WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Curse Upon Iron: Works For Male Choir By Veljo Tormis

Tormis / Orphei Drangar Male Voice Choir
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1993   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Andreas AlinGunnar SundbergHenrik StolareMagnus Einarsson,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

A modern shaman is how Veljo Tormis (b.1930) has been described. In his large production, chiefly composed for a cappella choir, he utilizes ancient chants and magic charms, as well as the typically Estonian runic songs, regilaulud. Indeed Curse upon Iron, his best-known score, even includes a shaman drum. Much of the music of Tormis, who began composing during the 1950s, mirrors his steadfast devotion to an Estonian identity in the face of Soviet occupation, with traditional ways of life, such as farming and fishing, resonating in pieces such as Helletused - based on ancient herding calls - Spell upon Flax (from the three Shrovetide songs) and Songs of the Ancient Sea. But there are also works, such as the two Hamlet's Songs, that seem to Read more echo the bleak mood of Soviet Estonia, while The Viru Oath is one of Tormis's most overtly political compositions, written in 1980 during the so-called 'stagnation period' in which the thaw following Stalin's death was halted. With Stars, from Kaksikpühendus (Double Dedication), the disc closes on a more lyrical and personal note - another strand in the composer's rich repertoire. The informative liner notes to this selection of works for male-voice choir composed between 1962 and 1996 are by Mimi S. Daitz, author of a biography of Veljo Tormis. As she explains, even when Tormis does not use traditional tunes, he incorporates their scales and intervals into his melodies and harmonies, thus creating a unique sound. Divisions of voices into separate lines play an important part in Tormis's orchestration of voices, and another characteristic is his rhythmic ingenuity. The various demands this places on the performers are amply fulfilled by Cecilia Rydinger Alin and Orphei Drängar, described in Choir and Organ as 'a tremendous choir, with superb technique and an immense, expressive range'. Further variety is added by a number of guest soloists, including the internationally acclaimed soprano Elin Rombo. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Incantatio maris aestuosi (Incantation for a Stormy Sea), for chorus by Veljo Tormis
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1996 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2. Kord me tuleme tagasi: Meie varjud (Once We Will Reappear: Our Shadows), for male chorus by Veljo Tormis
Period: Modern 
Written: 1969 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
3. Kolm mul oli kaunist sona (I Had Three Beautiful Words), for male chorus & flute by Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Andreas Alin (Flute)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1962 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4. Vastlalaulud (Shrovetide Songs), for male chorus by Veljo Tormis
Period: Modern 
Written: 1967 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
5. Litany to thunder (Pikse litaania), for tenor voice, bass voice, male chorus & bass drum by Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Gunnar Sundberg (), Henrik Stolare (), Magnus Einarsson ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1974 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6. Viru vanne (The Viru Oath), for chorus by Veljo Tormis
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1980 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
7. Helletused (Herding Calls), for chorus by Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Elin Rombo ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1982 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs. 
8. Raua needmine, for mixed choir, tenor, bass & shaman drum by Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Folke Alin (Shaman Drum), Henrik Stolare (), Gunnar Sundberg ()
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 10 Minutes 47 Secs. 
9. Muistse mere laulud (Songs of the Ancient Sea), for tenor soloist & male chorus by Veljo Tormis
Performer:  Magnus Sjogren ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1979 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 
10. Hamleti laulud (Hamlet's Songs), for double male choir by Veljo Tormis
Period: Modern 
Written: 1964 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
11. Kaksikpühendus, diptühhon (Double Dedication, diptych), for chorus by Veljo Tormis
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1983 
Date of Recording: 02/2012 
Venue:  Uppsala University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook