Records available

CD canto:). Hortus Musicus

DVD In the Mystical Land of Kaydara. Peeter Vähi

DVD Coppélia. A ballet by Léo Delibes

CD-series Great Maestros. Beethoven, Brahms. Kalle Randalu, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi

CD Quarter of a Century with Friends. Arsis, Rémi Boucher, Oliver Kuusik, Rauno Elp

Super Audio CD Maria Magdalena. Sevara Nazarkhan, Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir, State Choir Latvija, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

CD Jerusalem. Hortus Musicus

LP Contra aut pro? Toomas Velmet, Neeme Järvi, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Arvo Pärt

CD The Soul of Fire. Age Juurikas

TheBestOfArsisBells300THE BEST OF ARSIS

  Handbell Ensemble Arsis

20 years of Handbell Ensemble Arsis. Released on Dec 21st, 2013.


1 Tomaso Albinoni – Remo Giazotto / arr K McChesney Adagio 4:42
2 Johann Sebastian Bach – Charles Gounod / arr A Hartley Ave Maria 2:57
3 Edvard Grieg / arr F A Merrett Anitra’s Dance (from Peer Gynt)
4 Camille Saint-Saëns / arr M R Keller Dance Macabre 2:52
5 Georges Bizet / arr B B Garee The Ball (from Children’s Games)
6 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Mu süda ärka üles / Awake, My Heart!* 3:23
7 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Äiutused / Lullabies* 3:37
8 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Karja kojukutse / Calling the Cattle Home* 2:51
9 René Eespere In dies (Movement II) 2:46
10 B Waine Bisbee Rondo del Español 2:31
11 Leo Gillis Pick a Winner 1:47
12 Peeter Vähi Vajrasattva Mantra (from Supreme Silence)* 10:27
13 Peeter Vähi Handbell Symphony (Movement II) 8:29

* Licenced from DA Music

player #1 Tomaso Albinoni. Adagio, fragm, 1 min 44 sec, mp3
player #6 Estonian folk song / arr Tõnu Kõrvits. Awake, My Heart, fragm, 1 min 5 sec, mp3

player #13 Peeter Vähi. Handbell Symphony, Movement II, fragm, 1 min 28 sec, mp3

The selected recordings from Arsis’ CDs 1997−2010: Night Music (#1), Terra Mariana (#2−5), Awake, My Heart! (#6−8), In dies (#9−11), Supreme Silence (#12), Handbell Symphony (#13)

Performed by Handbell Ensemble Arsis, Heldur-Harry Põlda (boy-soprano, #2), Toomas Vavilov (clarinet, #9), Irén Lovász (vocal, #12), Estonian National Male Choir RAM (#12), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (#13), Aivar Mäe (conductor, #9–11, #13), Kristjan Järvi (conductor, #12)

Recorded in Tallinn Merchant Guild, Estonia Concert Hall, Studio of Estonian Radio, the House of Blackheads, Swedish St Michael’s Church (Tallinn)
Engineered by Maido Maadik (#12), Priit Kuulberg (#9−11, #13), Tanel Klesment (#1−8)
Mastered by Tanel Klesment
Photos by Viljo Pettinen
Designed by Mart Kivisild
Management by Tiina Kodumäe
Translation by Tiina Jokinen
Edited by Inna Kivi
Produced by Peeter Vähi

© Arsis, ERP (Tallinn)
ERP 7013-1

The bells are ringing
The song they’re singing
The sound is bringing the people ’round…

ImagetextChurch and temple bells, carillons, chime clocks, tinkler bells, death knells… their timeless ringing has carried through centuries and cultures, accompanying man from birth to death, always present on important moments. Uniting and parting, rejoicing and mourning, calling and cautioning (wedding and funeral bells, Christmas and alarm bells), their sound embodies strong emotions that have inspired composers and instrument masters, poets and writers from Bach and Shakespeare to Hemingway.
The roots of the handbells date back to the 17th century England where the first miniature copies of church bells were cast. The bells that first and foremost were meant for practice by carillon players, soon acquired a status of independent musical instruments and were called hand bells. Their heyday was left in the 18th century when most self-respecting civilized people practiced hand bell music as their hobby. Today, those in the meantime obsolete instruments, are gaining more and more world-wide recognition.

Handbell Ensemble Arsis (today Tiina Kodumäe, Lemme-Liis Elp, Marge Saarela, Gerda Neemre, Aivar Mäe, Margus Bubert, Mart Schifrin, Indrek Jürimets) formed in 1993 from the singers of Arsis Chamber Choir, consists today of eight professional players and has one of the biggest handbell collections in the world (7 + 4 octaves of English handbells and 7 octaves of chimes). Guest performances have taken them to South Africa, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, England, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Holland, Canada and the USA. The most prestigious halls that have hosted Arsis are the Grand Hall of St Petersburg Philharmonic, Oslo Concert Hall
and El Pardo Palace in Madrid, the concert in the latter was attended by the Spanish Royal Couple. In addition to the current one, the ensemble has released 5 solo recordings and participated in numerous recordings with symphony and chamber orchestras, choirs, and other music projects. Arsis has had close collaboration with many composers and has commissioned and premiered more than 10 new works.

            Arsis400            AivarMae300

The conductor and artistic director of the ensemble is Aivar Mäe who introduced handbell music to Estonia. However, Aivar Mäe’s work is not only limited to handbell music, he is one of the most prominent figures in the Estonian musical life, having occupied positions of director at various music theatres, Estonian National Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert, being the founder of new concert halls as well as co-initiator of several festivals. And why not also remember his youth as a pop singer (ensemble Vitamiin). Since 2009 he holds the position of general manager of Estonian National Opera. Aivar Mäe is a Honorary Member of the Estonian Society for Music Education.

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Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de)
Distribution in Estonia by Arsis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +372 6621855, www.arsis.ee

See also other recordings with Arsis: Handbell Symphony, Supreme Silence, In Dies, Planetentöne Vol 2, Om Mani Padme Hung, Traumzeit, The Flutish Kingdom, World Festival Of Sacred Music Europe, Awake, My Heart!, Night Music, Terra Mariana, Prelude, Quarter of a Century with Friends
See also other recordings with Heldur Harry Põlda: Vater unser, Cantus angelicus

Respectus300RENÉ EESPERE
Music for / with guitar

It is as if the motives left open in the music of René Eespere beg the question: who am I in the midst of this mortal world? And this is his way to uncompromisingly represent the ethical art of the past.
Estonian Music Award 2014: nominee for Best Classical Album.


1  The Morning of Sculpture for violin, vibraphone and guitar (2001) 7:05
2  Evocatio for guitar (1996) 7:17
3  Respectus for violin and guitar (2013) 7:38
4  Immutatio for guitar (2004) 10:27
5  Tres in unum for flute, violin and guitar (2004) 7:43
6  Tactus sensus for guitar (2011) 5:57
7  Ludus tactus for flute and guitar (2008/2009) 6:25
8  Tactus spiritus for guitar (2012) 9:14
9  Epigram VI for soprano, flute and guitar (2005) 4:52
10  The Empty Room VI for guitar (2013) 2:18
11  The Empty Room III for guitar (2012) 1:14
12  Matbeth for violin and guitar (2010) 7:30


1  Modus vivendi for violin and guitar (1998/2006)  7:25
2  Motus for guitar (2002) 5:00
3  Trivium for flute, violin and guitar (1991) 12:53
4  Staminis for guitar (2000) 12:21
5  Ante diem for two guitars (2013) 7:22
6  The Empty Room I for guitar (2012) 2:25
7  The Empty Room V for guitar (2012) 1:12
8  The Empty Room IV for guitar (2012) 2:20
9  Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra: I Tres clavi in crucem (2003 / 2007) 11:07
10  Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra: II Visionis (2007) 12:36

player A#2, Evocatio, fragm, 3 min 11 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
player B#9, Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, Movement I Tres clavi in crucem, fragm, 2 min 21 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Neeme Punder (flute / A5,9; B3)
Heili Rosin (flute / A7)
Harry Traksmann (violin / A1, 3, 5, 12; B1, 3)
Tiit Peterson (guitar / A5, 6, 9, 12; B3, 5)
Heiki Mätlik (guitar / A10, 11; B6−8)
Esteban Colucci (guitar / A3, 7, 8; B1, 2, 4)
Donato D’Antonio (guitar / B5)
Kristo Käo (guitar / A4)
Vahur Kubja (guitar / A1 ,2)
Aurelia Eespere (soprano / A9)
Anto Õnnis (vibraphone / A1)
Eleftheria Kotzia (guitar / B9, 10)
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, conductor Paul Mägi (B9, 10)

Recorded and edited by: Tanel Klesment (A1, 2, 4, 6, 8−11; B1, 5−8), Maido Maadik (A3, 7, 12; B3, 9, 10), Mati Brauer (A5), Esteban Colucci (B2, 4)
Mastered by Tanel Klesment
Photo by Gert Kelu
Design by Egle Colucci
Liner notes by Esteban Colucci, Tiit Peterson, René Eespere
Produced by René Eespere

© René Eespere 2013
ERP 7313

ImagetextIt is as if the motives left open in the music of René Eespere (1953) beg the question: who am I in the midst of this mortal world? And this is his way to uncompromisingly represent the ethical art of the past.
René Eespere gained recognition in his native Estonia in the 1970s and 1980s for his vocal-symphonic opuses, works for the stage and his music for children.  The music composed in this period is characterised by deep research into human values. His later works, including his opera Gourmets (2005), draw attention to the more painful aspects of the human existence.The most significant among his instrumental works are seven concerti and chamber music.
The music of René Eespere has always had a clearly defined texture. Over time, its aesthetics have changed, from diatonic minimalism and baroque influences to the use of chromatic and linear voice-leading techniques, and a more conscientious treatment of timbre.
This is the ninth commercially released compact disc of René Eespere’s music, featuring chamber works written for guitar.

Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de) / Naxos Global Logistics
Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone +372 51 06058

“Thanks to the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, thanks to Christina Jörg (Schöttli Umwelttechnik AG), special thanks to all my musicians.” (René Eespere)

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See also other recordings of René Eespere produced by ERP: Februa, In dies, De spe, Eesti portreed, Somnium boreale, The Best of Arsis Bells, Locus amoenus
See also other recordings of Neeme Punder: The Flutish Kingdom, Tamula Fire Collage, Februa, Ave..., To His Highness Salvador D
See other recordings of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra produced by ERP: A Chant of Bamboo, De spe, Celestials
See also other recordings of Paul Mägi produced by ERP: Cyrano de Bergerac
See also www.eespere.ee

New CD of Vivaldi series, released 2014 − VIVALDI SENZA BASSO (Baltic Baroque, artistic director Girigori Maltizov)

Read more: Vivaldi senza basso

VerdiWagner350VERDI WAGNER 200


Estonian National Opera
Chorus and Orchestra

Released on Sep 25th, 2013 during the festival Verdissimo! The album includes a bonus CD specially edited and mastered for car audio systems.


1 Richard Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Overture and the opening chorus, Act 1; When the Saviour came to thee, Act 1; Awake! the dawn is drawing near, Act 3  14:42
2 Richard Wagner Der fliegende Holländer Steersman, leave your watch!, Act 3  3:01
3 Richard Wagner Tannhäuser Joyfully we greet the noble hall, Act 2
4 Giuseppe Verdi Les vêpres siciliennes Overture
5 Giuseppe Verdi Don Carlo This happy day is filled with gaiety, Act 2
6 Giuseppe Verdi La traviata Chorus of the Gypsies We are Gypsies and the chorus of the matadors We are matadors from Madrid, Act 2
7 Giuseppe Verdi Nabucco Fly thought on golden wings, Act 3
8 Giuseppe Verdi Aida Glory to Egypt and Triumphal March, Act 2
9 Giuseppe Verdi Il trovatore Anvil chorus, Act 2

player #2, Der fliegende Holländer − Steersman, leave your watch!, Act 3, fragm, 2 min 5 sec, mp3, 256 Kbps
player #7, Nabucco − Fly thought on golden wings, Act 3, fragm, 3 min 2 sec, mp3, 256 Kbps
player #8, Aida − Glory to Egypt and Triumphal March, Act 2, fragm, 3 min 47 sec, mp3, 256 Kbps

Arranged by Risto Joost (#1)
Performed by the Estonian National Opera Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Risto Joost
Pavlo Balakin (basso, #6), Valentīna Tāluma (soprano, #6)
Chorus Masters Marge Mehilane, Hirvo Surva
Recorded live on May 8th, 2013 in Estonia Concert Hall
Engineered and mastered by Tanel Klesment
Texts by Liina Viru
Designed by Mart Kivisild
Producer Peeter Vähi

Total time 62:14
ERP 6813
In co-operation with Lexus

The current compilation is a musical homage to three important events taking place in 2013. The whole world celebrates the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, and the Estonians pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of Estonia Theatre and Concert House. On May 8th, 2013 a magnificent concert of Verdi’s and Wagner’s opera choruses and overtures took place in the Estonia Concert Hall. The recording of the concert makes up the current records. The current album is not the usual double-CD as both discs contain exactly the same music. Why? Probably all of us have noticed that while listening to the music in a car, our hand automatically reaches out to adjust the volume. At times, the music is too loud, at times, barely audible through the surrounding noise, at times, the bass frequencies are distorted, because mostly, the recording of classical music is meant to be enjoyed on a high quality player in relative silence. Estonian Record Productions has worked out a special method of sound editing in order to guarantee optimal listening effect of the current recording also in spaces with high background noise level. We have also taken into consideration that not all car sound systems are of top-quality, so the additional disc can equally well be played on standard equipment. To our knowledge, this is the first car-CD produced in Estonia and one of the very few in the world.


Estonian National Opera


The Estonian National Opera, established in the year 1906, is a historic organisation with vital traditions and manifold functions.
The EsNO’s season, lasting 10 months from September until June, contains a varied repertoire of opera, ballet, operetta, musicals and children’ pieces. Around 250 performances of up to 30 different works are presented annually, including the cream of classical opera and operetta as well as contemporary masterpieces. On the top of that, the best works of Estonian origin are also shown on the stage!
The Estonian National Opera is the home of the symphony orchestra, the opera chorus and the ballet. The orchestra was founded in 1907 and it now employs almost a 100 musicians. In addition to its theatre assignments, the orchestra regularly performs symphonic works and records world classics as well as the best of Estonian music. The 54-strong opera chorus, besides participating in stage productions, consistently gives concerts on its own as well. The EsNO employs as many as 25−30 soloists. As a compliment to that, it welcomes guest singers on a regular basis. The EsNO ballet, existing within the framework of the opera company and employing approximately 60 dancers, is the country’s largest ballet troupe. Young choreographers are constantly enriching its repertoire of standard favourites with contemporary pieces and occasional avant-garde projects. In order to stay open to new ideas and fresh approaches, The EsNO always makes space and time in its working schedule for joint projects of multifarious nature, and for individual guest artists. For the latter to bring their unique experience onto our stage; for the Estonian audience, to partake of a different artistic vision.
Symbolically speaking, the EsNO’s location in the heart of Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, is a reflection of the company’s artistic position − at the centre of Estonian culture.


Download liner notes and credits in Estonian (pdf)

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Worldwide distribution by Europe RCD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.russiancdshop.com, phone / fax +420 233313150
Distribution in Estonia by Estonian National Opera, www.opera.ee

Other records of Estonian National Opera produced by ERP: “Estonia” – 100 (11 CD jubilee-box), double-CD Cyrano de Bergerac, double-CD Lembitu, CD + bonus DVD Voices of the Estonian National Opera / Estonia ooperihääled, DVD Wallenberg, DVD Faust, CD Artist Chagall, DVD A Legend of Estonia, DVD Georg Udukübara aaria, Super Audio CD La donna ê mobile, DVD  Coppélia
See also: Estonian National Opera at Glasperlenspiel Festival

WorldPremiereRecordings300Vivaldi Series
Vivaldi Violin Sonatas

Second record of the Vivaldi Series. The current CD presents sonatas that have previously never been recorded. Bestseller 2013.
“... enjoyable and stylish performances... For complete-ists, this is a must, as well as for all Vivaldi sonata players.” (Early Music Review, 10 / 2013)


1−4 Sonata à Violino Solo in Sol maggiore, RV 776* 11:10
5−7 Sinfonia à Violino Solo in Si minore, RV 35a 8:24
8−12 Sonata à Violino Solo in Re minore, RV 13 9:04
13−16 Sonata à Violino Solo in Si bemolle maggiore, RV 809 8:38
17−20 Sonata à Violino Solo in Re maggiore, RV 785 18:39
21−24 Sonata à Violino Solo in Sol maggiore, RV 24 9:54

* The Ryom Verzeichnis (abbreviated RV) is a catalog of the music of Antonio Vivaldi created by Peter Ryom.

player #2, Sonata à Violino Solo in Sol maggiore, Mov II, fragm, 2 min 10 sec, mp3, 192 Kbps
player #7, Sinfonia à Violino Solo in Si minore, Mov III, 1 min 21 sec, mp3, 192 Kbps
player #21, Sonata à Violino Solo in Sol maggiore, Mov I, fragm, 2 min 3 sec, mp3, 192 Kbps

BALTIC BAROQUE on period instruments
Directed  by  Grigori Maltizov
Maria Krestinskaya − baroque violin (#1−4, #21−24)
Evgeny Sviridov – baroque violin (#5−7)
Andrey Reshetin – baroque violin (#8−12, #17−20)
Marina Katarzhnova – baroque violin (#13−16)
Sofia Maltizova – baroque cello
Imbi Tarum – harpsichord

Recorded 2011−2012 in St Jacob’s Church, Viimsi, Estonia and 2012 in House of the Blackheads, Tallinn, Estonia (#1, #21−24)
Engineered by Tanel Klesment
Engineered by Margo Kõlar (#1)
Edited and mastered by Maido Maadik
Liner notes by Anna Bulycheva
Booklet translated and edited by Tiina Jokinen and Inna Kivi
Front cover painting by Canaletto
Designed by Mart Kivisild
Executive producers Peeter Vähi and Olavi Sööt

Liner notes in Estonian, Russian and English languages

Released in 2013
© Estonian Record Productions
ERP 6613

The current CD presents sonatas that have previously never been recorded. Why have they stayed in the shadow like Cinderella for so long? There is a multitude of reasons but they all fall into the area of origin, authorship and relations in music.

