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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Tõnu Kaljuste

Reminiscentiae (CD)

The elemental power of ancient folk music is the life force that drives the compositions of Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). As the great Estonian composer famously said, “I do not use folk song. It is folk song that uses me.” This sentiment is echoed in definitive performances by the Estonian Philharmonic Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste, for decades one of Tormis’s closest musical associates. Four orchestral cycles celebrate the changing seasons: "Autumn Landscapes," "Winter Patterns," "Spring Sketches," "Summer Motifs." And three pieces – "Worry Breaks The Spirit," "Hamlet’s Songs" and "Herding Calls" – feature new arrangements by Tõnu Kaljuste, continuing and commemorating Tormis’s work.

The album opens with "The Tower Bell In My Village" which Kaljuste commissioned 45 years ago. It sets words by Fernando Pessoa that seem entirely pertinent in the context of this tribute. “Oh death, it’s a bend in the road/You can’t be seen when you’ve passed by/But still your steps continue…” Reminiscentiae was recorded at Tallinn’s Methodist Church in October and November 2020.

The Tower Bell in My Village (Fernando Pessoa, Veljo Tormis)
Worry Breaks the Spirit (Traditional, Veljo Tormis)
Melancholy Songs (Traditional, Veljo Tormis)
Reminiscentia - Autumn Landscapes (Veljo Tormis)
Reminiscentia - Winter Patterns (Veljo Tormis)
Reminiscentia - Spring Sketches (Veljo Tormis)
Reminiscentia - Summer Motifs (Veljo Tormis)
Reminiscentia (Veljo Tormis)
Three I Had These Words of Beauty
Hamlet's Songs I (Paul-Eerik Rummo, Veljo Tormis)
Herding Calls - Childhood Memories (Veljo Tormis)