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Lithuanian Music Help!

The Westmont College Choir's planned trip to Kiev has just recently become a trip to Vilnius! We had some wonderful Ukranian choral music planned (and learned) but now need to learn somethig wonderful in Lithuanian or from a Lithuanian composer! 50 voice SATB college choir with the possible resources of string quartet, oboe, flute and piano included. Sacred or secular (some of both welcome). Folk songs appreciated, concert music, formal sacred music all welcome. Language is not an issue if it comes from Lithuania.
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on March 7, 2014 10:06pm
You might look up a few of these classics:
Vaclovas Augustinas:  Hymne a St. Martin
Vytautas Barkauskas:  Prelude and Fugue
Vidmantas Bartulis:  Missa Brevis
Mikolajus Čiurlionis:  Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus
Vytautas Miskinis:  Pater Noster
Juozas Naujalis:  Mass in c minor
Stasys Šimkus:  Farewell, Motherland
Giedrius Svilainis:  O Quam Tristis
Please let us know how the trip turns out!
on March 8, 2014 6:01am
Dear Michael,
I'm sure you will find all of the categories you seek above in the music of Vytautis Miskinis, one of the most prolific and successful Lithuanian choral composers actove today.  He is now widely published abroad, writing many tuneful and rhythmic works with Latin text using lush expanded harmonic palates.  Among his early pieces, Cantate Domino is great, but you will also find many more recent ones where he has expanded his style.
All best wishes,
Stan Engebretson
on March 8, 2014 6:44am
The Miskinis "Laudate pueri, Domine" is also very beautiful, and not exceptionally difficult to learn on short notice. Especially good if the remainder of the program includes some ear-and-mind-challenging works for the audience -- it's quite soothing, though also uplifting.
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
on March 9, 2014 9:02pm
The following are some suggestions:
Anoj pusej Dunojelio - Vaclovas Augustinas
Trepute martele - Vaclovas Augustinas
Tykus, tykus - Vaclovas Augustinas
Cantate Domino - Vytautas Miskinis - in fact, check out pieces by Vytautas Miskinis on Youtube - you can find quite a few
Ruta zalioji - Vytautas Klova
Any folk song arrangement by Ciurlionis
Missa Brevis in Honorem Beatae Mariae Virginis - Kristina Vasiliauskaite
Darius Polikaitis
on March 10, 2014 3:32am
Obviously, there are native and expert guidances for the lists already contributed.  Note, though, that there are two pieces by Miskinis entited Cantate Domino.  I'd suggest that, as a short notice project, the version published in 1999 (Carus Verlag), beginning with the alto line, is the moe accessible.  Angelis suis is another piece that culd be got together in a short space of time.  Both can be heard on the cd Thoughts of Psalms, put out by Consonare (Carus Verlag again: 83 459) in 2009.
There's another Miskinis cd (if you wish to sample even more music), with the the Choir of Royal Holloway in England (issued by Hyperion CDA67818 in 2010).  This cd has a couple of secular pieces on it.
Tykus tykus (Augustinas) is quite thrilling but also pretty tricky.
Given the generous thought of offering a Lithuanian concert - I can't see anyone objecting to listening to Ukrainian music; nor indeed to Latvian or Estonian music - composers who spring immediately to mind are Raminsh (Lat.), living in Canada a long time; and Sisask and Tormis (Est.).  The music of all three is immediately available both on cd and in sheet form.  As a further thought, check out the marvellous set of Latvian music issued by Ave Sol.
roly brown,
on March 13, 2014 10:39pm
I’m sorry I was so busy I couldn’t respond until now, but our community chorus just did an all-Lithuanian concert. And a worthy endeavor indeed! The Lithuanians in our region were quite moved that anyone would remember their “small” country, which has an enormous choral tradition. We were honored to take our concert to a Lithuanina church in south Boston, which I would heartily recommend you do if such a congregation exists in your region. They were so touched that Yankees would try to sing their language.
The language pronunciation is very straightforward; However, their idea of bel-canto beauty means that they do vowel modification quite readily for the choral beauty; you will hear this in their professional choruses, so I followed their lead in this.
By the way, last names can have variations in the endings, even for the same person, Sveda, Svedas,etc. It gets even more complex for feminine names which can denote being unmarried or being married,etc.
Our Concert:
Lietuva Brangi,(Ist verse)  their second  national anthem, since the first was outlawed by the communists.
Magnificat, by Kristina Vasiliauskaite, for chorus (no solos) organ, flute, oboe, and trumpet. A very majestic and happy work in Latin. The composer lives in Vilnius. She also has works published by Santa Barbara pub in the US. Very sweet lady, and one of their most important living composers. This work won first prize in a major composition competition.
3 selections from Dainos Chorui, (All settings of important poets.) by Jeronimus Kacinskas; Very important composer of 20th century, fled at the end of WW2, settled in Boston at Berkley College of Music. These pieces are HARD,but VERY beautiful. There is a top-notch recording by a Lithuanian choral ensemble. After getting their freedom, the Lithuanian legislature declared Kacinskas a “National Living Treasure.”
You must try “O Tai Buvo”, “O what happened” or “O what a day”, a humorous piece in which the success of the poet “grows” to harvesting wheat with axes, shearing bees like sheep, and storing honey combs by the bale in  barns.
