About the Piece

Musica Seriosa

Writing music for the occasion event “500 years of the Reformation” required a certain seriousness. It is music that was inspired by the one of the best known hymns by the reformer Martin Luther “Ein feste Burg” (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God“). It is a church music, or more precisely – sacred music. Music is like faith that comes from the depth of the heart. „Musica seriosa“ comes straight from the depths of my soul. It is serious, sacred and authentic, like just as the one line of the song “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” reads: “On earth is not his equal.” From this melody I develop a gently and fragile theme, that repeats symbolically 3 times. Another quote “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing“ is heard in the first half of the piece in as the deep violoncellos and double bass sounds. [Program note by the composer]

Instrumentation: String Orchestra

Composed: 2017

Premiere: Frankfurt am Main — Jugend-Musik-Ensemble

Christian Münch-Cordellier, conductor

Year of Publication: 2019

Publisher: Music Information Centre Lithuania

About the Composer

Diana Čemerytė (b. 1974, Lithuania) graduated music theory at Vilnius Conservatoire in 1994, whereas in 2000 she finished her master’s studies in composition by prof. Osvaldas Balakauskas in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 1998-2001 she worked as the editor and presenter for Lithuanian National Radio’s classical program. Between 2003 and 2006 she studied musicology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, where she now lives. In 2004-5 she received the scholarship of the Mozart-Stiftung von 1838 zu Frankfurt am Main.

Diana Čemerytė participated in a numerous composition courses and courses of Gregorian chant, to which belong composition seminars of Toshio Hosokawa, Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Adriana Hölszky, Brian Ferneyhough, Godehard Joppich and many others. Diana Čemerytė is a regular guest at festivals and concerts of contemporary music in Lithuania, Austria, Cyprus, Serbia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Great Britain. Her compositions are featured in various international festivals – for example the Kasseler Musiktage, International Summer Courses for contemporary music in Darmstadt, European Chamber Music Days in Ravensbrück, Festival Gaida, International Thomas Mann Festival, Festival for new music in Lüneburg, Jauna Muzika festival in Vilnius, International Review of Composers in Belgrade, Baltic Music Days in Tallinn and others. Her works include chamber music, choral music, orchestral works and two operas for children.

She is a prize-winner of the ad libitum 2019/2020 composition competition, and in 2020 she received the prize for the best chamber instrumental work (“Mondgesang”) at the competition organized by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union. The publisher of Čemerytė’s scores is Furore Edition (Germany). In 2019, the first CD of her music, “Mondgesänge für Blockflöte und Akkordeon”, was released by Genuin Classics.

According to the composer Rytis Mažulis, Čemerytė’s music “…is characterised by asceticism, transparent and purified, reduced musical structure. Perhaps, this is prompted by the composer’s focus on the early music or her studies of Gregorian chant. I would like to emphasise the unique organisation of musical space, ideas of structural layering, ability to obtain the “depth” of sound – a certain polyphonic way of thinking. In her MA thesis, the composer discusses the issue of the spiritual in music in the postmodern context – this, to my mind, is closely related to what Diana is trying to realise practically as a composer.” [Biographical information provided by the composer]

Performance Materials

Performance materials are available from the Music Information Centre Lithuania:


Musica Seriosa – Diana Čemerytė