Organ Concert for the 50th Anniversary of Vilnius Organ Workshop | VU St John's Church | 2022-01-15

in #secretsoforganplaying4 months ago

Welcome to an organ concert from Vilnius University St John's church dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Vilnius Organ Workshop! Today's performers are Gediminas Kviklys, Bernardas Vasiliauskas, Aušra Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė and Vidas Pinkevičius.

The concert program will include works by W. A. ​​Mozart, M. K. Čiurlionis, M. E. Bossi, E. Elgar, D. Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, G. A. Mankell and improvisations.

Today, the largest pipe organ in Lithuania at Vilnius University St. John's church has been reconstructed thanks to the Vilnius Organ Workshop. During the Soviet era, the church was turned into a warehouse, and the organ was broken and carried away. In 1965 the church of St. John was handed over to the university, and in 1983-2000 the reconstruction of the instrument was commissioned to the Vilnius organ workshop. Voicing was done by Latvian organ builder Janis Kalnins. In 2000, the inauguration of the largest Lithuanian organ took place, in which the same organists that played back then will play at St John's Church today.

Rimantas Gučas, founder of the organ workshop and organ restorer of VU St. John's Church organ calls this instrument the most important work of the workshop. "With this organ, the activities of our workshop have begun, in essence and ended - in 2000, this organ was consecrated and presented to the guests of the Balticum 2000 Congress of the International Society of Organbuilders (ISO). About 100 most famous organ builders from 18 countries took part. In total we have worked over 30 organ all over Lithuania, both old and new,” says R. Gučas.

"I became interested in the organ somehow on its own, even before studying. I studied folklore at the conservatory and graduated from folk instrumental music. The organ has long been so close to the people that it can be seen as part of an ethnic culture. The most humble shepherd's bagpipe or ruddy sound is the same as the organ in both nature and voice," says R. Gučas.

The biggest difficulty in taking up organ building was my own lack of knowledge and experience. Therefore, I did not miss the opportunity to first discuss the ideas and works with other people, specialists, co-workers, friends. I did not miss the opportunity to interact with masters, organists, experts from other countries, among whom there were top experts, such as Göran Grahn, Mats Arvidsson, Kristian Wegscheider, Janis Kalnins, Martin Rost and many others" says R. Gučas.

This event is part of the series “Music Hour at VU St. John's Church. The organisers of the series aim to acquaint the audience with the King of Musical Instruments, the largest pipe organ in Lithuania and to reveal the beauty and extremely wide possibilities of this instrument.


  1. Fantasia in F Minor, K. 608 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (G. Kviklys)

  2. 3 Preludes, Op. 20 by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (G. Kviklys)

  3. Ave Maria, Op. 104 No. 2 by Marco Enrico Bossi (B. Vasiliauskas)

  4. 5 Vesper Voluntaries from Op. 14 by Edward Elgar (B. Vasiliauskas)
    Introduction. Adagio
    I. Andante
    II. Allegro
    III. Andantino
    VIII. Poco allegro

  5. Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in C Major, BuxWV 137 by Dieterich Buxtehude (A. Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene)

  6. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 by Johann Sebastian Bach (A. Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene)

  7. Chorale Partita improvisation on Lithuanian hymn tune Jėzau, pas mane ateiki (Jesus, Come to Me) (V. Pinkevicius)

  8. Fantasie in C Major for organ duet by Gustaf Adolf Mankell (V. Pinkevicius and A. Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene)

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