Both the music performed and the performances of the music provide a masterly experience.
Mantas Savickis completed his MA in Composition at Malmo Music Academy (Lund University) with Professor Luca Francesconi. In 2010 he got his BMus Degree of music composition at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, in Professor Rytis Mažulis’ class. In 2009 Mantas studied with Gary Carpenter and Paul Patterson at the Royal Northern College of Music (UK) as an exchange student through the Erasmus program.
His music has been performed at various festivals including “Connect” (Sweden), James MacMillan festival (Manchester, UK), “Druskomanija” (Lithuania), “Vox Juventutis” (Lithuania) and others. Mantas has collaborated with well-known groups including the BBC Singers (UK), Kreutzer Quartet (UK), John Bauer Brass (Sweden), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania) and “Jauna Muzika” (Lithuania). Between 2006 – 2010 Mantas worked as a composer at the Vilnius University Drama Theatre “Minimum”.
The piano was a dominating instrument for solo and concerto genres, but that time has long gone. Modern composers seem to prefer the violin or the cello’s flexibility over the piano’s polyphonic capacity. Out of the many modern-day classical music and string composers, Mantas Savickis has a very individualistic style. His vision of composition arranges the ordinary in ways that draw you in and place you in a sonic landscape you have never been before. In a way sparse yet rich in tonality, his Seven Brothers for cello solo performed by Pei-Sian Ng has an inward focus, yet it expands into your imagination.
The cello, by far my favorite string instrument, has a richness, intimacy and depth that is all its own. While we rarely hear it all by itself, the result here is one that is indescribable. Pei-Sian Ng’s playing is sonorous, pulling out the wonderful dramatic detail as much as possible. The recording quality is also great – and the only drawback may be if you are not a lover of glissandos, which abound here. On the other hand, if you enjoy them, then these will mesmerize you!
Mantas Savickis also composed “Phoenix” . This was a project and part of an education course at Malmo Music Academy. We heard “Phoenix” being performed by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (Sweden) and conducted by Christoffer Nobin. There is something to this for sure. It is music that demands patience and a dedication of sorts to hang in there through endless transitional dirges, attending the melodic riches likely to eventually come. “Phoenix” takes turns in overflowing with quieter passages, searing intensity and incredible tonal beauty.
Christoffer Nobin lingers when he should and when Mantas asks him to, but he gives the music flow and purpose, impetus and forward motion. Everything seems inevitable as the musical journey ambles then quickly moves forward. This is a magnificent performance. The playing is absolutely remarkable and the whole arrangement is a treasure to behold.
You feel the musicians listening to each other and making music together, rather than simply following the conductor. Ultimately, both the music performed and the performances of the music provide a masterly experience.