|Liner Notes for the Melodiya LP RAM1-3 by H. Tauk|
|Under the auspices of
the State Academic Male Choir, a new ensemble - the RAM-3 Quartet - began to function on
the 30th of September, 1960, side by side with the already existing ensembles - the
popular quartet RAM-1 and octet RAM-2. The initiator was Gustav Ernesaks, chief conductor
of the Male Choir, who has always been an enthusiastic promoter of vocal ensembles, while
Olev Oja, then a member of the Male Choir, became its founder and manager.
The RAM-3 Quartet
now comprises: Konstantin Kasekivi, the choir soloist; Ole Valgma, choirmaster, member of
the renowned vocal ensemble "Collage"; Vello Mäeots, singer, who also studies
journalism at Tartu State University; Kaljo Räästas, Merited Artist2, whose
concert programs are mostly made up of Estonian vocal compositions.
Artistic Director of the Quartet is Olev Oja, Merited Artist2, a conductor of
the Male Choir and teacher at the Tallinn Conservatory; the piano parts are played by
Valdur Roots, Merited Artist2, an accompanist of long standing with the Male
of the RAM-3 Quartet includes the works of Old Masters such as Morley's madrigals and
Haydn's "Fool's Canon", as well as folk songs of European countries and other
continents. A significant portion is allotted to Estonian vocal music which, in many
cases, has been written especially for the ensemble, as for example, Anti Marguste's most
exacting suite "Mina miesi"(Mannie-o-me). The years of collaboration with Veljo
Tormis have been most rewarding. He has written a large number of unique folk song
arrangements of great purity in the true national style. The repertoire includes many
pieces a cappella, the rendering of which approaches the clarity and balance of a
In addition to the long concert tours of the Academic Male Choir,
RAM-3 has appeared in Moscow, and it sang in Mexico during the Olympic Games, also in
Cuba, Finland, East Germany and England. Their concerts have been highly appreciated
everywhere, thanks to Veljo Tormis' musical compositions in particular, as well as the
folk songs of many other nations. Two TV films have been shown of the RAM-3 Quartet as
recording of the Quartet's performances gives some highlights of folk song renderings and
some folk song settings by Veljo Tormis. The vocal character of the renditions has been
worked out in close cooperation with the composer.
H. Tauk(English version of the text from the original Estonian LP notes from 1974 with some grammatical adjustments and text additions made for clarity.)
Return to RAM-3 LP page.