ESTONIAN PHILHARMONIC CHAMBER CHOIR
CONDUCTOR – TÕNU KALJUSTE
ESTONIAN PUBLIC BROADCASTING ARCHIVE 1990
AUTHOR OF THE IDEA – TÕNU KALJUSTE
DIRECTOR – ELMO LÖÖVE
PRODUCERS – ELA TOMSON AND EEVA POTTER
LIVONIAN HERITAGE (Liivlaste pärandus, 1970)
A cycle of Livonian folk songs for mixed choir, 1st part of series "Forgotten Peoples" („Unustatud rahvad“)
Text: folklore, arranged by Herbert Tampere (in Livonian)
1. Waking the Birds
2. In the Forest Pasture
4. Wee Winkie Mouse; version for mezzo soprano, male choir in 2000
5. Sang the Father, Sang the Son
Veljo Tormis (1930–2017) composed the monumental series "Forgotten Peoples" for mixed choir as a collective musical portrait of six Baltic-Finnic peoples nearing extinction and based it on their older folk songs.
The impressive set of six cycles composed between 1970 and 1989 is based on archaic runic songs of six Baltic-Finnic peoples – Livonians, Votes, Izhorians, Vepsians, Ingrians and Karelians. Veljo Tormis has said that he wrote "Forgotten Peoples" at the time when these peoples were facing extinction and being forgotten by the world and perhaps by us as well. The folk singers whose songs Tormis used in his compositions are now all gone. Many of the Baltic-Finnic peoples have almost disappeared and some of the languages have only a few speakers left. Veljo Tormis has given all of them an eternal life in music, however, and would not let us forget that there was a time when these languages were thought to last forever in songs.
The series includes six cycles – "Livonian Heritage" („Liivlaste pärandus”, 1970), "Votic Wedding Songs" („Vadja pulmalaulud”, 1971), "Izhorian Epic" („Isuri eepos”, 1975), "Ingrian Evenings" („Ingerimaa õhtud”, 1979), "Vepsian Paths" („Vepsa rajad”, 1983), and "Karelian Destiny" („Karjala saatus”, 1989). Tõnu Kaljuste and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir premiered the entire series at the House of Nobility in Helsinki on two consecutive evenings in 1989. They have performed the series in many countries and recorded it on the "Forgotten Peoples" CD (ECM, 1992) which is the most highly valued carrier of Tormis’ music in the world.