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Nathan Faro
American Record Guide, May 2018

Narbutaite achieves a balance between clarity of purpose and complexity of expression. Its shifting masses of sound, fluid textures, and delicate orchestration all serve the direct communication of the music’s emotion. La Barca is essentially a series of sensory episodes of sound, using a boat journey through dark canals as a backdrop. Riverbank-River-Symphony, dedicated to her ailing mother, elaborates on ideas introduced in La Barca, relying on drastic contrasts of texture and timbre. My favorite of the three is No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, a concert adaptation for mezzo-soprano, tenor, and orchestra of a section from her Rilke opera Cornet. The dream-like, passionate episode depicts fatalistic and desperate love between the Cornet and Countess. Where the instrumental works seem to eschew melody, this work embraces it—it is its driving force. The melody is confined mostly to the vocalists, who deliver engrossing performances. The three works share a theme of resilience in times of darkness. It’s deeply moving. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, December 2017

kein gestern, kein morgen (no yesterday, no tomorrow) was adapted from Narbutaitė’s opera Comet. Written for mezzo, baritone and orchestra, it is based, like Frank Martin’s orchestral song cycle, on Rainer Maria Rilke’s prose poem The Lay of the Life and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke. Their musical style couldn’t be more different, yet both Martin and Narbutaitė use economical orchestral forces, at times sounding like a chamber group or a chamber orchestra, using a different orchestral palette from Martin. In addition, Narbutaitė uses the singers as narrators, telling a tale, whereas Martin has his singer (a solo mezzo-soprano) act out the lyrics as if she were the character. Yet both works are masterful in their own way, pushing the envelope and creating a unique sense of atmosphere. It also helps that our singers in this performance, mezzo Jovita Vaškevičiūtė and tenor Tomas Pavilionis, have decent voices, well-focused, clear, and with good diction. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

Records International, December 2017

Narbutaitė succeeds in writing music vivid in imagery that sounds far more ‘Romantic’ in spirit and expression than its actual vocabulary suggests. La barca, a large-scale tone poem from 2005, explores the many ideas and connotations of boats, ships and nautical imagery; embarking on a journey to the unknown, a symbol of hope or longing in mythology, sinister nocturnal passages through the gloomy canals of Venice. The composer avoids themes, though brief tonal sequences sometimes emerge from the sonorous flows of texture to suggest archetypally resonant images. © 2017 Records International Read complete review

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