A joint project of Eesti Kontsert and ERP
The festival Glasperlenspiel (‘The Glass Bead Game’) directed by Peeter Vähi has got its inspiration from the novel by Hermann Hesse. It is certainly a leading musical event in Estonian summer where music lovers can enjoy performers like Australian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Süd-West Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Tōkyō Philharmonic Chorus, Quintet of Berliner Philharmoniker, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Piotr Anderszewski, Olli Mustonen, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Christoph Eschenbach, etc.
from Jul 8 to Aug 6
Pärnu, Tallinn, Tartu, bonus concerts in Riga, Viljandi, Jõhvi and Narva
Artistic director – Peeter Vähi
● Sat Jul 8 at 4 pm
Pärnu Concert Hall
● Sat Jul 8 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
The choir and orchestra of Estonian National Opera
Kristina Vähi − soprano
Riina Airenne − mezzo soprano
Urmas Põldma − tenor
Vladislav Horuzhenko − tenor
Mart Laur − bass
Andrus Haav − violin (the principal violinist of Finnish National Opera)
Conductor − Arvo Volmer
Program: W A Mozart Little Masonic Cantata (‘Eine kleine Freimauer-Kantate’), J Sibelius Violin Concerto, W A Mozart Thamos, King Of Egypt (‘Thamos, König in Ägypten’)
There have been many Masonic composers throughout the centuries including such great names as Johann Christian Bach, Leopold Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven (?), Ferenc Liszt, Niccolò Paganini, Charles Gounod, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Hector Berlioz, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius, George Gershwin, to name but a few, but perhaps the most famous was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart − genius among all geniuses. Mozart’s Masonic connections are well documented. In Prague, Mozart visited the Masonic Loge zur Wahrheit und Einigkeit (‘Truth and Unity’), where his cantata Die Maurerfreude was performed and he promised his Masonic brothers that he would shortly be offering a better tribute to the Masonic spirit. He was referring to Die Zauberflöte (‘The Magic Flute’). In Oct 1791 Mozart was composing the Little Masonic Cantata for the dedication of the temple of the Loge zur Neugekronte Hoffnung (‘Newly Crowned Hope’) on Nov 18th, but his health was deteriorating rapidly. During a walk with his wife he spoke of death and his suspicion that he had been poisoned. However, 2 days later, just a short period before his death, he was well enough to conduct his cantata.
The most celebrated member (since Aug 18th, 1922) of Soumi (Finland) Lodge No 1 was Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, better known to the world as Jean Sibelius. Sibelius, who had been a noted musician more than 25 years, was appointed Grand Organist for the new Grand Lodge, a post he held throughout his life. He became interested in improvising music for the regular work and was persuaded to compose specific selections adapted for use in the lodge room. This culminated in the ritual music known as “Musique Religieuse”, Op 113. His mother-lodge, Suomi Lodge No 1, was the first to hear this remarkable music in 1927.
The Estonian National Opera, established in the year 1906, is a historic organisation with vital traditions and manifold functions. The EsNO’s season, lasting 10 months from Sep until Jun, contains a varied repertoire of opera, ballet, and operetta. About 250 performances of up to 30 different works are presented annually. The EsNO is the home of the symphony orchestra, the opera choir and the ballet. The orchestra was founded in 1907 and it now employs almost a hundred musicians. In addition to its theatre assignments, the orchestra regularly performs symphonic works and records world classics as well as the best of Estonian music. The 54-strong opera choir, besides participating in stage productions, consistently gives concerts on its own as well. Symbolically speaking, the EsNO’s location in the heart of Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, is a reflection of the company’s artistic position − at the centre of Estonian culture.
Arvo Volmer is the music director of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the artistic director and chief conductor of the Estonian National Opera. Volmer’s outstanding musicianship and concentrated work with orchestras has led to his continuing appearances: so at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Brisbane, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the West Australien Orchestra Perth, l’Orchestre National de France, the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the philharmonic orchestras of Stuttgart, Dortmund, Nürnberg, Kiel, Halle, Jena and Rostock as well as the leading orchestras of Scandinavia. Arvo Volmer’s international career was launched following his success at the 1989 Nikolai-Malko-Competitions Copenhagen. He was the music director of the Estonian National Orchestra between 1993 and 2001 and music director of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Finland from 1994 to 2005.
Mozart. Eine kleine Freimauer-Kantate, fragm, 1 min 31 sec, mp3
● Fri Jul 14 at 8 pm St John church (Jaani kirik), Tartu
● Sat Jul 15 at 6 pm Jõhvi Concert Hall, Eastern Viru county (in co-operation with Seitsme Linna Muusika)
Sun Jul 16 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
TŌKYŌ PHILHARMONIC CHORUS
Fujisaki Shigeyasu (shinobue-flute)
Conductor Matsubara Chifuru
Program: Folk songs of Asian countries, Murray Schafer, Mamiya Michio, Peeter Vähi
Chrysanthemum Garden Chant, live rec, fragm, 1 min 47 sec, mp3
Listen to the concert
The Tōkyō Philharmonic Chorus is Japan’s foremost independent professional group in the field. Its members are all graduates of Japanese or European musical conservatories and represent the highest level of choral musical acumen in Japan. Since its foundation in 1956, it has engaged in continuous concert and recording activities, performing works of various periods and genres, from Palestrina to contemporary Japanese composers. Since its inception, the chorus has not only commissioned and premièred more than 100 choral pieces by Japanese composers, but also has given repeated performances of many of these new compositions. This dedication to contemporary music has earned for the chorus high esteem throughout the international music world, and has been recognized in Japan by numerous award such as the Art Festival Award of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Mainichi Newspaper Performing Arts Award, the Kyoto Music Award and so forth. The chorus holds some 200 concerts annually, performs frequently with both Japanese and foreign orchestras and each year makes about 50 TV and radio recordings. Since 1990s, the chorus had many successful concerts with the renowned visiting conductors. With Paul Hillier in 1991 and 1992, with Wolfdieter Maurer in 1993, 1996 and 1998, with John Alldis in 1994 and 1996, James Wood in 1995 and 1997, Thomaskantor Georg Christoph Biller in 1999. Tōkyō Philharmonic Chorus is proud of its last music director (and conductor of NHK Symphony Orchestra) Iwaki Hiroyuki. (Maestro Iwaki Hiroyuki passed away on 13th June 2006. We deeply regret the loss.) The general manager of the Chorus is Kobayashi Shin-ichi.
