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Published: 31 october 2019 15:33

The song that crowned the Baltic countries’ resistance to their occupation has been reborn as a classical piece

30 years ago, all three Baltic states were linked by a live chain – more than 2 million people stood hand-in-hand, expressing resistance to the Soviet occupation and oppression this way. The song that has become the anthem of this historical event, “Bunda jau Baltija“ (The Baltic Awakens), has now been reborn in a new performance. U.S. Senator Doug Mastriano has praised the “strong” musical composition.

“Bunda jau Baltija 2019 is a powerful song that captures the heart and soul of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian people in their struggle against the oppression of the Soviets. This song reminds us of the high cost paid in lives resisting the tyranny of Moscow during the decade long partisan struggle for freedom after World War Two. This was followed by brutal measures from Moscow to crush the spirit of the Baltic nations. But their spirits were too strong to be broken by an occupying power and the resistance grew. Finally, the dream of these great nations flourished in 1989, where two million joined hands across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to be set free from the tyranny of the Soviets,” says Senator Doug Mastriano, (Colonel, US Army - retired).

In the video clip: unique imagery and an all-new sound

The thought of resurrecting a song of brotherhood and unity arose to singer Agnė Sabulytė and producer/event manager Alkas Paltarokas. Their newly presented musical arrangement, performed by opera singers and a chamber orchestra, rings with an all-new sound and takes you right back to the August of 1989, when three nations stood as one in a public protest against occupation. For the video clip, unique documentary material from the LRT archive, as well as photos from the Genocide centre were used.

“The Baltic Way is an expression of the endless strength and dedication of our nation. For its 30th anniversary, we wanted to create something special, unique, something that could, even today, awaken the same deep emotions and sense of unity that linked three nations in search of one goal,” say the authors of the new take on the song.

The Baltic Way – one of the most important events in the history of the Baltic States

The Baltic Way is one of the most prominent and important events in the Baltic States’ long battle for freedom. On the 23rd of August, 1989, a human chain, stretching from Tallinn to Vilnius, separated the Baltic States from the USSR like a wall. This was a demonstration of the people’s endless determination in their fight for freedom.

The Baltic Way is in the UNESCO list

The historical event, so important to our nation, is recognised internationally, as well. In 2009, the EU Parliament declared the 23rd of August the “European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism”. In the same year, UNESCO included the Baltic Way in the list of protected historical dates.

According to D. Mastriano, the international recognition of the Baltic States’ battle for liberty clearly demonstrated the Baltic people's spiritual strength, which can inspire other nations in their own fights for freedom, though such fights are not won without sacrifices.

Freedom has a price

“Bunda jau Baltija 2019 reminds us that freedom is not free, and can only be achieved through determination and dedication. The great people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are an inspiration to the free nations in that they endured decades of brutality at the hands of an evil and corrupt socialist system, yet, their hearts remained strong. Together, with the help of God, and determination to be a free people, they rose up and stood shoulder to shoulder against the darkness to achieve the light of freedom,” says Senator Doug Mastriano.

According to authors of the song, “It is one of the best versions”

The newly presented musical piece was recognised by the authors of the original song, as well. According to composer Boriss Rezniks, he was astounded by the artistic presentation, and this was one of the best interpretations he had heard.

The author of the song’s Latvian text, Valdis Pavlovskis, said that the newly ringing musical piece touched him. “It is good to hear this song born anew in Lithuania. The touching arrangement of the chamber orchestra, the emotional performance truly moved me. I got chills, especially while listening to the Latvian stanza. While listening, the thought comes that in 30 years our nations have not lost their brotherly feelings towards each other,” said V. Pavlovskis.

The creative group is proud of the results

According to the initiators of the new version of the song, it would not have been born without the huge input and support of the creative group. The arrangement was created by Leonardas Pilkauskas, the song was performed by singers Agnė Sabulytė and Eugenijus Chrebtovas, string quartet (Almina Statkuvienė, Algirdas Verbauskas, Henrikas Marcinkus, Domantė Ramančiūnienė), pianist Linas Dužinskas. “Bunda jau Baltija 2019” was produced by Alkas Paltarokas, together with historians and music professionals.

VIDEO: Bunda jau Baltija 2019
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