Friday, June 24, 2011

Veljo Tormis: Forgotten Peoples - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

I mentioned Veljo Tormis in the last post, and this post is long overdue. This is a review of Forgotten Peoples I wrote in 2008:

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure InspirationJanuary 20, 2008
Ed Luhrs (Long Island, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Veljo Tormis: Forgotten Peoples (Audio CD) << Click to see the page<<
I wish a review could do this work justice. I think Tormis has written one of the greatest choral works of all time, without question. The pieces are written in languages similar to Estonian and Finnish. The cultures, along with the languages, are becoming erased by time, hence the bleak front cover with the fence falling into overgrown grass.

On the other hand, the music is playful and filled with variety. Strange? Absolutely, but in a truly warm and inviting way. There are complete lyrics and English translations, so you will understand everything that is going on.

This is one of the greatest musical discoveries I have ever made. No exaggeration. Any work that preserves history so distinctly deserves wide recognition. Spread the word.

...Amazon, where I post some reviews using my other name. Some might even call it my real name. Anyway, I stand by my word. This work is something special, so much so that I believe I'd be doing the composer a disservice by posting the whole thing. Same reason I wouldn't post an album like Penguin Eggs by Nic Jones - respect for living legends who could use the recognition and financial support. Unlike Penguin Eggs, this album by Tormis is harder to find, so let me point to an MP3 download of excerpts on Amazon here. This recording only offers selections of the original work, but it's a good start. 

I hope they're able to offer the whole album above as an MP3 download for those interested. The only problem is this is one of those works where you'd benefit from having the lyrics and translation in front of you, so having a physical copy is a bonus here. With words and translation in hand, you'll get a glimpse of some of the forgotten music and folklore traditions from the far northern reaches of earth.



Paul said...

Great stuff, Angus, I'm playing it now. Such a pure sound!

Ed said...

Thanks! The album is pretty wild in places too, with snakes hissing and stuff like that. There are a number of YouTube vids of Tormis's work as well, like this one:

Supposedly it's a bread making song ... funky bread! Well, maybe funky isn't the right word.