ram35.jpg RAM 35 - ENSV Riiklik Akadeemiline Meeskoor (ESSR State Academic Male Choir)
Melodiya C10 13137-8
This is a celebratory compilation release on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Estonian State Academic Male Choir in 1944 by Gustav Ernesaks. The recordings are selected from several other releases which are not specified on this LP itself. The Veljo Tormis selections are obviously selected from the LP Veljo Tormis: Teoseid meeskoorile Melodiya C10 13959-60. The compilation was released in 1979.
Enn Tomson: Recording Producer; J. Justsuk: Executive Producer; E. Okas: Artistic Design; O. Vihandi: Photographer.

Compositions by Veljo Tormis (1930-)
Side A.
Track 3. Laulja, ood meeskoorile, orelile ja löökpillidele (The Singer, ode for male choir, organ and percussion) [Text: Kristjan Jaak Peterson] (1974) (5:20) with Rolf Uusväli:organ; Kalju Terasmaa & Ole Valgma: percussion.
Side B
Track 4. Katkuaja mälestus
(Plague memory) ballad for two male choruses and a soloist [Text: Jaan Kaplinski, based on Estonian folklore] (1973) (5:44) with J. Annus:vocal solo.
Track 5. Pikse litaania
(Litany To Thunder) [Text: folklore motifs adapted by Ain Kaalep] (1974) (4:47) with K. Räästas and I. Laide:vocal solos; Tauno Vahter:bass drum.
State Academic Male Choir / Olev Oja
The other composers whose works are performed on this LP are Carl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly and Eugen Kapp.
Commissions, Dedications and Awards
Laulja (The Singer) is dedicated to conductor/composer Gustav Ernesaks, who was the founder of the Estonian State Academic Male Choir (now called the Estonian National Male Choir), and it includes quotes from his compositions Mu isamaa on minu arm (My Fatherland, My Love) and Lauliku talveüksindus (The Winter Solitude of the Singer) which can be distinguished during the solfeggio portions of the text.
Katkuaja mälestus (Plague Memory) is dedicated to conductor Olev Oja, who conducts the performance on this same LP.
Pikse litaania (Litany To Thunder) is dedicated to conductor Kuno Areng, who conducts the performance on this same LP.
Music Publishers
The scores for Laulja (Track 3), Katkuaja mälestus (Track 4), and Pikse litaania (Track 5) are published by Fennica Gehrman Oy Ab.
Other Points of Interest and Links
The back cover of the Melodiya LP contains notes (in Estonian and Russian) by Harry Vilpart which briefly describes the history of the choir and its repertoire and performing activities. Amongst the statistics mentioned are that the choir's repertoire (circa 1979) encompassed 800 works of which 300 had been recorded. The choir had also given almost 300 world premieres and the total number of performances given up to that time were 3,700.
Although Gustav Ernesaks does not conduct on this record, he is in the front and centre of the choir group photograph on the front cover. He is the one wearing the white/beige suit.

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