ancientvoicesartistsonly.jpg Veljo Tormis: Muistsed Hääled - Ancient Voices
Artists Only - Forte Classics - AOR-17
Recorded in Estonia with exact dates unknown. Originally released in 1994 by Forte Records in Estonia as FD-0011/2. Original sound editor:Priit Kuulberg; Executive Producer:Mart Maripuu. This is the American reissue from 1999.
For the American edition: Digital remastering:Dale Ashley; Design/Layout:Shannon Vavrinchik; Artists and Repertoire Consultant:Kristjan Järvi; A&R:Gerry McCarthy & Dale Ashley; Cover photo:Tõnu Tormis.
Compositions by Veljo Tormis (1930-)
Track 1. Helletused (Childhood Memory - Herding Calls) for soprano and male chorus 1982 (8:01)
Soloist: Margarita Voites, soprano.
Track 2. Hääled Tammsaare karjapõlvest
(Voices from Tammsaare's Herdboy Days) documentary cantata for male chorus, soloists, fonogram and percussion (Songs and calls as sung by Anton Hansen Tammsaare's sister Marta Hansen in 1971) 1977 (10:10)
Track 3. Muistse mere laulud
(Songs of the Ancient Sea) composition of runic songs about the sea (Text from maritime themed runic songs from the parishes of Haljala, Kuusalu, Ridala and Muhu) 1979 (9:07)
Track 4. Põhja-Vene bõliina
(North Russian Bylina) for male chorus and soloists (Text from Russian traditional sources, primarily the bylina "Ilya Muromets and Sokolnik", arranged by Vyacheslav Shchurov) 1976 (10:06)
Track 5. Nekruti põgenemine Tallinna Toompealt koju Kuusallu
(Conscript's Escape from Toompea Castle and home to Kuusalu) for male chorus (Text from traditional folk sources arranged by Ülo Tedre) 1969 (3:25)
Track 6. Vepsa talv
(Vepsian Winter) Vepsian tsastuskad (couplets) for male chorus (Text from Vepsian traditional sources arranged by Marje Joalaid) 1984 (4:30)
Track 7. Kaitse, Jumal, sõja eest / Varjele, Jumalan soasta
(God, Protect us from War) for male chorus and tam-tam (Text in Finnish from Kanteletar II 323,326) 1984 (4:52)
Estonian National Male Choir / Olev Oja
Commissions, Dedications and Awards
Helletused is dedicated to the memory of the composer's sister. Hääled Tammsaare karjapõlvest was composed in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Estonian writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare's (1878- 1940) birth. A.H.Tammsaare's 5 volume novel "Tõde ja õigus" (Truth and Justice) (1926-1933) is considered one of the pinnacles of Estonian literature. The fonogram/gramophone part of the score requires the playing of the small 7" disc entitled A.H.Tammsaare (Melodiya M92-40245-6 from 1977) on which the writer's sister Marta Hansen sings the Estonian folksong "Nuttev tamm" (The weeping oak tree). This occurs near the beginning and at the very end of the work. Muistse mere laulud was commissioned for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games sailing regatta which took place in Tallinn, Estonia. Põhja-Vene bõliina is dedicated to Georgi Sviridov. A bylina is a traditional Russian epic song form. Nekruti põgenemine Tallinna Toompealt koju Kuusallu was written in 1969, which was also the year that Veljo Tormis became a freelance composer and the composition mirrors this by describing the trip from Toompea Castle in Tallinn to the vicinity of the composer's summer home and birthplace in Kuusalu to the east of Tallinn.
Music Publishers
Helletused, Muistse mere laulud, and Vepsa Talv are published by Fennica Gehrman, Helsinki, Finland. Hääled Tammsaare karjapõlvest, Põhja-Vene bõliina, and Nekruti põgenemine Tallinna Toompealt koju Kuusallu are published by ERES Estonia Edition Lilienthal/Bremen. The publisher for Kaitse, Jumal, sõja eest is not identified on the disc but is also Fennica Gehrman.
Other Points of Interest and Links
1. This 1999 American edition contains an expanded biographical note on Veljo Tormis and the specific works on the CD by Urve Lippus of the Estonian Academy of Music which replaces the text by Tiia Järg from the 1994 Forte Estonian original issue. The separate note by Tiia Järg on the history of the Estonian National Male Choir and their collaborations with Veljo Tormis is left intact. Both of these, and the texts of the compositions (with the exception of Helletused where the text consists of non-linguistic herding calls only*, somewhat akin to yodelling), are provided in English only.
*There is a brief moment at about 6'20" in Helletused where the male choir can be heard to sing "Kui ma olin väiksekene..." (When I was a little one...). This is a quotation from the first Estonian professional female composer Miina Härma's (1864-1941) song "Lauliku lapsepõli" from 1895, which is itself based on herding calls that the first Estonian professional singer, Aino Tamm (1864-1945) learned in her childhood.
2. No recording details are provided in the booklet notes here or in the original 1994 Forte issue, but it seems very likely that these recordings are remasters of the original Melodiya LP releases [details to be researched].
3. The Artists Only label has a homepage set up for this recording where you can read the CD booklet note by Urve Lippus. The homepage is available here.
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