Universal Edition - Vykintas Baltakas – Cantio

Vykintas Baltakas

Vykintas Baltakas

Year of composition: 2001-2004
Subtitle: Musik theatre on a text by Sharon Joyce (2004)
Scored for: for narrator, soprano, tenor, bassbaritone, ensemble and electronics
Composer: Vykintas Baltakas
Text Source: sung language: Ancient Greek; spoken language: vernacular (e.g. English or German)
Librettist: Sharon Lynn Joyce
Original Language: Altgriechisch
Translator: Erika Ria Otto
Parts: narrator
Soloists: soprano; tenor; Bassbariton
Instrumentation: 1 0 1 0 - 1 1 1 1 - perc(2), acc, pno, alto sax(Eb), vln, vla, vc, cb, electronics
Instrumentation details:
clarinet in Eb (+bass cl)
alto saxophone in Eb (+sop.sax(Bb))
horn in F
trumpet in Bb
1st percussion
2nd percussion
Commissioned by: ein Auftragswerk der Landeshauptstadt München zur Münchener Biennale 2004
Please check your input!

  • Baltakas Vykintas

  • Cantio

  • (deliveryaddress if different)

  • What kind of material would you like to order?
    (Eg: piano reduction)
Request material on perusal Request performance material Licensing Request

Audio Excerpt


World Première

Location: Haus der Kunst München / Germany
Date: 18.05.2004
Orchestra: Münchener Kammerorchester
Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Scenery: Oskaras Korsunovas
Main Soloists: Rita Balta, S, Tilman Lichdi, T, Randal Turner, Bar
Remarks: Koproduktion Münchener Biennale und Oskaras Korsunovas Theater, Vilnius, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bayerischen Staatsschauspiel

Work Introduction

Cantio at the Ultraschall Festival 2013 in Berlin:

The idea of the work is that the linguistic rhetoric should determine all the piece’s expressive aspects – its dramaturgy, music and staging. Music arises from the language and the scenic sound while, for its part, the action onstage reacts to the music.

A certain form of Cantio was performed in Greece; the gods were to be convinced to remain in the city if they were thought to be ready to abandon it. It survives only in fragments.

But our perceptual options of reconstructing such a distant epoch, identifying with it, are also merely fragmentary at most.

The attempt is to complete those fragments and, using imagination – and without becoming historical – to revivify them, allow them to speak – to make them heard, perhaps, if only for a short moment.

Vykintas Baltakas


Baltakas is an enormous talent; he knows exactly what he wants and what he can justify musically - and he doesn't succumb to convention. Turbulent music theatre with congenial stage direction by Oskaras Korsunovas. (Reinhard Schulz, NMZ)

Cantio was one of the most appealing séances in the Biennale's history. (Hans Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau)

As a contribution to the discourse on opera's future, Cantio definitely has its qualities. (Gerhard Rohde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

study score - Cantio

  • for narrator, soprano, tenor, bassbaritone, ensemble and electronics
  • Edition type: study score

2 Ensembles that have played this work:

Shipping costs

We are happy to offer the following shipping methods for your order:

Standard Post 1–3 working days EUR 3.00
Economy Airmail 6–10 working days EUR 9.95
World (i.e. outside Europe)*   
Economy Airmail 10–15 working days EUR 14.95
Standard Airmail 5–10 working days EUR 19.95

* While we send your music as quickly as possible (usually by the next day), we unfortunately do not have any influence on the time it takes your music to reach you. The further you are away from our warehouse in Germany, the longer your music will take to reach you. From experience, that can take a couple of weeks to the USA and three or even four to Asia and South America.