Sonata in B minor, RV 35a is named by the author Sinfonia à Violino Solo d’Antonio VivaldiStampata, i.e. A Published Symphony for Solo Violin by Antonio Vivaldi.
The word
symphony in Vivaldi’s times denoted a wide range of musical works: it could be practically any instrumental piece, especially when it was preceding a vocal composition like motet, cantata or operatic scene. It is quite likely that the Sonata in B minor was born namely as such. It was published in Amsterdam, 1716, as part of Op 5 containing four solo and two trio sonatas.
While preparing the work for publishing, Vivaldi made major changes to the Symphony, as a result of which its
younger sister − Sonata RV 35 − was sent to the ball in Amsterdam.The composer took great care in giving its brainchild fashionable attire: he named the three movements prelude, allemande and courante; diminished the contrast between tempos (Adagio − Allegro Presto were changed into Largo − Allegro − Allegro), added trills and softened the harmony.
Most important, though, is the fact that Vivaldi changed the first movement: in the currently presented version it is a serious extensive piece in the spirit of old church sonatas. In the Amsterdam publication the prelude is a minuet embellished with triplets characteristic of the new
gallant style.
However, Sonata RV 35a − the poor Cinderella that was not allowed to the ball − has its own values which finally enabled her to find the Prince.

Sonata in G major, RV 776 has also got two versions, the main difference lying in the odd-numbered slow movements − the composer was eager to make changes namely in the slow movements whereas the quick ones form a skeleton of the work. Each of the two versions contain a movement identical to one in another Sonata in G major, RV 22 by Vivaldi. It is quite intruiging that Sonata RV 776 is also included in the catalogue under the sonatas by... Giuseppe Tartini (1692−1770). However, the close relations between RV 22 and 776 point to the authorship by the Red Priest.
The current CD presents a summarized version which does not contain the common movements with RV 22. It opens in a dreamy Adagio, followed by an energetic rigodon in the second (Allegro) movement and, by tonality in minor, in the third (Largo) movement. The final Allegro does not contain any specific surprises. At times, the violin and cello merge into a loving duet, respectively performing one and the same melody in major third or major sixth over an octave. In the final bars a new folk spirited melody appears standing out by a sharp rhythm and by no less sharp Lydian scale.
Doubts about authorship in music are not always groundless: it is a common knowledge in painting and even sculpture how often the great masters are being copied (just watch the movie
How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn). There are no less copies in music. During Haydn’s lifetime there were works published under his name that he did not even suspect they existed and works by Alessandro Stradella appeared from nowhere one and a half century after his death under romantic circumstances.
Copying is the best proof of the author’s popularity and success. Thus Vivaldi could not be spared the same
honour. The most conspicuous case was the publication of a collection of six sonatas Op 13 The Faithful Shepherd in Paris. The sonatas were composed by Nicolas Chédeville on the basis of fragments from works by various Italian composers.
Not all the sonatas included in the most complete catalogue of Vivaldi’s works by Peter Ryom can boast of pure origin. Over the course of time several of them have been transferred to the attached list of works with dubious origin.

This, however, did not happen to the Sonata in G major, RV 24, although on the pages of the catalogue Ryom expressed his doubts about its origin (without giving sufficient reasons, though). It is structured like many sonatas by Vivaldi: a placid prelude (Adagio) is followed by Allegro in the movement of allemande with the wide strokes on the violin characteristic to the Venetian Maestro, after which comes Adagio in a slow sarabande, all concluded by an Allegro movement.
The hand-written copy of the sonata is until today kept in the castle of Wiesentheid near Würzburg among the collection of count Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn (1677−1754). The count himself was a passionate music-lover and an amateur cello-player. In the course of many years, he gathered a splendid collection of works for cello with orchestra, among them also pieces by Vivaldi that he acquired during the period of 1710−1714. However, it seems that he did not have any personal contact with the composer.
Surprising as it may seem, namely the cello part in Sonata RV 24 is one of the least expressive. Had Vivaldi specially dedicated the sonata for count Schönborn, he most probably would have composed quite a different part for basso continuo.

The authorship of  Sonata in D minor, RV 13 is disputed by Johan Helmick Roman (1694−1758), one of the most productive Swedish composers of his time. He lived a long life composing in different styles and manners, writing tens of sonatas for various instruments like harpsichord, flute, violin, oboe. He was chosen by count Nikolaj Fedorovich Golovin (1695−1745), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Sweden, to compose music for the coronation of  Peter II.
A manuscript by an unknown hand indicating Roman as the author has been preserved until our days. Its structure as well as brightness, extravagance and violin technique are fully in Vivaldi’s lines. The contradiction to the authorship arises from the contemplative thematic connections between the quick movements. Those would allow to place the sonata in the 1740s when Roman composed his works for violin.

A whole musicological investigation lies behind the Sonata in D major, RV 785. At the beginning of the 1980s, Maurizio Grattoni discovered an incomplete copy of it in Udine and it was included in various catalogues as an unfinished work by Vivaldi. But in 2006, Nikolaus Delius found the same work in the collection of sonatas by Andrea Zani (1696−1757), published in Mantua, 1727. According to Delius, the publication of sonatas by Zani Op 1, chronologically preceded the hand-written copy found in Udine. The situation is made more complicated by the fact that in his youth Dzani was a keen follower and admirer of Vivaldi, copying his manner and style. Only later, he got rid of the strong influence of his senior colleague and started composing in a new contemporary style.
In his catalogue Peter Ryom lists five movements of the sonata (Largo or Adagio Amoroso Largo − Presto − Capricio). The current recording is based on the manuscript from 1753 kept in Stockholm. This version does not contain the fourth movement Presto.
Whoever the author of that music may be, it is exceptionally good. The first movement is an elevated skilfully composed polyphonic prelude followed by the tender and gallant second one. Largo is a dialogue of two instruments with remarkably original chromatic harmony. The culmination is in the Finale – Capriccio and twelve variations. The cascade of passages falling on the ears of the listener is divided equally between the violin and the bass displaying the virtuosity of the whole ensemble.

One of the last works completing the catalogue by Ryom is Sonata in C major, RV 809 for flute and basso continuo. Its copy with inscription Del Sig, Vivaldi has been preserved in Olbi in the collection of Rosenthal. However, Grigori Maltizov discovered the same work, only recorded in B-flat major, in the hand-written collection of twelve violin sonatas by Gaetano Meneghetti.
It is known about the violinist and organist Meneghetti that he was born in the 1690s and lived in Vicenza and that his son Giovanni (about 1730−1794), also a violinist and organist in Vicenza, left a legacy of a number of keyboard sonatas and violin concertos.
Gaetano Meneghetti’s sonatas have a lot in common with the ones by Vivaldi. However, they contain very telling features not
 characteristic of Vivaldi at all. All twelve are church sonatas in four movements without dance pieces (even with the finales in jig, the dance-like character is not accentuated). Unlike Vivaldi Meneghetti as an active organist, stubbornly follows punctuated rhythm and resorts time and again to polyphonic methods paying great attention to the versatility of harmony. The twelve sonatas are clearly composed by one and the same hand and not the one of Vivaldi.

In the 18th century all music lovers tried and cried in order to lay their hands on Vivaldi’s scores, hence the name of the Red Priest occasionally appears on the manuscripts of his lesser-known colleagues. It is interesting to note that they were all two decades younger than the Maestro and though being greatly influenced by him, in reality belonged to another generation altogether. Be it as it is, there is also a positive side to the false authorship: Vivaldi’s name helps to recover from the void of history works by composers whom otherwise no one would know of, but who nevertheless deserve our full attention.

Download liner notes in Russian (pdf) and/or Estonian (pdf)

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Special thanks: Vladimir Volohhonski, Aleksei Chulets, Vladimir Konkov, Olga Kozlovskaja, Michael Terehov

  LogoTintrade           LogoDryBulkTerminal           LogoMerktrans          LogoDaxinBaltic         LogoTeslarOy

Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de)
Distribution in North America by Naxos USA

See also other recordings of Baltic Baroque by ERP: Vivaldi per Pisendel, Vivaldi senza basso, Vivaldi opera quinta
See also other Baroque recordings released by ERP: Vertigo, The Well-Tempered Clavier I, Pure Handel, Joy and Sorrow Unmasked
See also other violin recordings by ERP: Ad patrem meum, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol I, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol IIMari Tampere-Bezrodny, Works for Solo Violin. Sigrid Kuulmann

VivaldiPerPisendel280SUONATA Á SOLO FACTO

Vivaldi Series

First record of the Vivaldi Series. The World Premiere Recording of the 4th movement of Violin Sonata in G major, RV 25!
Diese Einspielung durch Baltic Baroque macht deutlich, dass diese Werke noch heute durchaus eine Herausforderung für professionelle Geiger sind. (Ouverture, 2013)


1-7 Suonata á Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel del Vivaldi in G major, RV 25 10:22
8-11 Suonata á Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel del Vivaldi in C minor, RV 6 12:05
12-16 Suonata á Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel del Vivaldi in F major, RV 19 17:38
17-21 Suonata á Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel del Vivaldi in C major, RV 2 15:57
22-25 Suonata á Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel del Vivaldi in A major, RV 29 6:52

player #10, Sonata in C minor, Mov IV, fragm, 3 min, mp3, 160 Kbps
player #5, Sonata in G major, Mov V, 1 min 6 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
player #23, Sonata in A major, Mov II, fragm, 1 min 34 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps

VivaldiMonogramEnsemble Baltic Baroque
Grigori Maltizov – artistic director, producer
Maria Krestinskaya – baroque violin (#1−7)
Nazar Kozhukhar – baroque violin (#8−11)
Andrei Reshetin – baroque violin (#12−21)
Evgeny Sviridov – baroque violin (#22−25)
Sofia Maltizova – baroque cello
Imbi Tarum – harpsichord

Recorded in 2011 in Swedish St Michael’s Church, Tallinn (#8−11, 17−21), and in 2012 in St Jacob’s Church, Viimsi, Estonia (#1−7, 12−16, 22−25)
Engineered by Tanel Klesment (#1−7, 12−25) and Margo Kõlar (#8−11)
Liner notes by Anna Bulycheva
Booklet translated and edited by Tiina Jokinen, Inna Kivi
Front cover painting by Canaletto
Designed by Mart Kivisild
Executive producer – Peeter Vähi

On period instruments: baroque violin by Giovanni Paolo Maggini, 1627, Italy (#1−7); baroque violin by Johann Gottfried Hamm 18th cent, Germany (#8−11); baroque violin by Marcin Groblicz 17th cent, Poland (#12−21); baroque violin by anonymous, 18th cent, Italy (#22−25); baroque cello after Antonio Stradivari 1712, Italy; 2-manual French harpsichord by Samuli Siponmaa after Blanchet

Total time 62:52
Stereo, DDD
Liner notes in Estonian, English and Russian languages
Released in Nov 2012
ERP 6312

The CD bearing an original title by Antonio Vivaldi (1678−1741) presents sonatas dedicated by the latter to German violinist and composer Johann Georg Pisendel. The manuscripts of the works come from the library of the Dresden Court Orchestra to which Pisandel himself made regular contributions in the course of 30 years. Some of those 5 sonatas have found their way to the so-called Manchester collection. Considering the fact that Vivaldi’s violin sonatas Op 2 and Op 5 were already during his life-time published not only in his homeland but also in Amsterdam, we can get a fairly good idea of his popularity in Europe.
Johann Georg Pisendel (1678−1755) travelled around quite a bit in his youth until he settled down in Dresden, in 1712, becoming a violinist at the Court Orchestra. From 1728 until his death, he occupied the post of concert master excelling with his deep knowledge of the minutest details of the music to be performed. The job of court musician in Saxony, however, did not prevent Pisendel from travelling. Beginning with April 1716, he spent 9 months in Venice where he was rumoured to have studied with Vivaldi. Although it could hardly have been studies in the strict sense of the word, as by that time Pisendel, only 9 years younger than Vivaldi, was already one of the leading violinists in Germany, a respected and outstanding musician. It is more likely that Pisendel’s aim was to familiarize himself with the newer performing and composition styles in Italy. Soon after his return, Dresden became the foreground of Italian music and the new capital of opera in Germany. Vivaldi’s works found a firm place in the Court Orchestra’s repertoire.
AntonioVivaldiDuring the days of young Vivaldi, two main forms of sonata were known: da chiesa (church sonata) and da camera (chamber sonata). Da camera is a dance suite connected by one tonality. In Early Baroque this was purely “applied” music. Da chiesa was, indeed, performed in churches. It did not contain dance rhythms and in one of the central movements, as a rule, the tonality had to change.
In Vivaldi’s work the characteristics of da chiesa and da camera intermingle, forming unique moody combinations. Shedding the function of applied music and exiting the restricting premises of church and ballroom, sonata gradually acquired the form of “pure music”, where composer’s fantasy was given free will. The violin sonatas Op 2 and 5, published during Vivaldi’s life time, had 3 to 4 movements. The sonatas dedicated to Pisendel are even more extensive containing 4 to 7 movements.
Vivaldi’s sonatas grew like living organisms. Sonata RV 2 is a real “transformer”. Its 2nd and 3rd movements − a fanciful minuet of various articulations and a motive gigue − are utterly similar to the corresponding movements of RV 4, whereas odd-numbered movements of those “twin” works, however, are totally different. The 1st movement of the sonata on the present CD, is slow, while the 3rd is an extravagant siciliana with pathetic Neapolitan harmony. Pisendel, after getting this sonata, added to it an unusual fast sarabande as the 5th movement. Taking into account how little of the work by that German maestro has been preserved, every smallest bit is invaluable.
In Sonata RV 6 the patterns of da chiesa and da camera make an ideal merger. An especially strict prelude is followed by a brisk Italian courante, the 3rd movement being Grave in the meaning of “solemnly”, while the finale in Allegro is an allemande. That is a so-called “light” allemande − a short and passing fashion outbreak leaving an imprint in the form of a few pieces in the musical legacy by Couperin, Rameau and Bach. All those pieces are capriccio-like fast and moody, Vivaldi’s allemande here being no exception.
Among sonatas dedicated to Pisendel RV 19 has become a cult of motility: all the fast movements flow in uninterrupted succession. The 5th movement − finale in the form of variations − impersonates an encyclopedia of violin techniques, textures and rhythms.
As an only one of its kind Sonata RV 25 is a real dance suite. Its 7 (!) movements have all a pastoral tinge. The triply variating odd-numbered movements in major and even-numbered movements in minor create a unique effect of light and shadow. Vivaldi has not given names to the dances, nevertheless, they are easily recognized. The sonata begins with a peaceful siciliana followed by a light bourrée and minuet in popular style with suddenly emerging “wrong” beats that deliberately defy the rules. The 4th movement is another siciliana − the “twin” in minor of the 1st movement. The 5th movement (Gigue) is so brisk that for the first time on the current CD, cello starts competing with the violin. All that is followed by a “light” allemande, finished up by a new minuet with bold syncopes and brilliant repetitions. The latter is composed on a laconic theme allowing a multitude of repetitions making it sound like a merry poem with short verses. Those were a frequent phenomenon in pastoral works and Vivaldi, himself occasionally writing a verse or two, knew poetry well.
Sonata RV 29, contrary to the former, is “pure” sonata without a single dance. The two first movements contain a multitude of double, triple and even quadruple notes. From the third movement the texture gets lighter while the violin part is no less complicated. It can generally be felt that Vivaldi has composed his Sonatas dedicated to Pisendel for a real virtuoso whose instrumental skills were to be admired. The composer’s attention is solely centered on the violin part. In many pieces the technical virtuosity grows through the work. Occasionally, the violin is given two voices. In the Grave of RV 6 the violin seems to be talking in two voices: the upper voice is a reciter and the lower one, at first not so talkative, gets carried away by the upper. This part is full of expressive passages – a superb example of musical rhetorics. At times, it can be felt that Vivaldi has not given up the trio sonata tradition of two upper voices and bass. That is exactly was his Twelve sonatas Op 1 is. While in transition to more fashionable and perspective solo sonatas, time and again, he would turn back to the texture of trio sonatas. In the minuet of Sonata RV 2 the second violin grabs single notes even from the part of basso continuo. The violin part is nearly self-perfect, just a little more and the accompaniment becomes unnecessary. This is precisely the experiment that Johann Georg Pisendel tries to conduct in his Venice-born Solo sonata in A minor for violin.
In the current sonatas by Vivaldi the huge inequality of ensemble parts is especially conspiquous. The bass part carries a function of simple accompaniment. At a couple of times the bass catches single notes from the violin part but this never develops into an equal dialogue.
In other sonatas by Vilvaldi the continuo part is handled and interpreted totally differently. In the Pisendel sonatas, the composer has written down only the melody line of the bass without marking chord numbers (the numbers could be found sporadically only in Sonata RV 6 that has been notated by the composer’s father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi). This indicates Vivaldi’s total trust in the professionalism of his German colleagues who did not need him prompting the harmony. Ovbiously, Maestro was also too busy in order to polish his manuscripts the way he worked with the material for publishing and printing. His hasty, though expressive handwriting allows us to draw conclusions about the speed of composing the sonatas as well as to take a glimpse at the fantasy and temperament of the author.

Download liner notes in Russian (pdf) and/or Estonian (pdf)

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Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de)
Distribution in North America by Naxos USA

Special thanks: Aleksei Chulets, Vladimir Volohhonski, Vladimir Konkov, Michael Terehov

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See also other recordings of Baltic Baroque by ERP: World Premiere Recordings, Vivaldi Senza Basso, Vivaldi opera quinta

See also other Baroque recordings released by ERP: VertigoThe Well-Tempered Clavier I, Pure Handel, Joy and Sorrow Unmasked

See also other violin recordings by ERP: Ad patrem meum, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol I, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol IIWorks for Solo Violin. Sigrid Kuulmann, Mari Tampere-Bezrodny

Sigrid Kuulmann & Marko Martin

Released on Dec 2nd, 2012.

1−5 Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for Solo Violin 11:15
6−8 Three Pieces 6:23
9 Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1 16:41
10 Meditation 4:52
11 Prelude 4:02
12 Capriccio No 2 4:38
13 Cock’s dance from the ballet Kratt 2:13
14 Paganini-Tubin. Caprice Op 1 No 24 6:29

player #13, Cock’s dance from Kratt, fragm, 1 min 15 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
player #3, Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces, Slow Waltz, fragm, 1 min 43 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
player #14, Paganini-Tubin, Caprice No 24, fragm, 2 min, mp3, 160 Kbps

Performed by: Sigrid Kuulmann (violin) & Marko Martin (piano)
Recorded in the concert hall of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2011
Steinway & Sons piano tuned by Mait Meibaum
In co-operation with Estonian Public Broadcasting
Engineered and mastered by Maido Maadik
Assistant engineers: Priit Karind, Kaspar Karner
Recording co-producer: Mirje Mändla
Liner notes by Vardo Rumessen
Booklet compiled and edited by Inna Kivi
Translated by Tiina Jokinen
Design by Mart Kivisild
Produced by Peeter Vähi

ERP 6112

EduartTubinSmoke150Although first and foremost known as an outstanding symphonist, Eduard Tubin has also composed chamber music for various instrumental staff. Among his works violin music occupies a special place excelling in melodiousness and emotional expression. The works by him usually require great technical skills, thus enabling the player to demonstrate his or her virtuosity. In addition, they are characterized by masterful composition technique, clear structure of form and prove the composer’s deep knowledge of the instrument. The afore-mentioned concerns both short pieces and extensive forms. Tubin’s works for violin include two violin concertos (1942, 1945), two sonatas with piano (1936, 1949), solo sonata (1962), Suite on Estonian Folk Tunes for violin and piano and a number of short pieces like 2 caprices, Ballade, Meditation, Prelude et al.
According to the composer’s own words he considered violin, which he had also played in his youth, his favourite instrument. The importance of that instrument is proved not only by the above-listed works but also by extensive violin solos in his orchestral compositions. His violin music is characterized by cool Nordic approach arising not so much from the use of folk tunes as from a general national-psychological source. Though Tubin lived a bigger part of his life in Sweden, he has not used Swedish folk tunes in any of his works, while the appearance of Estonian tunes is fairly frequent, thus contributing to the composer’s personal style.
Three Pieces, ETW 48 has been composed in 1933. Those are the earliest known works for violin by Tubin. The two first pieces are meditative and with free improvisation containing also recital passages of solo violin. The third piece is a virtuos toccata based on rhythmical development.
The first and the third pieces were performed Evald Turgan and Olav Roots at Vanemuine Concert Hall in Tartu on May 10th, 1933. On Dec 18th, the same year, the afore-mentioned musicians performed the pieces in Société des Artistes Musiciens, Paris where they gathered critical accolades. Although all the three pieces were initially planned by the composer as an uninterrupted cycle, only the first and the third were published by the Estonian Culture Endowment’s Music Foundation under the title of “Two Pieces for violin and piano” (Tallinn, 1935).
Tubin commenced work on Sonata No 1 for violin and piano (ETW 49) right after completing his 1st Symphony in 1934 and it was premiered by Evald Turgan and Olav Roots at the University of Tartu Assembly Hall on Dec 20th, 1936. In 1968–1969, the composer changed the texture of the piano part into simpler and more rational. The new version was premiered by Alfred Pisuke and Ragnar Dahl in Swedish Radio on Jun 21st, 1971.
Violin Sonata No 1 is one of the earliest extensive works by the young composer written as a result of a long creative search that ran parallel to his everyday job at the theatre. Similar to the 1st Symphony the sonata reflects the composer’s aspirations to create a grand work where the whole musical structure flows from one and only central theme which in its turn gives rise to other contrapuntally connected themes. This makes the texture of the work extremely dense and complicated, at the same time being supported by strong inner logic. The work reflects composer’s wide imaginative powers, polyphonic skills and strong sense of form that integrates the separate passages. All movements (I Andante con moto; II Quasi presto, misterioso; III Ostinato marciale) are played attacca.
Violin Sonata No 1 by Eduard Tubin is the first full-scale violin sonata in the history of Estonian music preceded by the one-movement sonatas by Artur Kapp, Heino Eller and Eugen Kapp. By this the young composer exposes himself not only as a master of counterpoint but also as one with great personality and high artistic aims.
Meditation, ETW 51, has been composed in Budapest where Tubin was furthering his education in Feb 1938. According to the words of violinist Herbert Laan, Tubin stayed at his apartment and though the place lacked piano, the composer drew an initial sketch of the work nevertheless. Thereafter Laan and Tubin showed the work to Zoltán Kodály who quite appeared to like the melodiousness of it. Characteristic of Meditation is lyrical poetic expression with a somewhat reserved introduction followed by a more rhythmical middle movement which in its turn gives way to a colourful and impressionist finale. Meditation was premiered by Herbert Laan and Olav Roots in a live broadcast of the Estonian Radio in 1938. The first public concert with the work performed by Evald Turgan and Villem Tilting was held at the University of Tartu Assembly Hall on Jan 21st, 1939.
Prelude, ETW 54, is according to Tubin’s own words his first work composed in Sweden, commissioned by violinist Zelia Aumere in 1944 and completed in the same year at the Neglinge refugee camp. It was later published in 1951 by Körling of Sweden. As one of the most beautiful violin works by Tubin, it attracts attention with its poetic and melodious character. It is composed in a three movement form: the main melody in the first movement is performed by violin accompanied by descending piano passages; the second movement is livelier bringing out the rhythmical motif in the violin’s double notes thus building up the culmination. The reprise is noteworthy for its impressionistically light colours, its symbolic mood reminding of the solo song Summer Night on Henrik Visnapuu’s lyrics composed in the same year. The work was premiered by Zelia Aumere and Olav Roots in Stockholm’s Kungsgatan School on Dec 17th, 1944.
Capriccio No 2, ETW 55 was commissioned also by Zelia Aumere in 1945. The work is built on two contrasting themes the first of which is heard at the very beginning gradually conquering wider and wider registers in its flow. The second, dance-like theme resembles an Estonian folk tune and later acquires heavy peasant-like character. The work ends in a dashingly bright cadenza. Capriccio was premiered by Zelia Aumere and Olav Roots at Stockholm Konserthuset’s Small Hall on Sep 25th, 1945.
Cock’s Dance from ballet Kratt, ETW 111B. The ballet Kratt in its initial form was completed in 1940, however, already in the following year the composer made considerable changes to the work adding also Cock’s Dance as an independent item. The ballet music was once again reworked by its author in connection with its premiere at Vanemuine theatre in 1943. According to Alfred Pisuke, Tubin arranged Cock’s Dance for violin and piano upon the request by the latter in order to record it in 1958. It is an impressive and technically demanding piece of dazzling rhythm and bright form.
Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for solo violin, ETW 58, Tubin’s last work for violin, is composed in 1979. It consists of five movements: Bagpipe piece, Night Herdsman, Slow Waltz, Horn Piece and Serf’s Dance. The suite gives variations on several Estonian folk tunes reflecting Tubin’s great affection to Estonian folk heritage and his own memories of the herdsboy times in his childhood home.
Tubin was completely enchanted by the uniqueness of Estonian folk tunes which is well expressed in his two suites on folk themes for violin – Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces (ETW 53) and Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for solo violin (ETW 58). Using folk tunes was not an aim in itself for Tubin but an inexhaustible source of creativity.
The suite for solo violin was premiered by Alfred Pisuke at the festivities of the Estonian Independence Day in Stockholm Konserthus on Feb 24th, 1980.
Paganini-Tubin: Caprice No 24 (without ETW number). It can be seen from the manuscript that Tubin composed the piano part for Paganini’s famous work upon Zelia Aumere’s request for her solo recital at Stockholm Konserthuset on April 9th, 1945 where Olav Roots performed the piano part. Composer’s note on the manuscript reads: “Arranged upon insistence by Zelia Uhke-Aumere. Eduard Tubin. Neglinge, April 7th, 1945”.

       KuulmannMartin2012   KuulmannMartinPhotoByKikkas

Download: Sigrid Kuulmann & Marko Martin, 2012, at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, colour, RGB, 300 dpi, jpg, 6.2 MB

SigridKuulmann280Sigrid Kuulmann started her violin studies at the age of seven. She studied at the Estonian Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and at Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. Her teachers include Tiiu Peäske, Yfrah Neaman and Rosa Fain, a former pupil of David Oistrakh. She attended masterclasses by Igor Bezrodny, Michaela Martin and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
Sigrid Kuulmann is a laureate of Heino Eller International Violin Competition in Tallinn and is gaining further accolades for her performances of Estonian music, especially in Eduard Tubin’s works.
She Estonia-premiered Partita by Lutoslawski, Sequenza VIII by Berio, Violin Concerto No 2 by Virkhaus. She has performed as soloist with conductors Neeme Järvi, Andres Mustonen, Andrei Chistyakov, Gregory Rose, Nicholas Smith, etc, and given recitals in England, Germany, Scandinavia and Estonia. Sigrid Kuulmann has been broadcasted and recorded by Estonian Radio and TV. Since 2012, she is also the principal violinist of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta.
During 2009–2010, ERP has released 2 CDs of Sigrid Kuulmann: Works for Solo Violin (Bach, Paganini, Ysaÿe) and Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol I.

MarkoMartin300Marko Martin is clearly a pianist to watch. Laureate of the 2000 Esther Honens International Piano Competition and prize winner at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Marko is gaining a reputation for his inspired balance between energy and lyricism, especially in the works of Brahms, Schubert and Liszt. He is equally admired for his interpretation of music of the 20th century.
Martin studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Prof Peep Lassmann and went on to work with Prof Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He has taken part in numerous masterclasses, including Leon Fleisher, Dmitri Bashkirov, Murray Perahia and Paul Badura-Skoda.
Marko Martin has performed with Philharmonia Orchestra London, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, etc. He has given recitals at Barbican Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Musikhalle in Hamburg, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. His recordings include Schubert and Liszt for Abbas Records (1998) and Liszt for Arktos (2002).

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See also other recordings of Sigrid Kuulmann and Marko Martin produced by ERP: Sigrid Kuulmann. Works for Solo Violin; Eduard Tubin. Works for violin and piano. Vol I
See also other recordings of Tubin produced by ERP: Eduard Tubin and His TimeKratt, 100 Years Of Estonian Symphony, Estonian Preludes, Northern Lights Sonata, Tubin, Musica Triste
See also other violin recordings by ERP: 3-CD Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, Ad patrem meum, Vivaldi opera quinta, Vivaldi senza basso, World Premiere RecordingsVivaldi per Pisendel

Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de) / Naxos Global Logistics
Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone +372 51 06058


CD PURE HANDEL − European Union Baroque Orchestra, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (director & harpsichord), Maria Keohane (soprano) − shortlisted for the GRAMOPHONE AWARDS 2014 in the category of Recital.

Read more: Pure Handel





“Music has to be made with clean hands.” (Igor Bezrodny). Triple-CD, archive recordings. Will be released in November 2012. The presentation at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre on Nov 15th at 3 pm.


CD I: Violin concertos

1 Karol Szymanowski Violin Concerto No 1, Op 35* 21:44
2–4 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Violin Concerto No 1 in D minor* 25:09
5–7 Lydia Auster Lyrical Concertino (Summer in Käsmu), Op 25* 11:38

CD II: Violin sonatas

1–3 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sonata in F major for Violin and Piano, KV 376 19:14
4–8 Sergei Prokofiev Five Melodies for Violin and Piano, Op 35bis 12:15
9–12 César Franck Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano 28:51

CD III: Pieces for violin

1 Igor Stravinsky Supplication for the Firebird (from Firebird Suite No 1)* 5:03
2–9 Dmitri Shostakovich Preludes, Op 34 10:26
10 Niccolò Paganini - Karol Szymanowski Caprice No 21 2:46
11 Lepo Sumera Improvisation 4:15
12–13 Lepo Sumera 2 Pieces for Solo Violin 4:37
14 Benedykt Konowalski Music for Solo Violin and Percussion* 12:37
15 Karol Szymanowski The Fountain of Arethusa (from Myths), Op 30, No 1* 5:47
16–17 Karol Szymanowski Nocturne & Tarantella, Op 28* 9:52

MariTampereBezrodny455player CD I, #6, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Violin Concerto No 1, Mov III, fragm, 3 min 56 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
player CD III, #1, Stravinsky, Supplication for the Firebird, fragm, 3 min 14 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps

Performed by Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, violin (CD I–III), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (CD I), conductors Igor Bezrodny (CD I, #1), Jüri Alperten (CD I, #2–4) and Roman Matsov (CD I, #5–7), pianists Bruno Lukk (CD II), Riina Gerretz (CD III, #2–10) and Ivo Sillamaa (CD III, # 1, 11, 15–17); percussion quintet Rein Roos - Terje Terasmaa - Rein Tiido - Rein Saue - Andrus Vaht (CD III, #14)

Archive recordings 1974−1985
Recorded in Estonia Concert Hall
* Live recordings
Archive recordings licensed by Estonian Public Broadcasting
Restored by Marika Scheer
Mastered by Enno Mäemets / Editroom, Finland
Liner notes by Inna Kivi
Translations by Tiina Jokinen
Photos by Kaupo Kikkas and private archives
Produced by Peeter Vähi

© 2012 Estonian Record Productions, Tallinn
ERP 5512


Mari Tampere-Bezrodny

The current album sums up Mari Tampere-Bezrodny’s career as violinist which undoubtedly has been influenced and coloured by her long-time marriage and collaboration with one of the most outstanding violinist, conductor and teacher of the 20th century, Igor Bezrodny. His famous principle that all art including music has to be made with honest and noble aim, discarding all personal ambitions and materialistic considerations, has been duly followed by Mari Tampere-Bezrodny as an artist and teacher.
Coming from a family of many generations of musicians, the Mother Aime Tampere being an organist and her Grandmother Jenny Siimon a classical singer (mezzo-soprano) as well as professor of Tallinn Conservatory, Mari had close encounters with music at a very early age. Her concert career took off already during the days of Tallinn Music High School when, among other performances, she was participating in a solo concert of her Grandmother at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory. After graduating from Ivi Tivik’s class at the Music High School, she was recommended by a renowned Russian composer Nikolai Rakov to continue her studies as a student of Igor Bezrodny at the Moscow Conservatory during the years 1970–1977.
“Those were wonderful times, totally different from the present. We were sitting days long in Bezrodny’s class listening to his lessons before and after our own performances”, reminisces Mari Tampere. “We were all very different. As a former student of Abram Yampolsky, Bezrodny followed his great teacher's example – groomed and developed each and everybody’s distinctive qualities. His class in Moscow at that time was the most international one and it was not a conveyor belt for producing competition winners.” Despite that, Mari Tampere won the Estonian String Competition in 1975.
The Moscow-years laid foundation to Mari Tampere’s future life and career as violinist. After graduation, in 1977, she started working as senior lecturer at the present-day Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre where since 1996, she holds the post of Professor. In 1978, she married Igor Bezrodny and for many years she was not only his wife but also his closest colleague and assistant. Together they taught and trained young violinists at Sibelius Academy as well as in Moscow Conservatory and among others gave a strong start to the violinist career of their daughter Anna-Liisa Bezrodny. They have always been adhering to the principle that a talented student needs individual approach and a talented teacher. They made their permanent home in a small town of Espoo, 15 kilometres from Helsinki.
“There are many great experts on violin playing but much less great musicians. I have had the luck to know and work with several of them”, says Mari Tampere-Bezrodny.
Mari Tampere-Bezrodny has performed in more than 30 countries as soloist, alone or with renowned orchestras under the baton of Igor Bezrodny, Eri Klas, Juozas Domarkas, Mstislav Rostropovich, Peeter Lilje, Roman Matsov, Leonid Grin et al. as well as participated in numerous festivals together with musicians like Liana Issakadze, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Erkki Rautio et al. Her long-time stage partners have been pianists Bruno Lukk, Ivari Ilja, Risto Lauriala, Aleksandra Juozapénaité-Eesmaa, Riina Gerretz and cellist Peeter Paemurru.

MariTampereBrunoLukk IgorBezrodnyMariTampere350

Her collaboration with Bruno Lukk, one of the most outstanding Estonian pianists and the founder of the Estonian piano school, lasted more than 10 years. Not everyone has been lucky to work and perform with the Grand Old Man of Estonian piano music.
Our concepts co-incided without any preliminary discussion and agreement. We practically did not speak, the whole work was done while playing and our mutual understanding grew in music. This process in itself was proof of the perceptible but wordless essence of music, reminisces Mari Tampere-Bezrodny.
In the course of long years, she has palyed chamber music in various ensembles ranging from duos to chamber orchestra. Besides the violin, Mari Tampere-Bezrodny plays also the piano and the harpsichord. A couple of times I have had to play percussions as well, she reminisces about her eventful life beside her conductor-husband. The profound knowledge about chamber music and interpretation gathered through all the years makes her a superb artistic director and conductor of chamber orchestra. Recently, Mari Tampere-Bezrodny has been closely collaborating with Tallinn Chamber Music Festival being the conductor of the chamber orchestra of the Estonian Academy of Music. She has also worked with youth symphony and chamber orchestras in Spain.
Mari Tampere-Bezrodny has premiered a number of works by Estonian and Russian composers (Jaan Rääts, Nikolai Rakov, Lepo Sumera, René Eespere et al.) in and outside Estonia. In addition, she has several Estonian premières to her credit like Szymanowski’s 1st, Schumann’s and Mendelssohn’s violin concertos, Mozart’s Concertone (together with Igor Bezrodny) and Triple Concerto (together with cellist Valentin Feigin and violist Fyodor Druzhinin) as well as works by Polish and Norwegian composers. She has recorded music for Estonian and Russian Radios.
For more than 30 years she has been conducting master classes in different countries like Spain, the UK, Israel, Italy, the USA, the Scandinavian countries, France, China, Japan et al. and been appointed member of jury at a great number of international competitions.
Currently, Mari Tampere-Bezrodny teaches violin at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as well as at Sibelius Academy. Over 120 violinists have taken extensive courses under her supervision, many of them becoming winners of international competitions and later working as concert masters or violinists in the world's renowned orchestras. Several of them have started their own teaching careers.