On the second half, we went folk and seasonal (Christmas):
Anoj pusej Nemuno  by Ciulionis was one we had to cut for time, but very beautiful, and “cool-tasting words”.
Tykus buvo vakarelis by Svedas,
Bekit bareliai.... the tune is ancient; used by the serf-children herding cattle 1000 years ago.
2 Folk dances:
Jievaro Tiltas, and Atvaziuoja Kaledos
Which we did with Samburis, a Lithuanian dance troupe from Boston; colorful costumes, with  8 couples -very wonderful.
Christmas songs are probably not relevant to you now.
The Lithuanian publishers we worked with were very helpful and accommodating, and generous in their permissions for our use of their publications, making part cd’s, etc.
I can send you e-mail contacts of people I relied on as resources/experts, as well as files of stuff on my computer. There is a Lithuanian Chorus in Chicago as well.
Also, for some songs we created our scores, including an extra “English-phonetic” verse and a word-for word translation verse. For one of the dances we created a dual-language libretto, keeping key Lithuanian words, but telling the story in English.
I’m happy to pass on many things by e-mail directly for your browsing and consideration.
This will get you on to a publisher’s website with hosts of scores:
Jeronimas Kačinskas. Songs for choir (€ 9):
Jeronimas Kačinskas. Religious Choruses (€ 7):
CD Jeronimas Kačinskas. Music for Choir (€ 12):
This is the contact person for that publisher.
Veronika Janatjeva
Communication & Publishing Manager
Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre
A. Mickevičiaus g. 29, LT-08117 Vilnius, Lithuania
T: (+370 5) 272 69 86, 612 52121
E: veronika(a)
W: / 
An excerpt from a letter from Darius Polikaitis,  conductor of Chicago area Lithuanian chorus:
Among the great "classical" names are most certainly Ciurlionis (considered the father of Lithuanian classical music)I will send you some of his folk song arrangements) and Naujalis (the author of "Lietuva brangi" and also one of the first Lithuanian "professional" composers - I believe he actually began the song festival tradition in LIthuania).
Among the list of contemporary Lithuanian choral composers are Augustinas, Miskinis, Sinkeviciute, Vasiliauskaite.
From the emigree population, Kacinskas is definitely among the best, although his works were not sung as much, because they tended to be quite difficult for amateur choirs (with a few exceptions). Another great composer of that generation was Jakubenas. Also Banaitis (lived much of his life in New York).
Our expert/consultant, and fabulous Soprano soloist: Jurate Svediate, at
We had a kankles (zither or dulcimer type instrument) player join us; we used a mic and a small piano amp beside her to project her sound into the room.
Finally, the Lithuanians are passionate about preserving their cultural heritage; this summer they are having a huge festival celebrating and performing their folk-music and dances in Lithuania, (if that connects with your schedule or vision).
The following summer, there is another such event in the Baltimore,MD area.
If you contact me at jsharrock at keene dot edu, we can correspond about materials and ideas.
Good Luck!!
Jim Sharrock, Artistic Director, Monadnock Chorus
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 17, 2014 1:32pm
Hi Jim and Michael,
The Lithuanian Song Festival will indeed be held in Lithuania this summer during the first week of July. Check out for details. It is an amazing event!
One correction to Jim's message ... the North American Lithuanian Song Festival will be held in the summer of 2015 (as you wrote), but it will be in Chicago (not Baltimore). July 5 at the University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion.
The event in the Baltimore area will be in the summer of 2016 - the North American Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival. 
Never a dull moment in the life of a Lithuanian! :)
Darius Polikaitis
on July 21, 2015 2:38pm
Hello.  I am accompanying a Lithuanian choir on the organ for a special Mass celebrated by the bishop from Lithuanian, who's coming to Philadelphia a week before the Pope.  The St. Andrews Lithuanian Church choir is good (about 20 members, 4 parts), but we're two months out and the pastor asked me to put together a special Mass for this Bishop the third week of September.
We potentially have trumpet, trombone, oboe, flute, timpani and organ as instrumentalists.  I'm looking for a festive choral prelude with instruments, opening hymn, offertory and communion pieces, and  a postlude, as much with instrumentalists as possible.  The choir already knows a Mass, though we could add a Gloria and probably learn this in time.  The difficulty, as a non-Lithuanian, is finding quality Lithuanian music scores for sacred music with instrumentation that I've identified.
Would anyone have any suggestions, not only for music titles for choir/instruments but how I can quickly find the scores to begin practice?  We're two months out!
THANKS for any responses.
on March 17, 2014 1:49pm
Dear Michael,
I come into this thread quite late, and a lot of ideas have already been given.
Do not forget to have a look in Musica database and check for scores with Lithuania as a country.
In particular, I met Vytautas Miskinis several times, and he is quite a prolific and outstanding composer.
During a conference of IFCM held in Tallin (Estonia), Vytautas attented my lecture on "Baltic choral music in Musica". At the end, he came to me and told me that he (re)discovered compositions that he forgot to have written... and he bought the Musica DVD-ROM. This to say that you'll find in Musica quite a mine of lithuanian choral litterature, many with sound files and videos.
It is worth a visit at .
Best regards,
on July 22, 2015 9:38pm
it may be too late by now, though two other names, easy enough to research on-line are:
Jeronimas Kacinskas  (1907 - 2005), and
Juozas Gaubas  (1893 - 1973?)
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