On September 7-9, 2018 Collegium Musicale Chamber Choir will have the third tour from the series "On the Trail of the Forgotten Peoples" that takes the choir to visit Livonian areas in Latvia. On September 8, the concert will take place in Riga.
The impetus for this project is from one of the most reputable and distinct Estonian composer’s Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). His six-part choir cycle "Forgotten Peoples" is comprised of Livonian Heritage, Votic Wedding Songs, Izhorian Epic, Ingrian Evenings, Vepsian Paths, and Karelian Destiny. "Forgotten Peoples" was written from 1970 to 1989. The basis for this are the so called “runic songs” of six Finno-Ugric peoples. During the three-concert tour in the native lands of the Finno-Ugric, the movements as a whole can be heard along with snippets from other movements. Local folk-musicians and folk-ensembles have been invited to take part in the concerts.
The first gest was called "On the Trails of Karelia" and it took the choir towards the Republic of Karelia in Russia through “runic villages”. From these villages during the 19th century, a majority of the material for the Finnic National Epic Kalveala was gathered. The second journey is planned to take place in July 2018 to Votic, Izhorian, Vepsian and Ingerian peoples.
The concert-tour "On the Trail of the Forgotten Peoples" is part of Estonia 100 programme and is a thought of as a present for our neighbouring kindred people. It is also a gesture of promoting Veljo Tormis’ music, Estonian choral-tradition and a way of preserving the culture around us.
The trip is organized in collaboration with organisation Fenno-Ugria.
Veljo Tormis (7 August 1930 – 21 January 2017), Estonian composer, regarded as one of the greatest choral composers and one of the most important composers of the 20th century in Estonia. Internationally, his fame arises chiefly from his extensive body of choral music, which exceeds 500 individual choral songs, most of it a cappella. The great majority of these pieces are based on traditional ancient Estonian folksongs (regilaulud), either textually, melodically, or merely stylistically.
His composition most often performed outside Estonia, Curse Upon Iron (Raua needmine) (1972), invokes ancient Shamanistic traditions to construct an allegory about the evils of war. Some of his works were banned by the Soviet government, but because folk music was fundamental to his style most of his compositions were accepted by the censors.
Tormis has famously said of his settings of traditional melodies and verse: "It is not I who makes use of folk music, it is folk music that makes use of me." His work demonstrates his conviction that traditional Estonian and other Balto-Finnic music represents a treasure which must be guarded and nourished, and that culture may be kept alive through the medium of song.
“Forgotten Peoples” was written over a period of twenty years, from 1970 to 1989, without being planned as a series beforehand. The basis of each of the cycles is authentic, possibly archaic and original musical material. Most of the Balto-Finnic peoples have the so called “Kalevala song” with its suggestive monotonous melody and manner of singing in which the lead singer and chorus take turns repeating each verse.
Choral series “Forgotten peoples” (1970–1989)
Veljo Tormis (1930-2017)
I LIVONIAN HERITAGE (1970)
The first part of the series “Forgotten peoples”. A cycle of Livonian folk songs. Authentic texts (in Livonian), adapted by Herbert Tampere.
II VOTIC WEDDING SONGS (1971)
The second part of the series “Forgotten peoples”. A cycle of Votic folk songs.
III IZHORIAN EPIC (1975/1979)
The third part of the series “Forgotten peoples”. A cycle of Ishorian runic songs. Authentic texts (in Izhorian), adapted by Arvo Laanest.
IV INGRIAN EVENINGS (1979)
The fourth part of the series “Forgotten peoples”. A cycle of Inermanland-Finnish folk songs. Authentic texts (in Finnish, Inrian dialect), adapted by Ada Ambus.
V VEPSIAN PATHS (1983)
The fifth part of the series “Forgotten Peoples”. A cycle of Vepsian folk songs. Authentic text (in Vepsic), trnascribed by Marje Joalaid.
VI KARELIAN DESTINY (1986–1989)
The sixth part of the series “Forgotten peoples”. A cycle of Karelian runic songs. Authentic texts (in Karelian), transcribed by Ülo Tedre, Jaan Õispuu, Kari Laukkanen.
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