Download: Mari Tampere-Bezrodny (photo by Kaupo Kikkas, colour, jpg, 300 dpi, RGB, 3 MB); Mari Tampere-Bezrodny (photo by Kaupo Kikkas, black-and-white, jpg, 300 dpi, 3.6 MB)

Worldwide distribution by Europe RCD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.russiancdshop.com, phone / fax +420 233313150
Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music

See also other violin recordings by ERP: Ad patrem meum, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol I, Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol II, Vivaldi per Pisendel, World Premiere Recordings, Vivaldi senza basso, Vivaldi opera quinta, Works for Solo Violin. Sigrid Kuulmann



Vardo Rumessen, piano

Dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Alexander Scriabin. 4-CD-set. Release: Apr 2012.

So much do I love my star that if I shall no longer look at it, if it will not shine upon my life, and if I shall not strive towards it, then thought will die, and everything along with it. Better I should disappear within a wild outburst, but for thought to remain and triumph.

Alexander Scriabin

Listening to this music I hear distinct connections with the scientific properties connected to this world. Light, darkness, heat, frost, oceanic rhythms and their pulsating effects, together with their yearning – in unison they create a vacillating effect of our natural earthly elements of fire and air.

Boris Assafiev



1−20 20 Poems (from Op 32, 44, 45, 51, 59, 61, 63, 69, 71, and 72) 55:55


1−15 15 Pieces for Piano (from Op 9, 47, 49, 51, 52, 56, 57, 58, and 73) 34:01
16−27 12 Etudes (from Op 2, 8, 42, and 65) 36:54


1−17 17 Preludes (from Op 11, 15, 16, 22, 31, 33, 37, 45, 49, 49, 68, and 74) 33:48
18−21 Sonata No 3, Op 23 18:18
22−23 Sonata No 4, Op 30 7:41
24 Sonata No 5, Op 52 11:05


1 Sonata No 6, Op 62 12:16
2 Sonata No 7, Op 64 12:31
3 Sonata No 8, Op 66 12:14
4 Sonata No 9, Op 68 7:42
5 Sonata No 10, Op 70 11:12

player CD I #1, Poem Op 32-1, fragm, 2 min 45 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
player CD I #20, Poem Vers la Flamme, Op 72, 5 min 34 sec, mp3, 224 Kbps
player CD IV #2, Sonata No 7, fragm, 3 min 32 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps

Recorded 1972−2011 in Estonia Concert Hall, Royal Swedish Academy of Music, Estonian Radio and House of Blackheads, Tallinn
Instruments: Steinway & Sons, Blüthner
Engineered by Tanel Klesment, Lepo Sumera, Priit Kuulberg, Aili Jõeleht
Mastered by Tanel Klesment
Liner notes by Vardo Rumessen
Translations by Kristopher Rikken
Liner notes edited by Virve Normet
Design by Tiina Sildre
Produced by Peeter Vähi

Special thanks to Estonian Public Broadcasting and Mr Margus Allikmaa

© 2012 Estonian Record Productions, Estonian Classics
ERP 5712

The Mystical Alexander Scriabin

Thinking of Scriabin, we cannot shake the feeling that he was a musical prophet of his age, that his work illuminated with a “powerful radiance” (Puissant radieux, Sonata No 10) the many decades to come, embodying the ideals and strivings characteristic of his own era. Scriabin tried to make the world better through his music. As a composer, it would not be excessive to regard him as a bearer of light, an enlightener, who, like the mythical hero Prometheus gave people fire and confidence in their own power.
As a composer, Scriabin in the early 20th century was one of the greatest innovators, or “modernists”, as they were called. But the novelty of his music, which was fodder for many arguments in its day, was not expressed solely in its harmony or the extraordinary nature of the musical themes. The profoundly personal nature of his work lies in the singularity of his persona. He strove to distil philosophical ideas and intuitive concepts related to the human spirit into sound. Moreover, Scriabin was actually the first composer who aspired into the expanses of the cosmos, seeing it above all as God’s miraculous creation. Fascinated by philosophical problems, he was increasingly inclined toward mysticism in the twilight of his life. His artistic philosophy was based on the principle that art is an act of creation through which people can become transubstantiated, passing from the material world into the spiritual one. An artist’s act of creation could thus be an escape, a surmounting of the material barrier surrounding us all. It could be said that all of Scriabin’s works serve that purpose; he saw it as an instrument of his transcendentalist philosophy.
The novelty and uniqueness of Scriabin’s music caused great elation in his own lifetime but also met with strong opposition. Nevertheless, his extraordinarily bold musical ideas had an impact on the development of music in general. Echoes of his work can be found in Estonian music as well. When Mart Saar studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory, he attended a Scriabin concert in 1909 and developed a lifelong affection for his work. Sheet music and books by Scriabin in Saar’s home library attest to this. Scriabin’s music also inspired Heino Eller, whose works have direct commonalities with Scriabin’s music. Both Saar and Eller dedicated a prelude to Scriabin’s memory. Scriabin’s music had a major impact on Eduard Tubin, which we can recognize in his earlier preludes and the Piano Sonata No 1.
Like Sergei Rachmaninov, his classmate Alexander Scriabin graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in two specialities – as pianist and composer. Scriabin began his piano studies very early in his life and became a noteworthy pianist of his era, often performing his works in Russia and abroad. His piano playing was characterized by great personal character and lyricism. His playing was not especially powerful but was outstanding for its subtle use of tone and flexibility of phrasing. Scriabin created his own interpretational style that was just as singular as his compositions. The playing style developed over a longer period of time in connection with stylistic changes in his work. To play Scriabin, a performer must have a great dedication, poetic sensibility, expressiveness, and special attention to the sound of the piano. The best performers of Scriabin, such as Vladimir Sofronitsky, Heinrich Neuhaus Vladimir Horowitz, and nowadays Igor Nikonovich, possess these traits. Scriabin’s student Maria Nemenova-Lunts has recalled that Scriabin paid great attention to the sound of the piano (“it had to be extracted like precious ore from within the earth”) and various pedal shadings (fluttering pedal, “pedal mist”). Scriabin said: “The keys of the piano must be stroked not pushed.” Konstantin Igumnov recalls: “He had a superb, somehow extraordinarily soft and vibrant piano sound, a light touch, extraordinarily flexible phrasing. He employed a superb use of the pedal and I concur with the view that while Scriabin is playing, one should look at his feet no less than his hands.” Scriabin often told his students: “Air, more air!” When performing his work, he re-created them each time. In his own words, music is permanently changing – it lives and breathes of its own accord, it is one thing today, something else tomorrow, like the sea. “If you listen to Scriabin's performances on the Welte-Mignon records from 1910, you hear his taut, tense demeanour, the improvisational characteristics, extreme rhythmic freedom and passionately far-flung expressivity. His playing could at times be superlative, sometimes uncertain of itself, but mostly it was physically anaemic and lacked the lustre and power that would have filled large halls. He did not court external virtuosity, a hallmark of many pianists. Scriabin’s playing was intimate and improvisational, it was as if he was playing for himself, expressing his most secret thoughts and feelings. His style of expression was very personal and nuance-filled, characterized by soulfulness and “technique of the nerves”.
These personal and interpretive properties also influenced his piano playing, where he continued developing the traditions of Chopin and Liszt. His piano works are characterized by imagination and perfect harmony between the piano and the artistic themes. Like the piano works of Chopin and Rachmaninov, they are unprecedented, unique achievements in the history of the world’s piano music. His piano works are mainly miniatures typified by lyricism, contrast between alternately gossamer and passionately compelling themes, subtle nuance and suppleness of phrases, an ethereal or fantastic quality, erotic imagery and colourful harmonies. Scriabin is said to have played them at home, eyes closed. Among his piano works, the poems are notable for their novel use of form. Scriabin was the first composer to use the genre of “poem” in his piano works, giving it special expressiveness and distinctiveness. Of these, the poem Vers la Flamme is extremely distinctive and captivating, growing like a flame from embers into a crackling conflagration and representing something completely new in the world’s piano literature.
His ten piano sonatas are central to his oeuvre, and show most clearly the stylistic development of his music (some other piano works are written in sonata form, such as the Poeme-Nocturne, the poem Vers la Flamme). His last sonatas exhibit a Lisztian one-movement structure and are noteworthy for their harmonic colour and formal integrity. Several sonatas appear to have been composed as if in one breath. For instance, his most-often-played work is Sonata No 5, which was composed immediately after Poème de l’extase, composed in six days! Sonata No 4 is worthy of note due to its particular formal integrity. Scriabin himself had a special regard for his Sonata No 7, which opens up the cosmic world for us (the sonata was held in particularly high regard by Igor Stravinsky). The chord that resounds across all registers at the culmination of the sonata is noteworthy, as it is reminiscent of a sudden cosmic eruption or distant supernova. On the other hand, in Sonata No 9 we perceive a Satanic struggle and triumph of dark forces, which destroy all that is beautiful.  Sonata No. 10 is special due to its new aural atmosphere; it glitters and sparkles in the radiance of unworldly qualities. Scriabin wrote about it: “Here there is a blinding light, as if the Sun had approached with the momentary breathlessness felt in moments of ecstasy.“
Scriabin wrote programmatic texts for a number of his compositions. Although he did not deem it necessary to print them, they provide a telling image of his creative strivings and intellectual world.  Scriabin’s creative ambitions are very characteristically expressed in Sonata No 4. The first movement is like a mysterious reverie for which the Will is prepared to overcome all obstacles on its path, rushing onward to join in its distant goal in an ecstatic state of intoxication. The sonata’s programmatic nature is revealed to us in the description, which articulates artistic and symbolic aspirations and goals. Even though it cannot be seen as a direct programme, and was written after the sonata, the composer’s idea is nevertheless expressed – it is a flight toward a “distant light-blue star” (Heinrich Neuhaus). As a result, the structure of the work is extremely integral. The main theme in the sonata’s first movement, which is heard at first as a distant vision, tender and transparent, is transformed at the end of the second movement into passionate inebriation.
Very important in Scriabin’s life and work was his relationship with his second wife Tatiana Schloetzer, his composition student. Her brother was well-known philosopher Boris Schloetzer, who held Scriabin’s work in high esteem and wrote the following about Scriabin in his book: “The central idea behind Scriabin’s work is the idea of ecstasy. Scriabin strove toward it as a person, as an artist, as a thinker. He lived his life always having a premonition of ecstasy and his actions were all aimed at creating a global ecstasy that was to uplift all of humanity into such a state.”
Interested in philosophy from his early years, Scriabin took major interest in Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sergei Trubetskoi, Vladimir Solovyov and other philosophers’ works.  Scriabin was also interested in theosophy. His home library holds volumes of works by renowned theosophist Yelena Blavatskaya with annotations by Scriabin. Scriabin was also a member of the theosophical society. It is interesting to note that upon moving to Geneva in 1904, he visited a philosophy congress that took place there.
The evolution of Scriabin’s work and the explosive development of his idiom as a composer were direct fruits of his powerful will. His music was extremely innovative and personal, and his philosophical world was manifested in it. Scriabin’s work was an aspiration toward sensibility for the totality of the universe. Understanding this requires a sensibility and acknowledgement of the perfection and divine beauty of music as a supreme manifestation of art.  The subjectivist music of Scriabin evolved out of his view of the world as an idealist. All of his creative ideation aspired toward artistic synthesis. In this vein, he wrote a number of lyrics for works, such as Poème de l'extase and L'acte préalable. The centrepiece of Scriabin’s oeuvre was Prometheus, where he used colour for the first time in music history. Scriabin had a special aptitude for associating sounds with specific colours (synesthesia), and he devoted a separate line in the score to it, marked Luce. It could be said that Prometheus was an epochal work in world music, in which the composer used a completely new harmonic system of his own devising, based on 6 tones (C, F-sharp, B-flat, E, A, D). This opened a new period in the composer’s work, which included his last sonatas (Nos 6–10). Scriabin’s objective in this work was to express divine power by loosing creative force and giving it a cosmic dimension. Prometheus was a symbol for him: “It is cosmic, active energy, a creative principle, it is fire, light, life, struggle, effort, thought.”
Scriabin considered his planned masterwork, Mysterium, to be the final act in his creative career, but it remained unfinished due to his untimely death. Besides music, poetic text, plastic dance, architecture and other media would have figured significantly in this work. In his imagination, he saw these as uniting and leading the people of the world in a general ecstasy into a new, spiritual age. It would be a fallacy to see Scriabin’s work as purely consisting of musical harmonies, separately from his philosophical convictions and poetic world, as has often been done. To understand Scriabin’s work, his music’s supernatural, transcendental nature and actual meaning must be comprehended as well. In his musical aspirations, Scriabin is one of the most singular manifestations in the world’s cultural history and it is hard, if not impossible, to compare him to any other composer.

Vardo Rumessen

Vardo Rumessen (1942) graduated from Prof Bruno Lukk and Eugen Kelder’s piano faculty at Tallinn Conservatory in 1971. Today he is one of the best known performers and promoters of Estonian piano music. Rumessen, who has frequently performed abroad – in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, the USA, Turkey, and Australia.
Rumessen has recorded piano and chamber music by Rudolf Tobias, Mart Saar, Heino Eller, Eduard Oja and Eduard Tubin. Vardo Rumessen is recognized as a master performer of Eduard Tubin’s piano music. He recorded a set of 3 CDs with piano music by Eduard Tubin for the Swedish company BIS in 1988. Rumessen was a personal friend of Tubin and had the opportunity to discuss the composer’s intentions in depth. Eduard Tubin has to a high degree authorized Vardo Rumessen’s interpretations of his music. Rumessen performed the American première of Tubin’s Piano Concertino in 1993 with the Longview Symphony Orchestra. Rumessen has performed works by Beethoven, Franck, Tobias and Tubin for piano and orchestra with the Estonian and Göteborg Symphony Orchestras, conducted by the late Peeter Lilje and Neeme Järvi. He has also performed frequently in ensemble with numerous singers, violinists, cellists, string quartets and other musicians.
Although Rumessen has achieved his success mainly as a performer of Estonian classical music, he has performed a lot of music from other parts of the world. His largest undertakings have been such as the complete Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier I, Scriabin’s 10 sonatas, Chopin’s 27 etudes, Rachmaninov’s 15 études-tableaux, etc.
Rumessen is not only the foremost performer of Estonian piano music but also a musicologist with a vast knowledge of Estonian music. He has published a lot of Estonian music, by R Tobias, M Saar, E Oja and H Eller, which have naturally found a place in Rumessen’s repertoire as both soloist and ensemble player. Among other works he restored and published R Tobias’s oratorio Jonah’s Mission. In addition, Rumessen has written many articles and has served as an editor of several books about R Tobias, M Saar, A Kapp, E Oja, E Tubin and others.

Download: Vardo Rumessen in 2010, photo by P Vähi, colour, jpg, 300 dpi, 3.6 MB

Press resonance

Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music (phone +372 51 06058, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de) / Naxos Global Logistics.

See also other recordings of Vardo Rumessen by ERP: Koidust Kodumaise viisini, Wiegenlieder der Schmerzen, Sergei Rachmaninov. Piano Works, Eduard Tubin and His Time, Northern Lights Sonata, Estonian Preludes, The Well-Tempered Clavier I, Fryderyk Chopin. Melancholy, Silent Moods

New CD - PREZIOSO String Quartet. Erwin Schulhoff, Anton Webern, Jaan Rääts, Pēteris Vasks.

Read more: Prezioso

NORTH WIND, SOUTH WIND, Contre-le-vent-music from Estonia, Ensemble Resonabilis. Brand new CD!

Read more: North Wind, South Wind



Chamber music


Vaikivad meeleolud / Silent Moods (1930)
1 Lento, con moto 1:52
2 Lento assai 2:03
3 Andante 2:32
Sugestioonid / Suggestions (1929–31)
4 Yearning / Le Désir 3:07
5 Sighs / Les soupirs 1:42
6 Melancholy / Mélancholie 2:14
7 Shadows Of Hades. Death / Les Ombres de Toonela. La mort 1:54
Aeliita süit / Aelita’s Suite (1932)
8 Iidne laul /Ancient Song 3:43
9 Magri haud / Magri’s Grave 2:24
10 Magatsitlite tants / Magatsitles’ Dance 3:09
Ajatriloogia / Trilogy Of Time (1934)
11 Elu / Life 2:24
12 Igavik / Eternity 2:38
13 Tänapäev / The Present-Day 1:11
Kolm soololaulu / Three Songs
14 Ööpoeem / Night Poem (1933, lyrics by Anna Haava) 3:14
15 Ei näe enam / I Can’t See Anymore (1933, lyrics Juhan Liiv) 4:37
16 Sügisemaru / Autumn Storm (1934, lyrics by Marie Under) 2:16
17 Talveöine / In The Winter Night (1930, lyrics by Jaan Kärner) 5:27
18 Klaverikvintett / Piano Quintet (1935) 17:23

player Eduard Oja. Silent Moods. Lento, con moto, 1 min 47 sec, mp3
player Eduard Oja. Trilogy Of Time. Eternity, 2 min 30 sec, mp3

Performed by: Vardo Rumessen (piano), Teet Järvi (cello), Urmas Vulp (violin), Ivo Kuusk (tenor), Maaja Rumessen (soprano), Tallinn String Quartet
Recorded in Estonia Concert Hall, House of Blackheads, Estonian Composers’ Union, and Estonian Radio, 1984–2006
Engineered by Maido Maadik, Priit Kuulberg, Mati Brauer, Aili Jõeleht, and Enn Tomson
Mastered by Maido Maadik

Total time 64:38
2008 Estonian Classics
EC 001

Eduard Oja

ImagetextEduard Oja was born on Jan 17th, 1905 in Palupõhja, in the rural municipality of Vana-Põltsamaa in Viljandi county. The son of a forest warden, he studied at Tartu Teachers College from 1919–1924, after which he was employed as a schoolteacher of Tamsa primary school (1924–1925) followed by an position as a teacher in the town of Elva (1925–1930). He began studying music independently, and continued his studies in the violin at the Tartu Teachers College and the Tartu Higher School of Music. He and Eduard Tubin, another well-known Estonian composer, were enrolled concurrently at the Tartu Teachers Seminar. Tubin helped Oja prepare for entrance to the Tartu Higher School of Music, where Oja studied composition under Heino Eller from 1927–1932.

At the Teachers College, Oja entered musical life as concertmaster of the school’s string orchestra and a violin soloist. Here he made his first forays into composition. Later he served as choral director and music teacher in Pangodi, Elva and Tartu. From 1935–41, he taught music theory at the Tartu Higher School of Music. He also conducted the school’s student orchestra. Oja was simultaneously musical director for the Tartu Drama Theatre Studio and from 1934–1938, he was music critic for the daily newspaper Postimees, contributing numerous articles. In Tartu, Oja served as choral conductor, leading the Tartu Women’s Singing Society’s Women’s Choir from 1930–1934.

