so Mindaugas will be leaving us to start his fourth position in another town in Klaipeda probably. It’s quite sad.
A: Yes, it is.
V: We got used to him being with us every week, he participated in our Secrets of Organ Playing Improvisation Contents and also he gave an interview for the Secrets of Organ Playing podcast earlier. It was really nice.
A: He was a great help you know with tuning the organ when I for example couldn’t go to church he helped us tune the organ and he would help us during recitals and with page turning and was real kind to us so we will miss him greatly.
V: March Gavotte in F Major by Handel was probably the most advanced piece that he ever played.
A: Yes, he progressed with each year. He did better and better in each recital.
V: So just like John from Australia who came to play at our church in April, Mindaugas also has potential to play full hour recital because we told him that he can recycle his old pieces and put together a nice maybe 30 minute recital first, and then later 60 minute recital.
V: Excellent. We’ll try to arrange for him the possibility to practice in one of the local churches in Kaunas the next year.
V: Excellent. Then it was a nice surprise in our program because guitar music sounded on the organ.
A: Not on the organ but together with the organ.
V: Exactly. I played the organ and Andrius played the guitar part. Andrius is quite a colorful personality, right?
A: He is.
V: He started playing with us as a Mathematics student. He wanted to play the organ, especially improvisations.
A: Because he didn’t want to play from a musical score.
V: Yeah. And we thought that he cannot read music, but he now is going to transfer to Lithuanian Music Academy and he will study professionally guitar. And it appears that he reads music quite well. He participates in guitar festivals and competitions. So this time he played a piece by Bach, Prelude in D Major, BWV 998, originally composed for Lute and I supplied the organ accompaniment on the spot like improvised organ part.
A: Sounded lovely.
V: We had a problem because guitar sound is quite soft and we thought if we needed to amplify it with a microphone.
A: So that’s what we did.
V: And I used only one flute sound on the organ to accompany it. Excellent. So you see guys we have pretty interesting colorful program so far. And the next piece was quite dramatic taken from the first half of the nineteenth century by the second generation student of Bach, Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck, the famous Postlude in D Minor which was performed by Giedre. Giedre also studies at the Mathematics department and is together with us for how much?
A: Second year.
V: Second year and she has a well advanced piano technique.
A: And as you know she is nice plays for Lithuanian musical schools like other schools that are located in Vilnius because she comes from not a large town in southern part of Lithuania and she just attended regular musical school. And, oh my, her technique is so advanced. She is extremely well. That’s what I think about her.
V: And she’s an example of what people can accomplish after graduating those music schools for kids. Seven year long studies.
A: Yes, and because you know she studies Math and it’s probably not as fun as music. I think it’s nice way for her to relax and to spent some time with an art coming to the studio to perform.
V: So this Postlude in D Minor by Rinck sounded quite dramatic.
A: Yes, and it sounds actually like played by a professional.
V: She could be one of the candidates to perform at a competition for young organists I would think.
A: Yes, if she would wish.
V: And then we finished our program with interesting organ transcription by Beethoven. First part Allegro con brio from Symphony No. 5 which needs no introduction of course.
A: Sure. It was an organ transcription for organ duet. It was played by Giedre and Arnoldas. And Giedre the same girl who played before and Arnoldas played the second part.
V: And Arnoldas is now a medical student but in another university.
A: Yes, actually he started as a Chemistry Major at Vilnius University but when he realized that his passion was actually medical studies and he wanted to become a medical doctor so he actually had to take some additional exams and he transferred to another university. But he came back to play with Giedre to do the duet. Because last year actually we played that wonderful Sonata in D Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
V: Which Ausra and I also have been playing as an organ duet.
A: Yes, because we liked it so much now we played it and we wanted to do it ourselves. And actually we even taking this piece to London, yes?
V: That’s right.
A: If I remember correctly.
V: To Saint Paul's Cathedral.
A: Would you like to play Beethoven as well?
V: Well, it’s possible though. I had this idea to play either Beethoven’s symphony or Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.
A: I like Mozart better. I think it’s more suited to the organ. Because this motif of repeated three notes. It’s hard to perform well especially when you are playing with four hands. It’s very hard to play together.
A: And we did a great job knowing that you know how little we practiced together.
V: Because Arnoldas lives now in Kaunas and they only practiced here in Vilnius.
A: For a couple times I think before recital.
V: So it went quite well considering the circumstances and I wish next year they could also perform something in duet and/or solo too. I hope Arnoldas will find a church in Kaunas to practice in.
A: Because you know Giedre, Arnoldas is you know equally capable to play well because he comes from another part of Lithuania but he also graduated from musical school and he has also very advanced piano technique.
V: Before leaving Vilnius University he also took part in Vilnius University Chamber Orchestra where he played harpsichord, continuo part.
A: Sure, also quite advanced pieces. He did very well.
V: So this was our recital on May 26, performed at Vilnius University at St. John’s Church by the members of Vilnius University Organ Studio Unda Maris. The end of the seventh season. It was very nice and after the recital we told everyone to think about what they would like to play next. So hopefully they will come up with nice pieces to perform.
A: Yes, I’m sure they will. Especially some of them I’m sure.
V: Wonderful. And they have been progressing and it’s nice to see them grow and to be able to help them grow, right Ausra? We hope also that your schedule next year permits and you can join me in leading the studio as you did last year.
A: But I think you did quite a good job on your own this year.
V: As well as could be expected right?
V: Because when you showed up it’s very well organized and less talking you know.
A: Yes because I just wanted them to have the possibility to play. I think this is the most important and you can talk later on.
V: But actually this year I talked much less. I let them practice.
A: Well I could hear it from being we did quite well.
V: I’m learning.
V: Thank you guys for listening, for sticking with us with the last two podcasts and please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow and it’s really fun to answer your questions about the challenges you are facing, or problems that you are having, or dreams that you are dreaming about the organ playing. So looking forward to that. This was Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: And remember when you practice…
A: Miracles happen.