NAXOS has released Bacevičius’ Piano Concertos performed by Gabrielius Alekna

Vytautas Bacevičius: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1, was released by NAXOS in April 2015.  The recording features Bacevičius’ Piano concertos Nos. 3 and 4 as well as his Spring Suite performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by the three-time Grammy nominee Christopher Lyndon-Gee, with Gabrielius Alekna playing piano solo part in the concertos.  Two of the three compositions in the album (Piano Concerto No. 3 and Spring Suite) are world première recordings.  As the title indicates, further installments of Bacevičius’ orchestral works are planned by NAXOS.   This is Gabrielius Alekna’s second CD of Bacevičius’ music, following the critically acclaimed recording of complete Mots released by Toccata Classics.

Vytautas Bacevičius remained virtually unknown as a composer during his lifetime, in contrast to the fortunes of his sister Grażyna Bacewicz, who retained her Polish nationality.  Rendered stateless by the outbreak of World War II while he was on tour as a concert pianist in South America, he eventually settled in New York until his death in 1970, giving acclaimed piano recitals, teaching, and writing astoundingly original orchestral scores.  He never lost his deep allegiance to and nostalgia for Lithuania.  This recording gives an eloquent introduction to his pianistic virtuosity and to his mystical, Scriabinesque vision of the orchestra.

The Australian-Italian conductor Lyndon-Gee also wrote an extensive and illuminating essay for the brochure of the album, placing Bacevičius and his music in contemporary context.  The CD launch event took place in the Lithuanian Philharmonic Society on April 18, 2015, right before the concert of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee and featuring Gabrielius Alekna in Bacevičius’ Piano Concerto No. 4.