Eduard Oja’s work as a conductor is noteworthy for its rich imaginative power, variegated tone colour and invention. His most notable works (Poem of BeautySong of the Sea”, the Piano Quintet, solo songs) display the composer’s extraordinary musical talent and singular expressive style, frequently featuring tragic motifs of great poignancy. Unfortunately, his extraordinary musical talent would never be fully consummated, although he did compose a number of works that according to Eduard Tubin placed him squarely “in the circle of geniuses”.

The central work in Oja’s oeuvre is the opera Oath Redeemed (“Lunastatud vanne”), which captured first place at a competition of works for the stage organized by the Estonia Theatre in 1940. Unfortunately the composer destroyed the score after many revisions. Also occupying an important spot in Oja’s creative work is a cantata for male choir, solo voice and orchestra The Return Home (“Kojuminek”) on the lyrics by Marie Under. The 1943 and 1944 performances of the cantata were greatly acclaimed. As with the opera, unfortunately, the score for this work, too, is not extant, destroyed in the fire at the Estonia Theatre in 1944 following the aerial bombing of Soviet troops.

Vardo Rumessen

Vardo RumessenVardo Rumessen (b 1942) graduated from Prof Bruno Lukk and Eugen Kelder’s piano class at Estonian Academy of Music in 1971. Today he is one of the best known performers and promoters of Estonian piano music. Rumessen, who has frequently performed abroad – in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, the USA, Turkey, Australia, and Russia.

Vardo Rumessen has recorded most of piano and chamber music by Rudolf Tobias, Mart Saar, Heino Eller, Eduard Oja and Eduard Tubin. He is recognized as a master performer of Eduard Tubin’s piano music. Rumessen was a personal friend of Tubin and had the opportunity to discuss the composer’s intentions in depth. Eduard Tubin has to a high degree authorized Vardo Rumessen’s interpretations of his music. Rumessen performed the American première of Tubin’s Piano Concertino in 1993 with the Longview Symphony Orchestra. Also, Rumessen is the founder and artistic director of the festival Eduard Tubin ja tema aeg (‘Eduard Tubin and His Time’) organized by Eesti Kontsert, the National Concert Institute of Estonia since 2001. He is also the chairman of the board of International Eduard Tubin Society.

Rumessen has performed works by Beethoven, Franck, Tobias and Tubin for piano and orchestra with the Estonian and Göteborg symphony orchestras, conducted by the late Peeter Lilje and Neeme Järvi. He has also performed frequently in ensemble with numerous singers, violinists, cellists, string quartets and other musicians.

Although Rumessen has achieved his success mainly as a performer of Estonian classical music, he has performed a lot of music from other parts of the world. His largest undertakings have been such as the complete Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier I, Scriabin’s 10 sonatas, Chopin’s 27 etudes, Rachmaninoff’s 15 etudes-tableaux, etc.

Rumessen is not only the foremost performer of Estonian piano music but also a musicologist with a vast knowledge of Estonian music. He has published a lot of Estonian music, by R Tobias, M Saar, E Oja and H Eller, which have naturally found a place in Rumessen’s repertoire as both soloist and ensemble player. Among other works he restored and published R Tobias’ oratorio Jonah’s Mission. In addition, Rumessen has written many articles and has served as an editor of several books about Rudolf Tobias, Mart Saar, Artur Kapp, Eduard Oja, Eduard Tubin and others.

Recordings of Vardo Rumessen on ERP: Melancholy, Northern Lights Sonata, Estonian Preludes, Eduard Tubin And His Time, Koidust Kodumaise viisini, Well-Tempered Clavier I, Sergei Rahmaninov. Piano Works


Other performers

Teet Järvi is a graduate of the Tallinn Secondary School of Music, where he studied under Laine Leichter, followed by the Estonian Academy of Music, as a student of Prof Peeter Paemurru. He went on to study in Moscow with Natalia Shakhovskaya, Mikhail Homitser and Ivan Monighetti. In 1974, Järvi won 1st prize in a young cellists competition in Czechoslovakia. He also won the national (1981) and Baltic (1976) competitions. From 1982–90 Järvi was concertmaster for the cello section of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He has often performed as a soloist with orchestra, played as a member of the Tallinn String Quartet and the Baltic Trio in many European countries and the USA, and performed as a solo cellist. Since 1993 Järvi has been employed in Finland, where he performs with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the string quartet FinEst, and teaches cello at the Lahti Higher School of Music.

Urmas Vulp graduated from the Tallinn Secondary School of Music in 1972, where he studied piano under Ivi Tivik. In 1978 he graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a violinist studying with Prof Vladimir Alumäe. He studied under Prof Yevgenia Tschugayeva at the Moscow Conservatory, which he graduated in 1981. That same year, Vulp won 2nd prize at a national strings competition. Since 1981, Urmas Vulp has been violin teacher at the Estonian Academy of Music. His initiative led to the founding, in 1984, of the Tallinn String Quartet, in which he plays first violin. He has performed, both with quartets and as a soloist in many countries.

The Tallinn String Quartet was founded on the initiative of Urmas Vulp in 1984. Along with performances abroad, the quartet has performed numerous concerts in venues around Estonia and taken part in local music festivals. In the 1996–97 season, the quartet played a 5-part series entitled devoted to the 250th anniversary of the string quartets, providing a cross-section of the genre through different eras. The Tallinn String Quartet’s extensive repertoire places a special emphasis on Estonian composers. The quartet has recorded 4 CDs, including 2 ones for the Swedish label BIS; their Tobias string quartets recording has won international acclaim.

Maaja Rumessen (soprano) is a 1972 graduate of the Estonian Academy of Music, where she studied under Linda Saul. She has sung in the Estonian National Opera’s opera choir since 1972 and has appeared as a soloist. As a chamber singer, she has performed programmes featuring solo songs by many Estonian (Saar, Tubin, Oja) and Latvian composers (Kalninš, Zalitis).

ImagetextIvo Kuusk graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in 1967 and went on to study at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow. Since 1978, he was a featured soloist of the Estonian National Opera. He has also been a chamber and oratorio singer. Since 1979, he has taught at the Estonian Academy of Music. His repertoire includes over 80 opera and operetta roles. He has performed in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, and Russia, among other countries.

French Baroque

Imbi Tarum, harpsichord

A nominee of Estonian State Culture Award 2007.


1 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer (1705–55) L’Incertaine 3:10
2 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer L’Aimable 3:29
3 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer  Le Vertigo 5:11
4 Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764) Les Soupirs 4:03
5 Jean-Philippe Rameau La Joyeuse   1:12
6 Jean-Philippe Rameau Les Tourbillons 2:17
7 Jean-Philippe Rameau Les Cyclopes 3:31
8 Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray (1699–1782) La Rameau  3:10
9 Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray La Sylva 5:15
10 Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray Jupiter  3:21
11 Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729) La Flamande 4:35
12 Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Courante    1:55
13 Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre  Chaconne 3:56
14 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer Allemande 4:08
15 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer La Sensible  3:06
16 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer  La Marche des Scythes    6:51

player Royer. L’Incertaine, fragm, mp3, 90 sec

ImagetextPerformed by Imbi Tarum
Instrument: 2-manual French harpsichord by Samuli Siponmaa after Blanchet
Recorded: 2006–07 in Keila New-Apostolic Church and Estonian Radio
Engineered by Aili Jõeleht
Edited and mastered by Marika Scheer
Artwork by Virge Jõekalda
Photos by Loit Jõekalda
Designed by Piret Mikk
Liner notes by Imbi Tarum
Translated by Tiina Jokinen
Produced by Peeter Vähi
Licensed: from Estonian Radio 
Manufactured by Sony DADC, Austria

Total time 59:42
ERP 1207

Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer (1705–1755)

  • born in Italy, lived in Paris from 1725 until his death
  • in 1734 was appointed music teacher of the children of Louis XV
  • since 1748 conducted Concert Spirituel
  • in 1753 was awarded the title of King’s Chamber Music Director and appointed to head the Royal Opera
  • stage works Pyrrhus, Zaide, Reine de Grenade, Le pouvoir de l'amour, Almasis and Myrtil et Zélies, popular in Versailles and Paris
  • the only collection of works for harpsichord was published in 1746, most of the compositions are based on his opera themes and are very dramatic

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764)

  • composer, organist, harpsichord player, theoretician
  • in 1722 settled down in Paris
  • theoretical work Traité de l’harmonie draws enormous attention for its novelty
  • in 1745 was appointed King’s Chamber Musician
  • in composition mostly drawn to opera but also chamber music
  • works for harpsichord leave an impression of operatic character, bold harmony and clear features
  • Les Soupirs, La Joyeuse, Les Tourbillons and Les Cyclopes originate from the collection Pièces de Clavecin, 1724

Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729)

  • one of the few known female composers of her time
  • since the age of five sang and played the harpsichord in the court of Louis XIV
  • in 1684 left the court to marry the organist of Ste Chapelle
  • in 1687 and 1707 collections Pièces de Clavecin containing mainly dances were published
  • in addition to traditional dances a prelude without measure (prèlude unmesuré) can occasionally start the suites
  • composed also chamber music, dedicated all her works to Louis XIV
  • also known as teacher, gave numerous concerts
  • La Flamande, Courante and Chaconne originate from the collection of 1707

Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forqueray (1699–1782)

  • son of the court’s viola da gamba player, fascinated the court already at the age of 5–6
  • father tried to keep him away from the court, even by sending him abroad for some time
  • in 1742 succeeded his father as a court musician
  • in 1747 published his father’s works for viola da gamba and basso continuo, arranged them for harpsichord
  • La Rameau, La Sylva and Jupiter are from the collection’s 5th Suite

Imagetext  Imagetext

Imbi Tarum

  • graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music, studied piano with Prof Bruno Lukk
  • postgraduate studies of harpsichord with Ton Koopman and Vaughan Schlepp
  • played the harpsichord in early music consort Hortus Musicus for 14 years
  • currently is playing in ensembles Tallinn Baroque and Corelli Consort, participates in the Baroque programs of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
  • has co-operated with soloists X Gao, E Hargis, E Parmentier, H van der Kamp, I Paul, L van Dael, H-R Hauck, J Puhakka, J Cortadellas, A Mattila, K Urb, U Joller, R Joost, K Plaas
  • teaches harpsichord and basso continuo at the Estonian Academy of Music, holds summer courses in Estonia and Finland
  • chairman of the Estonian Guild of Harpsichord Friends and artistic director of Harpsichord Days

Download: Photo of Imbi Tarum by Loit Jõekalda (jpg, 300 dpi, 1042 KB)

Press resonance:

This is a pleasant and encouraging CD to pick up since the artwork by Virge Jõekalda and the design by Piret Mikk are good and direct. In fact the production team have done a very good job. /.../ In summary this CD is a very good listen with more than usual significance. The playing is superb and the interpretation fascinating. (Peter G Howell, CD Spotlight, 11.11.07, UK, whole article)

Eksivad need, kes arvavad, et klavessiin on üks kuiv ja igavalt “plõnksuv” instrument. Sellesse plaati süvenedes peaks igaüks selles veenduma: Imbi Tarumi mängus on palju huvitavaid värve, peenekoelisi figuratsioone ja põnevalt kõlama pandud muusikalisi karaktereid. (Igor Garšnek, Sirp, 18.01.08, Estonia, whole article)

Pilli kandev, mahlane kõla, suur ulatus, registrivalik ja mängutehnilised võimalused sobivad väga hästi just ptantsuse kõrg- ja hilisbaroki muusika esitamiseks. Suurepäraselt kõlavad sellel klavessiinil Antoine Forguerary palad, kus pääseb täielikult mõjule sume ja laulev bassiregister. (Iren Lill, Muusika, 10/2007, Estonia)

Imagetext       Imagetext    Special thanks to Estonian Cultural Endowment

Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de) / Naxos Global Logistics
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See also other Baroque recordings released by ERPThe Well-Tempered Clavier I, Pure Handel, Joy and Sorrow Unmasked, World Premiere Recordings, Vivaldi per Pisendel, Vivaldi senza basso



Vardo Rumessen, piano

2010 marks the 325th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) and nearly 290 years since Bach completed his collection of preludes and fugues written in all 24 keys, with the title page bearing a calligraphic inscription in his own hand: “The Well-Tempered Clavier or Preludes and Fugues through all the tones and semitones including those with a major third or Ut Re Mi as well as those with a minor third or Re Mi Fa. For the needs and use of musical youth, as well as those already experienced in this study for the passing of time, composed and prepared by Johann Sebastian Bach at present Kapellmeister to His Serene Highness the Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, and director of His Chamber Music. Anno 1722.”



1–2 Präludim  und Fuge C-dur (a 4 voci) 2:10 + 2:13
3–4 Präludium und Fuge c-moll (a 3 voci) 1:53 + 1:52
5–6 Präludium und Fuge Cis-dur (a 3 voci) 1:21 + 2:14
7–8 Präludium und Fuge cis-moll (a 5 voci) 3:11 + 6:04
9–10 Präludium und Fuge D-dur (a 4 voci) 1:22 + 1:53
11–12 Präludium und Fuge d-moll (a 3 voci) 1:39 + 2:17
13–14 Präludium und Fuge Es-dur (a 3 voci) 4:25 + 1:47
15–16 Präludium und Fuge es-moll (a 3 voci) 5:30 + 6:54
17–18 Präludium und Fuge E-dur (a 3 voci) 1:24 + 1:17
19–20 Präludium und Fuge e-moll (a 2 voci) 2:19 + 1:17
21–22 Präludium und Fuge F-dur (a 3 voci) 1:03 + 1:17
23–24 Präludium und Fuge f-moll (a 4 voci) 2:46 + 6:15


1–2 Präludim  und Fuge Fis-dur (a 3 voci) 1:41 + 2:16
3–4 Präludium und Fuge fis-moll (a 4 voci) 1:02 + 4:52
5–6 Präludium und Fuge G-dur (a 3 voci) 0:52 + 2:46
7–8 Präludium und Fuge g-moll (a 4 voci) 1:58 + 2:50
9–10 Präludium und Fuge As-dur (a 4 voci) 1:17 + 2:57
11–12 Präludium und Fuge gis-moll (a 4 voci) 1:30 + 3:17
13–14 Präludium und Fuge A-dur (a 3 voci) 1:16 + 2:35
15–16 Präludium und Fuge a-moll (a 4 voci) 1:10 + 4:19
17–18 Präludium und Fuge B-dur (a 3 voci) 1:27 + 1:32
19–20 Präludium und Fuge b-moll (a 5 voci) 3:50 + 4:37
21–22 Präludium und Fuge H-dur (a 4 voci) 1:02 + 2:14
23–24 Präludium und Fuge h-moll (a 4 voci) 3:27 + 7:48

player Bach. Prelude and Fugue in C minor, fragm, 3 min 9 sec, mp3
player Bach. Prelude and Fugue in D major, fragm, 82 sec, mp3
player Bach. Prelude and Fugue in E minor, fragm, 2 min 27 sec, mp3

Instrument: Steinway & Sons D-274 tuned by Ants Saluraid
Recorded in Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn
Recorded in Jan 2009
Engineered by Maido Maadik / Estonian Broadcasting Corporation
Liner notes by Vardo Rumessen
Stereo, DDD

