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Veljo Tormis
Litany To Thunder

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tõnu Kaljuste conductor
 
How Can I Recognise My Home
Singing Aboard Ship
Curse Upon Iron
The Singer's Childhood
Songs of the Ancient Sea
The Bishop and the Pagan
Litany to Thunder
The Lost Geese

Recorded August 1998
ECM New Series 1687
 
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Veljo Tormis's timeless compositions draw inspiration from Estonia's ancient history, and these evocations of the past, influenced by folk musics of the Baltic region, are often mesmerizing in sheer physical power. There is nothing else in contemporary choral music that can be compared with "Curse Upon Iron", where the fierce declamations of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir are underpinned by the pounding pulse of a shaman's drum. At such moments, Tormis's music seems possessed, and even the quieter episodes - such as the runo-songs performed by two young sopranos to piano accompaniment - have an hypnotic insistency.