For many of us it probably qualifies as ‘a distant country of which we know little’.
Estonia, after decades of enduring the fierce embrace of the Soviet Union, has flourished during 25 years of independence. Now familiar to many Australians who have cruised the Baltic on the way to St Petersburg; its charming capital Tallinn, is generally the last port of call before the flashy Russian city. Vocal music is deeply imbedded in its cultural identity; indeed Estonia’s journey to independence was marked by the ‘Singing Revolution’ of 1989. Now its outstanding vocal group, Vox Clamantis, is to appear in the Sydney Festival and in Melbourne.
Founded 20 years ago by Director Jaan-Eik Tulve with a repertoire of Gregorian chant and devotional music, the fifteen person ensemble has established Vox Clamantis as one of the outstanding vocal groups in Europe. It has a close association with Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b.1935) who is the most acclaimed, most performed, and best loved contemporary composer in the world. Born in Estonia, Pärt badgered the Soviet authorities to permit him to emigrate to Austria in 1980, then Germany where he obtained citizenship. After independence, he returned to live not far from Tallinn.
Vox Clamantis blends medieval chant with the holy minimalist music of Arvo Pärt and others. Special performances are: Melbourne Recital Centre (25/1), Sydney Recital Hall (27/1) and Seidler Salon Series (28/1).
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