ERP 3610

Press resonance

The Well-Tempered Clavier
and the Renaissance of the Works of J S Bach

ImagetextAs the title indicates, Bach wrote The Well-Tempered Clavier in Köthen in 1722 and his didactic goal was completely clear − to introduce players to all 24 major and minor keys. It was a bold challenge to the traditions of the day, as the tuning systems of that era did not allow the use of many keys with multiple sharps or flats on one and the same instrument. Bach was the first to realize in practice a type of tempered tuning that remains the foundation of musical thought right to the present-day. It is true that, in theory, well temperament was already in existence. It was devised by the organist Andreas Werckmeister (1645−1706), and consisted of dividing the octave into 12 equal semitones. He provided the ground for his new system in his work Musikalische Temperatur (1691), which had seminal importance for Bach as well in the composing of the Well-Tempered Clavier. A number of Bach’s predecessors also attempted to apply well temperament. One who deserves mention is Bach’s contemporary Johann Kaspar Fischer (1656−1746), the composer of the 1702 collection Ariadne musica. It consisted of 20 short preludes and fugues (for the organ), but he omitted some keys with multiple sharps or flats such as D-flat major, B-flat minor, E-flat minor, F-sharp major, and G-flat minor. We know that Bach held Fischer’s collection in high regard and it presumably inspired Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. The idea to compose a collection based on well temperament was at that time so salient that in the same year as Bach, the Dresden composer and organist Friedrich Schuppig wrote the Labyrinthus musicus in all keys (1722). Two decades later, the composer Bernhard Christian Weber (1712−1758) wrote, on the example of Bach, a collection of preludes and fugues, which he also called The Well-Tempered Clavier. But the honour of the first fully-fledged artistic cycle undoubtedly belongs to Bach.
The Well-Tempered Clavier
consists of two parts, each of which has 24 preludes and fugues, even though they make up two completely independent cycles. In fact Bach did not even call Part II of the work The Well-Tempered Clavier; rather he entitled it New Preludes and Fugues. Compared to Part I, Part II does not appear to comprise such a magnificent and balanced whole as the first, which was clearly intended to be a integral cycle.
According to some sources, Part I of The Well-Tempered Clavier is said to have been composed by Bach during a very brief period − and moreover, in a location where there was no instrument at his disposal and where he felt a great tedium. This presumably applies to the cycle as a whole, as we know that already in 1720, Bach wrote the album Klavier-Büchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach for his 9-year-old son, which contains 11 preludes (albeit in a shorter form), and which Bach later used in Part I of The Well-Tempered Clavier. In affirming the equal status of all keys, Bach attempted to associate each key with a particular poetic idea, characterizing each key using only its own special qualities. For instance, we can find a bathetic C minor already in Bach’s collection − long before Beethoven. E-flat minor and B-flat minor enrapture us with their sublime sadness. D major is energetic and ambitious. And what an idyllic pastoral quality is espoused in E major or F-sharp major! For Bach, C major has central importance, it is both the wellspring and final destination. When we listen to the calm flowing grandeur of the prelude in C major, we imagine a grand portal leading us into a magnificent Gothic cathedral, astonishing us with its simplicity and transcendence, its massive foundation walls, high, intricate towers, and the intersecting arcs of the vaults in the naves.
The Well-Tempered Clavier
has influenced the paths of many generations of musicians. It has become the daily bread of any serious musician, a form of sustenance for the spirit and a portal into the secrets of the musical arts. For the 30-year-old Mozart, an auditory encounter with a Bach motet completely transformed his creative style. When we compare Mozart’s earlier works with his later ones, we see that polyphony and counterpoint start playing a greater role and that he explores musical figures in greater depth. And Mozart was only the beginning − composers from almost all of the later eras up to Max Reger were influenced by Bach. Ludwig van Beethoven became acquainted with the works of Bach in Bonn through his teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe (1748−1798). Already as a boy, he was familiar with Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, which he considered his musical Bible and of which he said: “It should be called not a stream but a sea.” Yet Bach’s works remained unknown for a long time after his death, as many had not been in print and were unavailable. Only a few copies of his works were circulated. One of the few works of which a large number of manuscript copies were made was The Well-Tempered Clavier. It is curious that Bach was known during his lifetime not so much as a composer but as an organist. This was an era during which Bach’s works did not enjoy wider renown or appreciation. The popular and renowned composers of the day were Handel, Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Adolph Hasse (1699−1783) – the latter being a vocalist and one of the most popular composers during his lifetime, writing about 80 operas in the Italian style. Bach’s successor as cantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Johann Adam Hiller (1728−1824), considered Hasse to be a far greater and more important composer than Bach. Hiller’s lexicon Lebensbeschreibungen berühmter Musikgelehrten und Tonkünstler neuerer Zeit (1784) contains only a few lines regarding Bach. Another widely known composer during Bach’s lifetime was Karl Heinrich Graun (1704−1759), the Kapellmeister of the Berlin Royal Opera and composer of 26 operas. In addition, Graun composed passions, of which the Der Tod Jesu (1755) is the best known and which was still being performed in the 19th century, then fell into obscurity. Another key composer, vocalist and music writer was Handel’s friend Johann Mattheson (1681−1764), who wrote 24 oratorios and eight operas, among them Cleopatra, the premiere of which was conducted by Handel (1704), with the role of Antonius sung by Mattheson himself. Of Mattheson’s numerous books on music, the most important is the lexicon Grundlage einer Ehren-pforte, which contained the biographies of 149 musicians. It was published in 1740,  ten years before Bach’s death, but mentions Bach only as an organist. Similarly, Ernst Ludwig Gerber (1746−1819) in his historical and biographical lexicon of composers (Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler, 1790−1792) limits himself to mentioning Bach only among the other members of the Bach family. As we can see from this, Bach’s importance during his lifetime was quite modest; he did not pen any operas, as did Handel, who was born in the same year as Bach and whose operas became very popular already during his own lifetime. A composer famous in the era, the director of the Berlin State Opera and a close friend of Goethe − Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752−1814) − considered Handel a greater composer than Bach but accused them both of relying on old forms. Yet things tend to be accorded their proper due over time, and many of the composers who were popular and acclaimed in their day have fallen into obscurity since their death, relinquishing their place to those truly deserving of it. This, too, is the case of Bach: during his lifetime he had a modest stature and was fairly little-known but later became regarded a seminal figure in musical history, who essentially laid the groundwork for everything that followed in Western musical culture.
A propos of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, there has been much discussion as to what instrument the collection was written for. In Bach’s lifetime, the clavichord was the most common keyboard instrument, known more in Germany; while the harpsichord (cembalo in Italian) was initially more common in Italy. The forerunner of the modern piano is considered to be Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori’s (1655−1731) arpicembalo, invented in 1700, which could play at both forte and piano dynamic levels. Although Bach did not know it, he encountered a piano built by a German, Gottfried Silbermann (1683−1753). Bach was very interested in Silbermann’s work but was not originally satisfied with its sound quality. In 1747, Bach tried a new Silbermann piano, which had been improved based on Cristofori’s instrument, and it was of great interest to Bach. A scholar of Bach’s piano works, Hermann Keller (1885−1967), was presumably correct in suggesting that Bach’s piano works were written for some idealized keyboard instrument that conformed to his hopes and expectations. As the German word Klavier was used at the time for many keyboard instruments, Bach’s keyboard works were apparently intended for different keyboard instruments − harpsichord, clavichord and organ. His Klavierübung I−IV was intended for several instruments, as was The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Bach’s favourite instrument was the clavichord, but it was not satisfactory to him due to its low volume. Bach did not bequeath any clavichords, but his estate did include several harpsichords. For Bach, the harpsichord remained one-dimensional in terms of its sound, while the aural world of his “piano” works required greater range of expression. We must concur with one of Bach’s first biographers, Philipp Spitta (1841−1894), who wrote that that had Bach lived longer, he would have undoubtedly become inspired by the piano, which offers the greatest possibilities for interpreting Bach’s works for piano.
Beginning in the 18th century, the prevalent view was that musical development was a continually progressive phenomenon and everything that is new was necessarily better than the old. Anyone who wanted to perform publicly as an interpreter had to play their own compositions. Only from the mid-19the century, when interpreters adopted a lower profile and felt it necessary to play the works of other composers alongside their own, did the legacy of the past begin to be appreciated.
At the end of the 18th century, the godlike origin of Bach’s fugues could not yet be discerned, nor the sublime nature of the emotions and ideas expressed in them. In Bach’s fugues, the entire work is encapsulated in the form of the theme, not in the development of the theme, and thus they were seen rather as dry dogma and theory − the art and artistry was not seen, but raImagetextther artifice. The music of the past was considered hopelessly outmoded. A more natural and simplified style was favoured. The polyphonic style, counterpoint developments and fugues seemed old-fashioned and tedious. For this reason, Bach’s sons and the well-known song composer Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758−1832) reworked his compositions to make them more accessible for wider audiences. Zelter, who was also a good friend of Goethe and Beethoven, went as far as to accuse Bach of making excessive concessions to French influences, saying: “Bach the elder, in all his originality, is a son of his country and his time, but could not avoid the French influence, especially that of François Couperin. His desire to be worthy of adoration had precisely the unintended consequences.” Zelter did later reconsider his position, but in any event, Bach’s sons did not understand the greatness of their father’s genius and were not able to appreciate it in the manner his work merited. The mores and values of the age had changed.
At the end of the 18th century, Johann Sebastian Bach had been all but forgotten and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714−1788) was now the illustrious family’s most famous composer; C P E Bach’s works in their “gallant, expressive style” were seen as a link between Baroque and Classical music. Works for piano played the central role in C P E Bach’s oeuvre and had great importance in the development of the styles of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Residing in Hamburg, where he worked as the director of music in several churches, he would have had an opportunity to perform Bach’s superb cantatas, but he was not interested in them. While writing prolifically for the piano, he completely neglected the music to the Well-Tempered Clavier that existed in his home. Bach’s oldest son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710−1784) and his youngest son Johann Christian Bach (1735−1782) also had wide renown as composers. Their creative tendencies as composers differed significantly from those of their brilliant father and were dictated by the musical values of the era and the tastes of the audiences. Music began to be seen as more of a recreational entertainment than a true art. Bach’s first biographer Forkel expressed this aspect astutely: “Our zeitgeist prefers all that is superficial and revels in only momentary values, unable to appreciate genuine greatness achieved through great travails and even struggle. /.../ What remains undisputable is that, if art is to remain art and not sink lower and lower to the level of an empty pastime, much more attention must be paid to studying the classic works of music.” This is a golden utterance, and it would be well if we heeded it today.
Bach’s works for the piano were not performed often in the 19th century; primarily organ transcriptions were played, in order to capture something of the organ’s acoustic power. This was what left the greatest impression on the public, and the tradition continued in the first half of the 20th century − not only in Western Europe but in Estonia as well. For instance, when Bruno Lukk performed six preludes and fugues by Bach at one of his solo concerts in 1938, some older German concert-goers were disgruntled: “Bach is good, but there was too much of it.” This attitude had a long-lasting influence on the development of music. Superficial effects and virtuosity were held in higher regard. Let us return to Forkel once more, who back in 1802 wrote: “Audiences desire all that is worldly, but a true artist must create in the name of grand ideals. How can genuine art be juxtaposed with the ovations of the masses?”
In the first years of the 19th century, Bach’s work began to experience a renaissance. His Well-Tempered Clavier appeared in print for the first time in 1799. The first overview of Bach’s life and work was published in 1802 by German music scholar Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749−1818), whose Über Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke remained the Ur-source for all later Bach scholars. Forkel boldly countered the general views, writing the following with regard to Bach: “This man − the greatest musical poet and greatest musical declaimer, the likes of whom will not be seen again − this man was a German. May our homeland feel pride over that fact, yet may she also be worthy of him.” Forkel’s biography was intended to prepare the way for Bach’s Collected Works. Unfortunately the idea did not find enough supporters and only a few Bach works appeared in print around 1800 in editions published by various printing houses.
The first scholar of the aesthetics of Bach’s music was Johann Friedrich Rochlitz (1770−1842), who in 1798 founded the musical journal Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. He was a personal acquaintance of many of the intellectual giants of that era, such as Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Schubert; and the musical world owes him the highest gratitude for reviving the work of Bach. He wrote about how he became engrossed in the Well-Tempered Clavier; annotating, initially in pencil, some of the preludes and fugues that appealed to him. Over time, there were more and more of them, until he had finally annotated all of them. Contrasting the adherent of Bach’s works to the rank-and-file music audience member who appreciates music only in terms of what is pleasant and “offers enjoyment”, Rochlitz stressed that the value of music depends not only on its composer but on the listener as well, referring to the listener’s capacity for understanding and evaluating music. Such an understanding is surely one that should be held in higher regard today as well.
Rochlitz was also the first person who dared place Bach higher than Handel, asserting that, in Bach, the voices are more independent and comprise an unbroken flow of sound. In his opinion, there was more pomp and majesty in Handel, but Bach was more profound and authentic. He wrote: “Bach’s time is yet to come.” Rochlitz was also the first to dream of publishing the Bach’s Collected Works and in 1800 wrote to readers in the abovementioned journal calling for the publication of Bach’s Collected Works. One of the first to lend his immediate support to the idea was Beethoven. The publishing house of Hofmeister & Kühnel (later Peters) started taking advance orders, but did not receive a sufficient number. Many believed there was no practical need for such an edition. Rochlitz was a fervent supporter of publishing the Collected Works and emphasized not the practical meaning but rather the necessity in the longer view, “for developments will sooner or later bring out the most important part of the works by outstanding masters”. Rochlitz’s words proved prophetic.
Others who became great devotees of Bach’s work included Goethe and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and their friend Carl Friedrich Zelter, who first exposed them to the works of Bach. Earlier, Zelter had considered Bach old-fashioned, but he now stated: “Bach is a truly great poet. The cantor from Leipzig is a divine incarnation, clear yet inexplicable.” Having become acquainted with the work of Bach, Goethe wrote: “The eternal harmony in Bach's work was in a dialog with himself and spoke of God before the world was created.” Zelter entrusted a performance of Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion to Mendelssohn, and it took place in Leipzig on March 11th, 1829, exactly one hundred years after the premiere. The choir consisted of 400 singers, and all of them performed without remuneration. This historic concert laid the foundation for the Bach renaissance.
After the resurrection of St Matthew’s Passion, it was proposed in 1830 to create a Bach Society, but this idea, too, did not initially find enough supporters. In 1843, Robert Schumann wrote an emotional article in the Neue Musikzeitung in which he once more called for the beginning of publication of Bach’s Collected Works. Only in 1850 was the Bach Society founded, dedicated to the goal of publishing the Collected Works. Moritz Hauptmann, cantor at Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church (1792−1868) was elected the society’s chairman. Schumann was a member of the society. That same year, the first volume of the Collected Works was published by Breitkopf & Härtel. Over the next 50 years, a total of 70 volumes were published, and the final one appeared in 1900, when none of the original initiators were still alive. Great difficulties emerged in publishing the Collected Works. Years of work were necessary to find all of the manuscripts and prepare them for publication. Many musicians had been involved in amassing the manuscripts. In 1841 the Berlin Royal Library bought a large number of Bach manuscripts and Joseph Hauser (1794−1879) compiled the first catalogue of the works of Bach (Sammlung von Werken Johann Sebastian Bachs), listing 672 titles. Philipp Spitta’s two-volume Bach monograph, published in 1873 by the Bach Society, also was a key work.
The publication of the first volumes of Bach’s Collected Works was undoubtedly a landmark event in music history. For instance, Johannes Brahms mentioned two important events in his life: the unification of Germany and the publication of Bach’s Collected Works. Brahms looked forward keenly to each new volume and studied them in depth, which had a significant influence on his own work. Unfortunately, the press did not take sufficient interest in this endeavour and Bach enthusiasts and Society members had a hard time finding enough orders.
The services of Franz Liszt in championing the work of Bach must also be credited. Liszt’s transcriptions of Bach’s organ works, such as the fugues in G minor and A minor, played a large role. At the initiative of Liszt, a Bach monument was opened in Eisenach in 1885. Other Romantic composers had a high esteem for Bach’s works. For instance, we can see Chopin’s first Etude in C Major op 10 as a direct continuation of Bach’s first prelude. Schumann expressed his enthusiasm in the following words: “The Well-Tempered Clavier is my personal grammar, being the best one. I analyzed independently all of the fugues down to the smallest nuances. The benefit has been immense, but what a moral influence it has on a person as a whole, for Bach was a human being through and through /.../ and he did nothing by halves. It’s as if he wrote for eternity.” To this the famous pianist and composer Hans von Bülow added: “If The Well-Tempered Clavier was like the Old Testament for us, Beethoven’s 32 sonatas are our New Testament.” The great Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein expressed the same idea: “The Well-Tempered Clavier is the Gospel for any thinking musician aspiring to lofty ideals.” Thus we can say that the work emanates an eternal spirit − tens of generations of musicians have grown up on it.
When we explore The Well-Tempered Clavier as a work of art, it seems that everything about the cycle is exceptional from the standpoint of the world’s music. It is not just an outstanding example of technical perfection in terms of composition, but an limitless source of intellectual depth and artistic maturity, an encyclopedia of polyphony that became the foundation for all that followed in music. In the 20th century, one of the leading experts on the work of Bach, the organist, theologian, philosopher, physician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer (1875−1965 has had a great impact on the understanding of Bach’s music. In his biography of the composer, Schweitzer wrote: “Nowhere so well as in The Well-Tempered Clavier are we made to realize that art was Bach's religion. Aesthetic elucidation of any kind must necessarily be superficial here. What so fascinates us in the work is not the form or the build of the piece, but the world-view that is mirrored in it.”

Vardo Rumessen

ImagetextVardo Rumessen (1942) graduated from Prof Bruno Lukk and Eugen Kelder’s piano faculty at Tallinn Conservatory in 1971. Today he is one of the best known performers and promoters of Estonian piano music. Rumessen, who has frequently performed abroad − in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, the USA, Turkey, and Australia.
Rumessen has recorded piano and chamber music by Rudolf Tobias, Mart Saar, Heino Eller, Eduard Oja and Eduard Tubin. Vardo Rumessen is recognized as a master performer of Eduard Tubin’s piano music. He recorded a set of 3 CDs with piano music by Eduard Tubin for the Swedish company BIS in 1988. Rumessen was a personal friend of Tubin and had the opportunity to discuss the composer’s intentions in depth. Eduard Tubin has to a high degree authorized Vardo Rumessen’s interpretations of his music. Rumessen performed the American première of Tubin’s Piano Concertino in 1993 with the Longview Symphony Orchestra. Rumessen has performed works by Beethoven, Franck, Tobias and Tubin for piano and orchestra with the Estonian and Göteborg Symphony Orchestras, conducted by the late Peeter Lilje and Neeme Järvi. He has also performed frequently in ensemble with numerous singers, violinists, cellists, string quartets and other musicians.
Although Rumessen has achieved his success mainly as a performer of Estonian classical music, he has performed a lot of music from other parts of the world. His largest undertakings have been such as the complete Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier I, Scriabin’s 10 sonatas, Chopin’s 27 etudes, Rachmaninoff’s 15 études-tableaux, etc.
Rumessen is not only the foremost performer of Estonian piano music but also a musicologist with a vast knowledge of Estonian music. He has published a lot of Estonian music, by R Tobias, M Saar, E Oja and H Eller, which have naturally found a place in Rumessen’s repertoire as both soloist and ensemble player. Among other works he restored and published R Tobias’s oratorio Jonah’s Mission. In addition, Rumessen has written many articles and has served as an editor of several books about R Tobias, M Saar, A Kapp, E Oja, E Tubin and others.

Press resonance about Rumessen:

Vardo Rumessen’s WTC Bk1 is not in a competition to be ‘the best’, and in many ways stands aloof from direct comparison with other recordings. In my opinion it is rather special, and not only for opening my ears to new perspectives in this Panglossian polyphonic masterpiece. (MusicWeb International, the UK)

The piano sound is very open and natural... Recommended with enthusiasm. (Fanfare, USA)

Vardo Rumessen does not fit under any ordinary pianistic standard. (Sirp ja Vasar, Estonia)

Undoubtedly Rumessen is unparalleled as a performer of Tubin... (Aftonbladet, Sweden)

Rumessen is a pianist of very considerable stature and Tubin is fortunate in having so commanding and sensitive an advocate. (Gramophone, UK)

Vardo Rumessen, himself an Estonian, is as Tubin seems to have acknowledged, a master of the music. (Hi-Fi News)

Rumessen’s visit was not only a great musical event; it was a reminder for us to keep alive in our minds the struggle for Iceland’s independence and culture. (Morgunbladid, Iceland)

A master pianist... one of the most notable interpreters of Tubin... (Länstidningen, Sweden)

It would hardly be possible to play the music any better... (Goteborgs-Posten, Sweden)

The world will largely depend upon Rumessen for interpretive insight into Eller’s work, as he is one of the best known advocates not only Eller, but of Estonian music in general. (The Morning Journal, USA)

He plays them here with extraordinary sensitivity and poetic freedom... (American Record Guide, USA)

Download: Vardo Rumessen in 2005, photo by P Vähi, jpg, 300 dpi, 1235 KB

Distribution by Easy-Living Music

See also other recordings of Vardo Rumessen by ERP: Koidust Kodumaise viisini, Eduard Tubin and His Time, Northern Lights Sonata, Estonian Preludes, Sergei Rahmaninov. Piano Works, Fryderyk Chopin. Melancholy, Silent Moods, Wiegenlieder der Schmerzen, The Call of the Stars

See also other Baroque recordings released by ERP: VertigoPure Handel, Joy and Sorrow Unmasked, World Premiere Recordings, Vivaldi per Pisendel, Vivaldi senza basso, Vivaldi opera quinta

 ImagetextARVO PÄRT


Heldur Harry Põlda – boy soprano
Arvo Pärt – piano

CD single + manuscript of the score. Dedicated to Benedictus PP XVI. Limited Edition − numbered and signed by the composer. Brand new! Presentation on August 23rd at 4 pm in Katariina Church, Tallinn.

