Veljo Tormis: Ühtehoidmiselaulud - Keeping Together

Forte Records 0019/2

Recorded in Estonia with exact dates not provided. Released in 1994.

Sound editor: Priit Kuulberg; Executive Producer: Mart Maripuu; Design Concept and Photos: Tõnu Tormis; Design & Layout: Margus Haavamägi.

Compositions by Veljo Tormis (1930-)

Track 1. Laulja, ood meeskoorile, orelile ja löökpillidele (The Singer, ode for male choir, organ and percussion) [Kristjan Jaak Peterson] 1974 (5:21)

Kaksikpühendus (Diptühhon) Double Dedication (Diptych) 1983:

Track 2. Ühte laulu tahaks laulda (One Song I Would Like To Sing) [Gustav Suits] (1:45)

Track 3. Tähed (Stars) [Marie Under] (2:19)

Track 4. Tasase maa laul (A Song about a Flat Land) [Paul-Eerik Rummo] 1964 (3:37)

Track 5. Kolm mul oli kaunist sõna (Three I Had Those Words of Beauty) 1962 (6:14)

Hamleti laulud kahele meeskoorile (Hamlet's Songs for double male choir) [Paul-Eerik Rummo]:

Track 6. Hamleti laul I (Hamlet's Song I) 1965 (6:15)

Track 7. Hamleti laul II (Hamlet's Song II) 1964 (2:49)

Track 8. Maarjamaa ballaad (The Ballad of Mary's Land) 1969 (5:18)

Track 9. Pikse litaania (Litany To Thunder) [folklore motifs adapted by Ain Kaalep] 1974 (4:47)

Track 10. Viimane laev (Valse triste) (The Last Ship (Valse triste)) [Juhan Smuul] 1981 (4:45)

Track 11. Meie varjud (Our Shadows) [Jaan Kaplinski] 1969 (3:15)

Track 12. Laulusild (Bridge of Song) [text from Kalevala and Estonian folklore] 1981 (4:13)

Track 13. Ühtehoidmiselaul (A Song about Keeping Together) [Paul-Eerik Rummo] 1964 (3:10)

Estonian National Male Choir conducted by Olev Oja, except Track 9. conducted by Kuno Areng.

Commissions, Dedications and Awards

Laulja (The Singer) is dedicated to conductor/composer Gustav Ernesaks, who was the founder of the Estonian State Academic Male Choir (now called the Estonian National Male Choir), and it includes quotes from his compositions Mu isamaa on minu arm (My Fatherland, My Love) and Lauliku talveüksindus (The Winter Solitude of the Singer) which can be distinguished during the solfeggio portions of the text. Kaksikpühendus (Diptühhon) (Double Dedication (Diptych) was written to celebrate the birth centenaries of the poet Gustav Suits (1883-1956) and the poetess Marie Under (1883-1980). The compositions Maarjamaa ballaad (The Ballad of Mary's Land) and Meie varjud (Our Shadows) were written for a 1969 contest to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Estonian State Academic Male Choir (founded by Gustav Ernesaks in 1944) and Maarjamaa ballaad won the 1st Prize at the competition. Pikse litaania (Litany To Thunder) is dedicated to Kuno Areng, who conducts the performance on this present disc. Viimane laev (Valse triste) (The Last Ship (Valse Triste)) was written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of the writer Juhan Smuul (1922-1971). Laulusild (Bridge of Song) is dedicated to Uolevi Lassander, a dedicated Finnish promoter of Veljo Tormis' music.

Music Publishers

The publishing sources for the scores on this 1994 CD are identified on the CD booklet, but several have changed since that time. The current (c. 2003) scores for Laulja (Track 1), Hamleti laulud (Tracks 6 & 7), Pikse litaania (Track 9) and Laulusild (Track 11) are published by Fennica Gehrman Oy Ab. The current scores for Kaksikpühendus (Diptühhon) (Tracks 2 & 3), Tasase maa laul (Track 4), Viimane laev (Valse triste) (Track 10) and Ühtehoidmiselaul (Track 13) are published by Eres Edition. The current scores for Kolm mul oli kaunist sõna (Track 5) and Meie varjud (Track 11) are published by edition 49.

Other Points of Interest and Links

The liner notes for this CD are by Tiia Järg in Estonian with an English translation by Kristin Kuutma. Complete original song texts (mostly Estonian, with one in Finnish) are included, together with complete English translations by the translators Terje Treimann, Enn Soosaar, Mihkel Tarm and Keith Bosley.