Friday November 24, 2017 at 9pm

Saturday November 25, 2017 at 2pm 


Organization: AMUZ and the Estonian Embassy


24/11: AMUZKammenstraat 81, 2000 Antwerpen  (map)

25/11: MIMHofbergstraat 2, 1000 Brussel

Not just the environment, but also our culture is threatened with extinction. Globalisation suppresses just those minorities that have different cultures to offer.

The Estonian composer VELJO TORMIS (1930-2017) visited the borders of his country (Estonia-Finland-Russia) to sample the music of the Livonians, the Vepsians, the Karelians, de Votians and the Ingrian Finns, folk groups that - together with their music and rituals - are dying out. He put these folksongs together into six bundels, marvellously reworking them for choir and giving them the splendid name: MUSIC OF THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLES. You could call Veljo Tormis the Zoltan Kodaly or Bela Bartok of Estonia. Kodaly and Bartok referred to themselves as ethno-musicologists rather than as composers - incorrectly of course! - and Tormis saw them as his main example. Tormis wrote almost exclusively for choir and sought his inspiration equally exclusively in folk culture. His five year younger colleague, Arvo Pärt, is mostly sung abroad. Tormis is THE popular choir composer in his own country.

AQUARIUS performs a wide selection from this full evening cycle and enters into a musical dialogue with the women's ensemble KULDATSÄUK, who sing songs from the South East of Estonia in their 'natural state' with ritual dances. The confrontation between the brilliant choir arrangements by Veljo Tormis and the unparalleled, unbridled throaty singing of these Estonian folk women is explosive.

The concert is offered as part of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union and in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.