Litany to Thunder
Wed, 8 May at 7 pm
Kultuurikatel (Tallinn Creative Hub, Põhja pst 27a)
YXUS Ensemble, Estonian National Male Choir, conductor Mikk Üleoja
PROGRAMME: Vladimir Agopov*, Francisco Alvarado, Vladimir Hrovat, Kristjan Kõrver*, Tõnu Kõrvits, Onutė Narbutaitė, Kristine Tjøgersen, Veljo Tormis
In collaboration with Eesti Kontsert
Estonian National Male Choir
Conductor Mikk Üleoja
Kristjan Kõrver (b. 1976, Estonia)
New work for string quartet (2019, premiere)
Onutė Narbutaitė (b. 1956, Lithuania)
“just strings and a light wind above them” for string quartet (2018)
Francisco Alvarado (b. 1984, Chile)
“wie die zarten Blüten im Winter” / “Like Fragile Blossoms in Winter” for string quartet (2016-2017)
Kristine Tjøgersen (b. 1982, Norway)
“Mistérios do Corpo” / “Mysteries of Body” for string quartet and video
Nan Liang (b. 1988, China)
“Qin Opera in the Mountains I” for viola solo (2016)
Vladimir Agopov (b. 1953, Finland)
“Prayer” for male choir a cappella (2017, premiere)
Vladimir Hrovat (b. 1947, Croatia)
“Človek ni sam” / “Man’s Not Alone” for male octet or choir (2008)
Tõnu Kõrvits (b. 1969, Estonia)
“Laulud Dolorese lauluvihikust” / “Songs from Dolores’s Songbook” (2016)
Veljo Tormis (1930–2017, Estonia)
“Pikse litaania” / “Litany to Thunder” for tenor, baritone, male choir and gran cassa (1974)
Inspired by musical experiments and completely new approach YXUS Ensemble sets its goal to accost the audience and involve them into music in a surprising and special way. YXUS Ensemble is not just a group of musicians – it’s like a laboratory for ideas, where musicians, composers, videos artists and directors willing to experiment are involved.
The predecessor of YXUS Ensemble can be considered NYYD Ensemble, which was formed in 1993 to perform at international contemporary music festival NYYD. Under the name of YXUS Ensemble the group performed for the first time in 2013. The size of the ensemble varies according to the needs of the program to be performed but the core of it is a string quartet that dates back to the days of NYYD Ensemble. The initiator and artistic leader of the group is cellist Leho Karin. When the program requires, the very best specialists of contemporary music from Estonia and abroad are invited to join.
Estonian National Male Choir (also known as RAM) was established by the Estonian choral music legend, conductor and composer Gustav Ernesaks. Having sung mostly a cappella during its early years, RAM has grown into a world-famous professional choir that often performs large symphonic compositions. RAM frequently records for Estonian National Broadcasting and has collaborated with such labels as Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Finlandia, Alba Records, GB Records Virgin Classics and Aurora. During last five years the choir has released five CDs, including “In Paradisum” with compositions by Galina Grigorjeva, which in 2015 won the award for the best classical album in Estonia. In 2004, RAM was awarded with the Grammy Award in the category of choral music for the CD of Sibelius’ cantatas. The choir’s repertoire ranges from the Renaissance Period to the music of the 21st century, and as well as many noted Estonians, world-renowned composers have written for RAM.
Conductor Mikk Üleoja sang in the World Youth Choir, Estonian National Male Choir, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Gregorian ensemble Vox Clamantis. Having conducted various choirs, Üleoja became the choirmaster of Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 1998, where he also conducted programmes of Estonian choral music. Starting from the season of 2011/2012, Mikk Üleoja holds the position of the artistic director of Estonian National Male Choir. He has recorded highly acclaimed choir albums, such as “In paradisum” with the music of Galina Grigorjeva that was awarded classical record of the year 2015 at Estonian Music Awards.