1 Vater unser / Paternoster / Our Father / Meieisapalve 3:01



player Vater unser, fragm, 2 min 7 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Music by Arvo Pärt; lyrics: Matt 6:9−13
Dedicated to the Holy Father, Benedict XVI

Heldur Harry Põlda – boy soprano; Arvo Pärt – piano

Recorded in Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn on March 30th, 2011
Engineered by Tanel Klesment
Design by Mart Kivisild
Recording supervision by Peeter Vähi

Special thanks to Nora Pärt and Zoja Hertz

© 2011 Arvo Pärt, Estonian Record Productions
Score published by Universal Edition, Vienna
ERP 4711


Vater unser im Himmel, geheiligt werde Dein Name.
Dein Reich komme.
Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel so auf Erden.
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld, wie auch wir vergeben unseren Schuldigern.
Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung, sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.

In English:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Arvo Pärt

ImagetextArvo Pärt was born on Sep 11th, 1935. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in 1963.
The early 60s in Estonia saw many new methods of composition being brought into use and Pärt was at the fore front. His Nekrolog was the first Estonian composition to employ serial technique. He continued with serialism through to the mid 60s in the Symphony No 1, Symphony No 2 and Perpetuum Mobile, but ultimately tired of its rigours and moved on to experiment, in works such as Collage über BACH, with collage techniques.
Official judgement of Pärt’s music veered between extremes, with certain works being praised and others, like the Credo of 1968, being banned. This would prove to be the last of his collage pieces and after its composition, Pärt chose to enter the first of several periods of contemplative silence, also using the time to study French and Franco-Flemish choral music from the 14th to 16th centuries: Machaut, Ockeghem, Obrecht, Josquin. At the beginning of the 70s, he wrote a few transitional compositions in the spirit of early European polyphony, like his Symphony No 3.
Pärt turned again to self-imposed silence, but re-emerged in 1976 after a transformation so radical as to make his previous music almost unrecognizable as that of the same composer. The technique he invented, or discovered, and to which he has remained loyal, practically without exception, he calls tintinnabuli (‘little bells’), which he describes thus: “I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, two voices. I build with primitive materials − with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells and that is why I call it tintinnabulation.” The basic guiding principle behind tintinnabulation of composing two simultaneous voices as one line – one voice moving stepwise from and to a central pitch, first up then down, and the other sounding the notes of the triad − made its first public appearance in the short piano piece Für Alina.
Having found his voice, there was a subsequent rush of new works and three of the 1977 pieces − Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, and Tabula Rasa − are still amongst his most highly regarded. As Pärt’s music began to be performed in the west and he continued to struggle against Soviet officialdom, his frustration ultimately forced him, his wife Nora and their two sons, to emigrate in 1980. They never made it to their intended destination of Israel but, with the assistance of his publisher in the West, settled firstly in Vienna. One year later he moved to Berlin.
Pärt has concentrated on setting religious texts, which have proved popular with choirs and ensembles around the world. Among his champions in the West have been ECM Records who released the first recordings of Pärt’s music outside the Soviet bloc, Hilliard Ensemble who have premièred several of the vocal works, and Neeme Järvi who conducted the première of Credo in Tallinn in 1968, and has, as well as recording the tintinnabuli pieces, introduced Pärt’s earlier compositions through performances and recordings.
Pärt’s achievements were honoured in his 61st year by his election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In May 2003, he also received the Contemporary Music Award at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and in May 2011, again in Royal Albert Hall won the Classic BRIT Award Composer of the Year 2011.

ImagetextOn the current CD we hear the crystal clear voice of a boy soprano Heldur Harry Põlda, a violin and conducting student at the Tallinn Music College who has rocketed to stardom as a singer and performer of classical music. Born in Kuressaare, the boy began his career 6 years ago after the family moved to Tallinn. Besides violin studies with Prof Mari Tampere-Bezrodny and vocal studies with Zoja Hertz, Heldur Harry sings in the Estonian National Opera Boys’ Choir and performs regularly as a soloist with different musicians and orchestras. He made his stage debut at the age of 8. Now, 5 years later, his repertoire contains several musical and opera roles as well as soprano parts in various oratorial works. He has performed together with renowned opera singers in Estonia, Latvia, Spain and Germany. In 2008, Heldur Harry received the Estonian Culture Endowment Annual Award for his role of Miles in Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw, being the youngest ever laureate of the prize.

Dowload: Producer’s notes about the recording of Vater unser (in Estonian, pdf)

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Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music and International Arvo Pärt Centre, in Czech Republic and Russia by Europe RCD
Sheet music of Vater unser with attached CD by ERP available on Universal Edition, Vienna

Other recordings of Arvo Pärt by ERP: Early Music of 3rd MillenniumContra aut pro?, Pilgrim’s Song, 100 Years of Estonian Symphony, Ellerhein
Other recordings of Heldur Harry Põlda by ERP: Cantus angelicus, Terra Mariana


Eduard Tubin. Music for strings. Concertino for piano and orchestra. Concerto for flute and string orchestra. Produced by ERP for Warner Classics.


player Flute Concerto, performed by Maarika Järvi,  movement II, fragm, 52 sec, mp3

ImagetextThe music by Eduard Tubin is extremely rich in variation, being among the most outstanding achievement in Estonian music. Though Tubin became a renowned master already in Estonia, his specific style got its final finesse during the years of exile in Sweden. The most precious part of his work is the 10 symphonies but besides that he has composed instrumental concertos, stage and chamber music, choir and solo songs. Eduard Tubin died in Stockholm, 1982.
Tubin came first in contact with music in his father’s house in Naelavere where after the death of his elder brother Johannes in 1912 Eduard inherited a piccolo flute. Thus, while shepherding the family’s cows Tubin started learning to play the flute. Later he graduated from Tartu Higher Music School as composer under the supervision by Heino Eller.
Memories of the shepherd days and Estonian folk tunes that had inspired Tubin earlier kept attracting him also during his exile. Though flute for Tubin was closely connected to his memories of shepherd time, before 1970 he had not composed anything specifically for that instrument. On the commission by the Estonian flutist Samuel Saulus Tubin started composing a flute concerto of which only some drafts have been found. Only in 1979 the composer wrote a Sonata for flute and cello. The premiere performance of the Flute Sonata was held at the ESTO Festival in the Great Hall of Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm, 1980. In 1995 it was orchestrated by an American composer Charles Coleman. The Flute Sonata remained the last work by Tubin. Here the clarity and simplicity characteristic of the composer’s last creative period are expressed at their best. The Sonata consists of three parts with the main point of gravity at the end of the piece where the composer’s mental enlightenment can be viewed through the retrospect on the passage of his life.

Other recordings of Tubin by ERP: 100 Years Of Estonian SymphonyKratt, Musica triste, Estonian Preludes, Eduard Tubin and His Time, Northern Lights Sonata, Works for Violin and Piano Vol 1, Works for Violin and Piano Vol 2


An exciting dialogue between music and surrealistic art. “... produced a language reminiscent of European minimalism, unusually gentle in contour.” (Gramophone, 5/1995)


1–3 To His Highness Salvador D 11:08
4 Mystical Uniting 8:36
5 Digital Love 8:30
6–8 Concerto Piccolo 13:13
9–12 Four Engravings of Reval 8:46

Performed by:
Camerata Tallinn: Jaan Õun − flute, Ulrika Kristjan − violin, Heiki Mätlik − guitar (#1−5), Early Music Consort Hortus Musicus (#6−12), Ivo Sillamaa − harpsichord (#6−8), Andres Mustonen − conductor (#6−8)

Imagetext   Imagetext

Music composed by Peeter Vähi  
Recorded at the Tallinn City Hall (Matrix Audio Studio) and Estonia Concert Hall in 1993 and 1996
Engineered by Priit Kuulberg & Jüri Tamm

Cover artwork: “Geopoliticus Child” by Salvador Dalí
Liner notes translated by Christian Hinzelin and ASAP Milano

Andres Mustonen’s (b 1953) discovery of music has followed a very unusual path. His adolescent fascination with contemporary music made an about-face in the early 1970s towards early and Christian music. In 1972 it led to founding the early music consort Hortus Musicus, which gives vital performances even today. Since the founding of the ensemble, Hortus Musicus and Andres Mustonen have been performing constantly on the world’s concert stages and at music festivals: the Utrecht Festival, the Malmö Baroque, concerts in Prague, St Petersburg and Moscow, performances at the Mozart-Fest in Chemnitz, the Jaffa Festival in Israel, the Lufthansa Baroque Festival in London, the Scottish Early Music Festival in Glasgow, the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Glasperlenspiel Festival.
In these years Andres Mustonen and Hortus Musicus have succeeded in storing their work on 25 records.
Andres Mustonen is partly a solo violinist, but  mostly a conductor, whereas the latter post has been developed via a career of a performing artist and musician. Mustonen conducts the leading orchestras of Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania, the Great Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, the Russian National Academic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musica Viva Academic Chamber Orchestra,  the Bayerische Rundfunken, the Helsinki City Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, etc. During many years, Andres Mustonen has worked together with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tallinn Sinfonietta and with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
Mustonen has gone through and performed the music history both as a performer and a conductor. He transfers his musical experience of history to performances of classical, romantic and new music. This is but not the new music that infatuated young Mustonen in the early 1960s, when his interest lay in the avant-garde and the happening. It is the harmonic new music created by გია ყანჩელი (Giya Kancheli), Philip Glass, 武満 徹 (Takemitsu Tōru), Владимир Мартынов (Vladimir Martynov), Ավետ Տերտերյան (Avet Terterian), and Валентин Сильвестров (Valentin Silvestrov). Several composers have dedicated their work to him. Mustonen is in close creative contact with many Estonian composers − Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peeter Vähi, Arvo Pärt, and Galina Grigorieva − also giving premières of their new works.
Making music, Mustonen can be characterised by spontaneity, improvisation and radiant performance. “For me an orchestra is not a static form but a living organisation of musicians, one whose members enhance and affect each other.”
Mustonen’s repertoire includes pieces of early music as well as of new music, which he often premières. He places a special significance on religious oratoric masterpieces from Baroque to the modern day: Bach, Mozart, Bruckner, Penderecki, Tavener, Knaifel.
In time, Andres Mustonen has developed a wide circle of musician friends with whom he makes music: Natalia Gutman, Aleksei Ljubimov, Michel Lethiec, Inesa Galante, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Ramon Jaffe, Francois Leleux, Marcel Peres, Yoshiko Arai, Pascal Gallois, Seppo Kimanen, Vasili Pantir. “I never share the stage with someone I don’t know, don’t consider my friend, or don’t love.”

Published by Edition 49, Germany (# 1−5) and Eres Edition, Germany (# 9−12)

Antes Edition / Classics
1997 Bella Musica Audio-VideoProduction
BM CD 31.9086

Photos: P Vähi, edited by Kikxsuk

player To His Highness Salvador D, mov I, fragm, 133 sec, mp3
player Mystical Uniting, fragm, 162 sec, mp3
player Concerto piccolo, fragm, 2 min 26 sec, mp3

Rating at LogoDiscogs− the biggest database of audio recording: 5 / 5

Press resonance

Distribution in Estonia by Edition 49, phone +372 50 82223, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Distribution in Europe by Edition 49, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
International distribution by Amazon

See other records of Peeter Vähi: Maria Magdalena, A Chant of Bamboo, Supreme Silence2000 Years after the Birth of Christ, Tamula Fire Collage, The Path to the Heart of Asia, Handbell Symphony, Sounds of the Silver Moon

Other recordings of Hortus Musicus: Early Music of 3rd Millennium, Gregorianische Choräle – Plainchants, Maypole, 1200-1600 Medieval-Renaissance, Vuestros Amores He Señora, Telemann. Quartets, 2000 Years After The Birth Of Christ, To His Highness Salvador D, Jerusalem, Ave ..., canto:)


An exciting dialogue between Western and Asiatic cultures – Estonian conductor Peeter Vähi and the featuring musicians of the festival Orient ’92. ”...this is a most unusual and truly cross-culture breed of many musicians... There’s certainly an electronic presence, yet the acoustic elements are as strong, it’s both atmospheric and dynamic, featuring lots of ethnic instruments I’ve never heard of! All I can really say is that this is alluring and unique.” (Audion, UK)


1 Legend One 7:31
2 Legend Two 6:07
3 Legend Three 3:43
4 Legend Four 4:05
5 Legend Five 2:44
6 Legend Six 3:11
7 Legend Seven 3:29
8 Legend Eight 4:21
9 Legend Nine 4:29
10 Legend Ten 4:27
11 Legend Zero 3:57

Performed by:
Burhan Öçal (darbuka / Turkey)
Boris Salchak (vocal, tungur / Southern Siberia)
Khoun Sethisak (pei poak, vocal / Cambodia)
Ngo Thi Tanh Huong (tryng / Vietnam)
Wen Chin-lung (erh-hu / Taiwan)
Chi Yung-pin (pi-pa / Taiwan)
Li Ting-yui (yang-qin / Taiwan)
Hsieh Meng-ju (yuan-hsien / Taiwan)
Chen Chung-sheng (di / Taiwan)
Mongush Mergen (chanzy, vocal / Tyva)
Peeter Vähi (keyboards, Tibetan cymbals, Indonesian gong, Vietnamese bell, background vocals / Estonia)

Music composed / arranged on the basis Asian traditional tunes and rhythms by Peeter Vähi
Lyrics: trad
Recorded at the Tallinn City Hall (Matrix Audio Studio), from Apr to Jun 1992
Engineered by Jüri Tamm

Artwork by Everi Vähi
Layout by Thomas Kunadt
Booklet (16 pages) compiled by Leili Parhomenko
Liner notes translated by Lize Mazing
Photos by Tiit Koha and Jaanus Heinla
Produced by Peeter Vähi
Special thanks: Dr Vladimir Ivanoff, Ulli A Ruetzel
Published 1992 by Erdenklang Musikverlag, Germany
20602 Erdenklang Records, Germany

AAD, Stereo

player #3, Legend Three, fragm, 92 sec, mp3
player #5, Legend Five, fragm, 111 sec, mp3
player #9, Legend Nine, fragm, 95 sec, mp3

The Path To The Heart Of Asia – what does it signify? The heart of Asia in the religious sense is thought to be Shambhala, a spiritual brotherhood of mythical people located somewhere in the area of Himalayas. In this particular context, such an interpretation is evidently too concrete. Geographically, the present record represents both the heart and the limitless borderlands of Asia. Different musicians, participants of the music festival “Orient ’92” in Tallinn, took part in the recording: they include, for example, a master of guttural overtonal chanting and a shaman from Kyzyl, the capital of Tyva and the geographic centre of Asia; and also a musician from Turkey, brought up in the traditions of Turkish folk and classical serail music. The choice of Chinese music is specially lucky: it is performed by musicians from Taiwan. In most provinces of the People’s Republic of China, the tradition of “silk and bamboo” music has not been preserved so well. Add a Vietnamese with bamboo xylophone and Khmer folk musicians from Cambodia and you have the geographic range of the festival as well as that of the record.
There are two ways to record music: either in a sterile way with digital purity or maintaining the authenticity of music – maintaining even the occasional slips that are characteristic of folk music. “My aim was to keep it natural”, says the conductor. “A musician should play in the studio just as he is accustomed to play in a mountain village or at a popular festival. In order to communicate feeling, the Legends have been recorded as a complete wholes from the beginning up to the very end, without using the possibility of cuts in the studio.”

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The liner notes in Spanish

Distribution in Estonia by Easy Living Music, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone +372 51 06058
Distribution in Germany by Erdenklang Records, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Distribution (MP 3) in Japan by Amazon and iTunes

See other records of Peeter Vähi: Maria Magdalena, A Chant of Bamboo, Supreme Silence, To His Highness Salvador D, 2000 Years after the Birth of Christ, Tamula Fire Collage, Handbell Symphony, Sounds of the Silver Moon


Juha Kotilainen
Estonian National Male Choir RAM
Orchestra of Estonian Defence Forces

Der Gnade Heil ist dem Büßer beschieden, er geht einst ein in der Seligen Frieden! Vor Höll’ und Tod ist ihm nicht bang, drum preis’ ich Gott mein Lebelang. Halleluja in Ewigkeit! Halleluja in Ewigkeit!


