Authoritative interpretations of epic choral masterpieces from Estonia and Finland
"Tremendous… the equipoise of power and control" New York Classical Review
Hidden choral gems from the Baltic Sea brought to Hong Kong in two epic concerts.
Estonia achieved independence following the “Singing Revolution”, a name that reveals much about the nation’s strong choral tradition. The Estonian National Male Choir is one of the largest professional men’s choruses in the world, and has contributed to the Estonian choral tradition for more than 70 years. With a repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to contemporary music, and a specialism for showcasing lesser-known Estonian works to a wider audience, the Choir has also premiered compositions by luminaries including Dmitri Shostakovich. The choir also works closely with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, together winning the 2004 Best Choral Performance Grammy Award for a collaborative Sibelius recording.
Known as a “tireless champion of Scandinavian music” (Nordic Council Music Prize), the Finnish maverick Leif Segerstam defies all traditional classifications of conductor, composer and musician. Author of over 300 symphonies and laureate of the highly-esteemed Sibelius Medal and the Finnish State Prize for Music, Segerstam has collaborated with world-renowned orchestras and opera companies over many years in his own distinctive way – a pulsating style, Dionysian vitality and an immensely addictive approach to music-making.
These two programmes include some of the finest choral and symphonic music in the repertoire, but rarely performed in Hong Kong. The celebrated Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's signature "tintinnabuli" bell-like sound is beautifully showcased in Cantus, alongside the little-known large-scale men’s choral masterpiece Das Liebesmahl der Apostel by Wagner, in which the Estonians will be joined by Hong Kong chorus Die Konzertisten. Following Eduard Tubin’s Estonian dance suite, famous opera choruses by Wagner and Gounod complete the first concert. In the second concert, Sibelius’s great symphonic choral work Kullervo is not to be missed, with the Finnish composer shaping a dramatic score based on the epic poem Kalevala, telling the tale of the tragic hero from Finnish mythology.
The concerts are dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.
Mar 24 | Festival Finale
Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Das Liebesmahl der Apostel (The Love-meal of the Apostles), WWV69
*with Die Konzertisten
Süit eesti tantsuviisidest (Suite of Estonian Dance Tunes)
Sailors’ Chorus from Der fliegende Holländer, WWV63
Soldiers’ Chorus from Faust
Pilgrims’ Chorus from Tannhäuser, WWV70
Nocturno from Nox vitae
Kullervo, Op 7
Monika-Evelin Liiv mezzo-soprano
Rauno Elp baritone