Rossendale Free Press - - Club News -

GUEST pre­sen­ter Bill Hig­gin­botham from the Bolton So­ci­ety made a wel­come re­turn with a pro­gramme ‘Mu­sic from Es­to­nia’, which was in­spired by his visit to the cap­i­tal city, Tallin.

The small­est of the Baltic States, it gained in­de­pen­dence from Rus­sia af­ter 125 years of strug­gle.

Es­to­nia has a long and fine choral tra­di­tion, of­ten dis­play­ing sub­ver­sive, anti-Rus­sian sen­ti­ments, so fit­tingly, we opened with ‘The Singer’ by com­poser Veljo Tormis, a con­tem­po­rary of Arvo Part.

This ar­rest­ing piece used a male cho­rus, or­gan, terse drum beats and cym­bal.

The melodic or­ches­tral work by Eller called ‘Dusk’, writ­ten in 1917 also ar­tic­u­lated the de­sire for an in­de­pen­dent re­pub­lic with a rhap­sodic theme by the strings.

Then fol­lowed Tormis’ strik­ing choral piece ‘An Abo­rig­i­nal’ Song in which one word, ‘taboo’ is sung, chanted and shouted, ac­com­pa­nied by drums.

It al­ludes to Rus­sian rules as to what could or could not be ex­pressed in mu­si­cal com­po­si­tion.

Arto Lemba stud­ied in St Peters­burg and in con­trast to the former com­posers, his first Pi­ano Con­certo of 1910 is in the Rus­sian Ro­man­tic tra­di­tion.

Post in­ter­val came another fas­ci­nat­ing choral work by Tormis called ‘Forg­ing the Sam­ple’, re­fer­ring to the mak­ing of a mag­i­cal ob­ject, hark­ing back to Es­to­nian leg­end.

The next com­poser, Tu­bin, wrote 11 sym­phonies.

We heard his third, the ‘Heroic’ (1940-42), a pa­tri­otic work which pro­gressed to a tri­umphant fi­nale.

Es­to­nia held its first Na­tional Song Fes­ti­val in 1889 and we con­cluded with an up­lift­ing piece from the fes­ti­val of 1994 en­ti­tled ‘My Home­land is All My Joy’.

Dur­ing the ‘singing rev­o­lu­tion’ of 1991, this song was broad­cast world­wide.

It was an ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nale to a fas­ci­nat­ing mu­si­cal even­ing.

The next meet­ing is on Oc­to­ber 5.

For de­tails con­tact Richard Hall on 01706 823490 or richard.w@ hall45.eclipse.co.uk.

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