Richard Wagner Opera choruses / Der Fliegende Holländer
1 Hojoje! Hojoje! Hallojo! Ho! 1:37
2 Mit Gewitter und Sturm aus fernem Meer 2:01
3 Steuermann, laß die Wacht 2:22
4 Jucche, da gibt’s die Fülle! / Steuermann, laß die Wacht 1:48
5 Johohoe! Johohoe! Hoe! Hoe! 4:20
Richard Wagner Opera choruses / Tannhäuser
6 Zu dir wall’ ich, mein Jesus Christ 2:50
7 Interludium 1:42
8 Wie Todesahnung Dämmrung deckt die Lande 2:47
9 O du, mein holder Abendstern 2:45
10 Von Rom zurück erwartet sie die Pilger 1:25
11 Beglückt darf nun dich, o Heimat, ich schauen 4:06
Richard Wagner Opera choruses / Lohengrin
12 In Frühn versammelt uns der Ruf 3:59
13 Des Königs Wort und Will tu ich euch kund 7:18
14 Richard Strauss Traumlicht, Op 123 No 2 6:42
Peter Seeger Pfälzishe Liedkantate
15 Vorspiel 1:20
16 Frau Nachtigall 2:10
17 Ehstandlied 2:17
18 Heimlicher Abschied 3:01
19 Ein Jäger aus Kurpfalz 2:08

player Der Fliegende Holländer, fragm, #1–2, 2 min 25 sec, mp3
player Tannhäuser, fragm, #10–11, 4 min 45 sec, mp3

Estonian National Male Choir RAM
Orchestra of Estonian Defence Forces
Juha Kotilainen (baritone, Finland)
Conductors: Peeter Saan (#1–13), Ants Soots (#14–19 )
Arranged by Peeter Saan (#1–13)

Live recording, April 13th–16th, 2010
Sound engineered by Tanel Klesment
Booklet edited by Inna Kivi
Translated by Tiina Jokinen, Ela Vood
Photos by Tuire Ruokosuo, Ardi Hallismaa, Harri Rospu, Jaan Kirvel
Design by Mart Kivisild
Co-produced by Peeter Vähi

Special thanks: Association of Military Music Friends

© 2011 Estonian Defence Forces, Estonian Record Productions
ERP 5211


ImagetextRichard Wagner (1813−1883) − the founder of musical drama, of new ideology, saw opera as combined art where besides music, text and production are equally important. His gigantic legacy includes tragedies of destiny (Tristan und Isolde, 1859; the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, 1852−1876) as well as Parsifal (1882) where Oriental and Occidental ways of thinking intertwine. Considering himself a musician of the future Wagner was not mistaken − the value of the works, the premieres of which aroused questions and disputes, has only grown in time.
In the 1840s, Wagner composes three operas: Der fliegende Holländer (1842), Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1848). All three are connected by their leading Christian orientation, a belief in the power and mercy of the Christian God. The message can be summed up in a simple formula: if the faith is firm, the God will perform most incredible miracles.
At the first glance simple in contents and music (to be Wagner), those operas form intricate philosophical-existential compositions. They dwell on complex questions and what is more important − offer solutions. That is why Wagner is so difficult to digest for those used to Italian operas: ideally one should not only follow the text constantly but also think along with the author’s words, which obviously is a strenuous exercise. Wagner is not for entertainment − but for the ones who can and want to think, his truths are better than vintage wine.
The main question in Der fliegende Holländer is the possibility of forgiveness, the salvation through love. The Dutchman and his community of the cursed ones are opposed by industrious and, in their small world, successful Norwegian fishermen. The latter have not sailed through the oceans. However, they have safe homes where they are loved and welcomed. In the first act the tired sailors sing about the soft Southerly wind that takes them home. Upon the arrival of the Flying Dutchman, the wind changes. The southerly wind song reaches a jubilant climax. In the third act the village prepares to celebrate the sailors’ home-coming. The latter sing that they can finally afford the best vacation with good wine and tobacco. Maidens scold them when the men dance only with each other and do not share the feast with their neighbouring ship. But the Dutchman’s ship is dark and silent. As a joke the fishermen say that the neighbours are dead and need no food or drink any more. The festive mood is being silently penetrated by an indistinct menace. All of a sudden the crew of the Flying Dutchman appears: the black sailors are singing about an eternal curse. The say that their dark captain will never win his bride’s love and thus will be at the mercy of Satan till the end of times.
The theme of salvation is continued in Tannhäuser. Wagner makes the male choir to act pilgrims − the ancient allegory of the earthly life or journey to heaven. In the first act, the journey takes the pilgrims to Rome to look for salvation. Their sincere peace and simple song inspired by Lutheran corals reopen for the sinner Tannhäuser the long-forgotten Christian spirituality. “Blessed is he whose faith is firm” − Wagner’s message can be understood in this single line. At the beginning of the third act the pilgrims return home, freed from their sins. This is the most famous choir of Wagner, full of energy, jubilant with happiness and joy, at the same time firm and calm. People have reconciled with God and through that with themselves − an extremely necessary survival skill for today’s world. “His spirit whose heart is full of, the future lies awaiting, most blessed and mellow. As well as Death, all Evil will stay afar − eternal be the praise to Lord!” Though Tannhäuser is not among the arrivals, the choir inspires hope that he will soon catch up with the others. Tannhäuser’s beloved Elisabeth offers her life to Heaven in return for Tannhäuser’s soul. Wolfram being in love with Elisabeth is shocked by her decision. The whole world is full of death premonition. To fight the twilight of death Wolfram makes a song for the Evening Star by whom he means Elisabeth. The bard believes that when the girl leaves the mundane world, she will become a blessed angel.
Lohengrin is a fairy-tale opera. Set on the background of the fight of Heinrich the Bird-Catcher against Hungarian pagans in the 9th century, it will take the audience back to the times where dangers and miracles lived side by side. The ambassador of the Grail, Lohengrin is so sacred that he has to hide not only his mission but also his name and origin. On that condition he could protect Barbant Christians from witch Ortrud’s schemes as well as from the outside enemy − magyars. In the second act Lohengrin’s origin is put under suspicion: an unkown man cannot be allowed to lead the united forces of warriors. The evil is opposed by the male choir saying that they follow an unkown knight to make brave and great deeds: “We go where he leads us.”
All the heroes of the three operas, except Lohengrin, will, by the earthly understanding, be killed. Their passing is bright, though, since they believe in the continuation of their Journey.

Loone Ots

ImagetextJuha Kotilainen (1955) studied singing with Olavi Hautsalo and Matti Tuloisela at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. After graduation in 1985, he has taken post-graduate courses supervised by Thomas Hampson (UK) and Peter Berne (Austria). His debut at the Finnish National Opera was in 1986, followed by the roles of Almaviva, Marcello, Figaro, Tamerlan et al. In the 1990s, Kotilainen worked at the Aalto Theatre in Essen singing the roles of Onegin, Bluebeard and Don Giovanni. In 1996−1997, Kotilainen sang Gunther in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. Later he returned to Finland where he has worked mostly at the National Opera as well as performed at the prestigious Savonlinna Festival. Since 1999, Kotilainen has also worked at the Royal Opera La Monnaie in Brussels. During the last decade the singer has premiered several contemporary Finnish operas like The Book of Kings by Kyllönen and Father’s Daughter by Kortekangas.
Juha Kotilainen’s repertoire includes a number of solo songs from classical German Lied to contemporary as well as parts in sacred music where he sings both bass and baritone, oratorial works and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9. He has gathered accolades for Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s The Seasons, Schubert’s Masses and Kullervo by Sibelius.

ImagetextThe Estonian National Male Choir RAM was founded by the grand old man of Estonian choral music Gustav Ernesaks in 1944. Initially a male choir, specialized on a cappella repertoire, has by today grown into a world-famous professional performer of oratorial works.
The choir makes regular recordings for the Estonian Public Broadcasting as well as releases annually CDs under the labels of Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Warner Classics / Finlandia Records, Alba Records, Virgin Classics, Forte, CCn’C ja GB Records. Some of the probably more noteworthy CD-productions are People of Kalevala (Tormis), Des Jona Sendung (Tobias), Hiiob (Kapp), Kullervo (Sibelius), Requiem (Cherubini), Supreme Silence (Vähi), My Fatherland is My Love (Ernesaks), Silva Caledonia (Bryars, Tulev).
RAM has participated in the recording of the CD that was awarded Grammy for the best choral music in 2004 − cantatas by Sibelius (Virgin Classics), performed by RAM, Girls’ Choir Ellerhein and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Paavo Järvi. The same staff recorded Peer Gynt by Grieg that was elected the best orchestral music album by BBC Music Magazine in 2005.
The long-standing conductors of RAM have been Olev Oja, Kuno Areng, Ants Üleoja, Uno Järvela, Harald Uibo, Ants Soots and Kaspars Putninš. Since the season 2011/2012, Mikk Üleoja is the chief conductor and artistic director.
The choir’s repertoire spans from Renaissance to the 21st century music, and besides Estonian composers, Shostakovich, Taktashvili, Bryars and Bonato have dedicated their works to RAM.
RAM has given more than 6000 concerts all over Estonia, in the former USSR, in Europe as well as in Israel, Canada and the USA.
Currently the choir employs 49 singers. During the season, they give about 40−50 a cappella concerts and participate in 5−6 oratory projects. At least 15 guest conductors from abroad work with the choir annually with minimum two of them producing an independent a cappella program.

ImagetextAnts Soots (1956) has been conductor of the Estonian National Male Choir RAM since 1991, its chief conductor in 1994–2004 and the artistic director in 2008–2011. He graduated as choral conductor from Tartu Music College in 1978 and from the conducting class of Prof Ants Üleoja at the Estonian Academy of Music in 1983. In 1982–1990, he sang at the Estonian Radio Choir being at the same time its chorus master and conductor. Soots has conducted the male choir of Tallinn University of Technology and the male and female choirs of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
He has held lectures and seminars to choral conductors in Finland, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden as well as been artistic director of Nordic-Baltic Choral Festivals. Since 1988, he teaches choral conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music, being Professor there since 2004.
He has conducted and artistically directed numerous Estonian Song Festivals as well as been jury member at several international choir competitions.
In 2004, he was awarded Grammy in choral music for the recording of Cantatas by Sibelius (Virgin Classics). In the same year Ants Soots was awarded the title Conductor of the Year and in 2006, he was named the honorary conductor of RAM.

ImagetextThe Orchestra of the Estonian Defence Forces is a state ceremonial orchestra founded on February 1st, 1993, or more precisely, it was re-established together with the re-establishment of the Estonian Defence Forces after the country had regained its independence. Since 1996, its commander and chief conductor is lieutenant-colonel Peeter Saan.
The main task of the orchestra is to perform at all state and military ceremonies as well as receive and see off high-standing state visits and guests. The orchestra gives concerts in military units as well as public concert halls. Initially comprising a staff of 20 musicians, the orchestra today employs 40 professional musicians.
During their 16 years of existence, the orchestra has participated in many international festivals in Europe and America. The orchestra’s “armament” includes a show-march tattoo and several concert programs of classical and pop music. The orchestra performs at about 180 (!) concerts and ceremonies annually.
In co-operation with the Association of Military Music Friends the orchestra has released 12 CDs mostly with classical and ceremonial music but also some in a lighter style. The current CD begins the second dozen in the list.

ImagetextLieutenant-colonel Peeter Saan (1959) has graduated from the clarinet-saxohopne class of Aleksander Rjabov at Tallinn Georg Ots Music College in 1983 and from the clarinet class of Rein Karin at the Estonian Academy of Music in 1988. Having worked as an orchestra musician for 16 years, first in the professional wind orchestra Tallinn and thereafter in the Orchestra of the Estonian Defence Forces, he became the commander and chief conductor of the latter in 1996.
He took his MA and PhD in conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music. He has researched the development and history of state and military ceremonial music in Estonia (PhD thesis Estonian state music and military orchestras: formation and development in 1918−1940).
Peeter Saan has guest-conducted several European orchestras. Every year, he gives tens of concerts with the Orchestra of the Estonian Defence Forces. His special sphere of interest is the older layer of original Estonian compositions for wind orchestra. He has made modern arrangements of many of those works, in total over 150. Peeter Saan is doing invaluable work in searching, finding and reviving the unique archives of Estonian military music. In addition to the historical treasury of wind music, Peeter Saan has been commissioning and premiering new works of wind music by Estonian composers.

Worldwide distribution by Note 1 Music (Carl-Benz-Straße 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.note-1.de) / Naxos Global Logistics
Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone +372 51 06058

See also other recordings of Estonian National Male Choir RAM produced by ERP: Artist Chagall, Supreme Silence
See also: Orchestra of Defence Forces at Glasperlenspiel festival in 2008 and 2010



Tiia-Ester Loitme

Released in late 2010.


1 Lyrics: Põlva parish folk-lore The Singer’s Childhood 2:43
2–9 Lyrics: trad Modal Etudes 6:00
10–29 Lyrics: J Kaplinski, A Suumann, V Luik, A Ehin Nature Pictures 23:30
30–32 Lyrics: trad Three Estonian Game Songs 7:35
33 Lyrics: Kalevala, XXXII Calling Home the Cattle 5:21
34 Lyrics: trad A Milking Spell 1:51
35 Lyrics: trad A Boat Tide to the Land of Wonder 2:53
36 Lyrics: O Vacietis Earth 1:44
37 Lyrics: K Ruut Once, Sitting Deep in Thought 2:15
38 Lyrics: M Körber My Quiet, Lovely Home 2:09
39 Lyrics: K Merilaas The Lake Behind the Home 1:56

Music composed or arranged by Veljo Tormis
performed by Girls’ Choir Ellerhein and conductor Tiia-Ester Loitme

Ülle Sander – chorus master
Mare Jõgeva – voice placing
Sound engineers – Tanel Klesment, Mati Brauer / Estonian Broadcasting Corporation
mastered by Tanel Klesment
Design – Piret Mikk
© 2010 Ellerhein
ERP 4310

player #1, The Singers Childhood, fragm, 118 sec, mp3


Tallinn Children’s Choir was founded in 1951 by Heino Kaljuste. In 1969 the choir was named Ellerhein. A year later, Tiia-Ester Loitme began working with the choir as an assistant conductor and since 1989 she has been the choir’s chief conductor. The choir’s current assistant conductor and music theory teacher is Ülle Sander, the accompanist is Katrin Kuldjärv and the vocal coach is Eha Pärg.
Ellerhein has received wide international acclaim for its beautiful sound and is the winner of many choir competitions. The choir has received the 1st prize in Celje (Slovenia, 1977), Powell River (Canada, 1988), Giessen (Germany, 1990 and 1997), Tolosa (Spain, 1990 and 1997), Nantes (France, 1993), Tallinn (Estonia, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008), Arezzo (Italy, 1994), Ankara (Turkey, 2005), Wuppertal (Germany, 2007), as well as the European Grand Prix in Tolosa (Spain, 1997), Takarazuka (Japan, 1995), Tolosa (Spain, 1997). In 2007 the choir won the Estonian Radio prize The Best Estonian Choir and in 2008 they won the Grand Prix at the international choir competition Kathaumixw in Canada. At the same competition they also received the 2nd prize in folk & cultural traditions category.


The choir has been a frequent visitor to Japan, where the highlight of their tour in 2005 was the performance at Tokyo City Opera concert hall. The choir has worked closely with conductor Chifuru Matsubara and as a result, the recording companies BMG, Victor JVC and M&I Company have produced five discs with Ellerhein performing Estonian music. In 2004 the choir’s recording career culminated with the winning of the prestigious Grammy Award for the Virgin Classics recording of Jean Sibelius’ cantatas. In 2005, New York Times named their Virgin Classics recording of Peer Gynt one of the most outstanding recordings of the year. The next year the choir received the BBC Music Magazine award in the category of orchestral music.

Ellerhein has worked with prominent conductors such as Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Gilbert Kaplan, Andrey Chistyakov, Peeter Lilje, Saulius Sondeckis, Arvo Volmer, Eri Klas, Anu Tali, Chifuru Matsubara, Tõnu Kaljuste, Olari Elts, Andres Mustonen, Paul Mägi and others.
Since 2003 Ellerhein is a member of Europa Cantat, European Federation of Young Choirs.

Tiia-Ester Loitme

ImagetextTiia-Ester Loitme graduated from Estonian Academy of Music in 1965 (Prof Gustav Ernesaks). In 1970 she started working with the girls’ choir Ellerhein and since 1989 she has been the choir’s chief conductor. In 1975–81 she simultaneously taught at Estonian Academy of Music, and in 1980 she studied under the guidance of Prof V Sokolov at the Moscow State Conservatoire. Tiia-Ester Loitme has lead Ellerhein to many international victories and her contribution to Estonian music has earned her several prizes, such as Gustav Ernesaks Choir Music Award (1995), Order of the White Star (1997), the Tallinn City Honorary Decoration (1998), the Estonian Cultural Endowment prize (2003), Grammy Award for the best choral performance for the Virgin Classics record of Jean Sibelius’ cantatas (2004), the Third class Order of the White Star (2005), Honorary Member of the Estonian Choral Association (2007), Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (Japan, 2008), Musician of the Year (2008).

Veljo Tormis

Veljo Tormis (b 1930), one of the greatest masters in Estonian music, has composed almost exclusively for the voice – hundreds of songs, cycles, and large-scale compositions for different choruses, some stage-works and cycles of solo songs, and only single instrumental pieces. Veljo Tormis had often to explain that for him all music starts from words, he needs a text for composing that he does not have “purely musical” ideas. He has emphasized that he cannot (or does not want to) write music for pleasure or entertainment, his music has always something to say about the world, nature, men, and peoples. Tormis is a real master of choral sound and large-scale choral composition.
In the age of 12 Veljo Tormis came to Tallinn to study music and after a year of private lessons he was accepted to the organ class at the Conservatory. In 1951 he continued his studies as a composer at the Moscow Conservatory with Prof Vissarion Shebalin, graduating in 1956. Shebalin supported his student’s interest in national style based on the use of folk music. Returning to Tallinn he taught music theory and composition at the Music School. In 1959 he lead a student expedition to a small Estonian island of Kihnu. The group happened to attend a real traditional wedding with old folk songs and dances. The enchanting effect of this event was so strong that it changed Tormis’ relationship to the use of folk material. But crucial, in that respect, was his acquaintance with the music and writings of Béla Bartók, analyses of choral songs by Zoltán Kodály after a visit to Hungary in 1962 that changed the musical language of Tormis. One of his most popular cycles Looduspildid (Nature Pictures) was written under those impressions. Some years later Tormis finished his first great cycle Eesti kalendrilaulud (Estonian Calendar Songs, 1967) for a male and a female chorus, in which the primeval enchanting power of ancient folk tunes used as the material for original choral composition was fully exposed. That was the starting point for “real” Tormis style as we know it now, thirty years later, and several cycles of great choral compositions based on ancient folk songs of different peoples followed.
In the 1970s the scope of Tormis’ search for archaic material widened, first including the closest Balto-Finnic people, but soon some commissions led him to different traditions. From one side, the driving force has been his attention to the quality of text, his care that the meaning of the text should be essential for singers. But not less important was a deep conviction that the ancient song traditions of different people have something in common, they all belong to a way of life that was more close to nature, they contain old beliefs, morals and ethics.

Prof Urve Lippus 

Distribution by Ellerhein, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other recordings with Ellerhein: Missa Nona. Green Tārā, The Hand of God, Ellerhein. Estonian Choral Music