● Sun Jul 16 at 8 pm Viljandi St Paul church (in co-operation with Viljandi Early Music Festival)
Mon Jul 17 at 7 pm St Alexander church, Narva (in co-operation with Seitsme Linna Muusika)
Tue Jul 18 at 8 pm St Elisabeth church, Pärnu
Ensemble Jouissance (Australia)
Program: Akathistos hymn
Deborah Kayser − soprano, Jerzy Kozlowski − baritone / bass, Peter Neville − bells, percussion, Nick Tsiavos − double bass / artistic director, Anne Norman − shakuhachi-flute
The Akathistos has also a historic context to it, a backdrop that has surrounded the hymn with legend. On three separate occasions in the 7th cent, the capital of Eastern Christendom, Constantinople, was attacked and held under siege. Through the miraculos intervention of the Theotokos, the city repelled the invading armies. The hymn “Ti hypermacho stratigo” links the safety of Constantinople with the benevolent care of the Virgin Mary. Since that time, the “Akathistos” and “Ti hypermacho stratigo” have been sung together as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Protectress of Constantinople.
Jouissance, The Akathistos, fragm, 1 min 31 sec, mp3
● Sat Jul 22 at 7 pm Town Hall, Tallinn
● Sun Jul 23 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
● Mon Jul 24 at 7 pm Black Heads’ House, Riga (in co-operation with Herman Braun Foundation)
MUSIC FOR GLASS HARMONICA
Thomas Bloch (glass harmonica, France) together with Neeme Punder (flute), Olev Ainomäe (oboe) and Tobias String Quartet
Program: W A Mozart, Benjamin Franklin
The glass harmonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. In 1757, while in England he attended a concert given on the wine glasses. He thought it was the sweetest sound he had ever heard but he wanted to hear more harmonies with his melody. Thus the glass harmonica was born and named by Franklin for a word taken from the musical Italian language − Armonica. It has been said that if the harp is “the instrument of the Angels”, then the glass harmonica is “the voice of the Angels”. Graduated size bowls with holes and corks in the center were put onto a horizontal spindle and rotated by a fly wheel and a foot pedal. Moistened fingers rubbed the edges to produce the beautiful sound. Franklin used a most unique way to identify the notes of the bowls. He painted the 7 “white keys” the 7 colors of the rainbow and the 5 “black keys”, white. The glass harmonica was an instant success. Marie Antoinette took lessons on it and Dr Mesmer, the famous hypnotist, used it to put his patients into a deeper trance. Composers started writing for it, the most famous − Mozart, Beethoven, Donizetti, R Strauss, and Saint-Saëns. By the mid-1800s, it suddenly lost its popularity, and gradually vanished. Glass harmonicas were said to drive performers mad and evoke spirits of the dead because of its eerie and haunting sound (!?).
Benjamin Franklin (1706−1790), pictured on the US $100 bill, was one of the most prominent of political figures and statesmen of the USA. Considered the earliest of the founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and diversity of interests. More than anyone he shaped the American Revolution despite never holding national elective office. As a leader of the Enlightenment he had the attention of scientists and intellectuals all across Europe. As agent in London before the revolution, and minister to France during, he more than anyone defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was decisive for American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod; he invented the notion of colonial unity; he invented the idea of America; historians hail him as the “first American”.
Born in Boston, Franklin became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, becoming very wealthy. He published the famous Poor Richard’s Almanack and Pennsylvania Gazette. He became a national hero in America when he convinced Parliament to repeal the hated Stamp Act. A diplomatic genius, Franklin was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. From 1785 to his death, Franklin was president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Franklin was interested in science and technology, carrying out his famous electricity experiments and invented the Franklin stove, medical catheter, lightning rod, swimfins, and bifocals. He also played a major role in establishing the higher education institutions that would become the Ivy League’s University and the Franklin and Marshall College. In addition, Franklin was a noted linguist, fluent in 5 languages, and had the interest in astrology. Also, Franklin left his mark in Freemasonry. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania commissioned the bronze statue of Brother Benjamin Franklin and presented it to the city of Philadelphia (directly across the street from the front door of the Masonic Temple) in 1981, commemorating the 250 years of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania. The USA marks Franklin’s 300th birthday in 2006 with a wide array of exhibitions, and events citing Franklin’s extraordinary accomplishments throughout his illustruous career.
Thomas Bloch, a specialist for rare instruments (Ondes Martenot, glass harmonica, cristal baschet, various keyboards), born in 1962 in France, obtained 15 Music Academy awards, a 1st prize at Paris Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique, and a master in musicology (Strasbourg University). To this day, he has given over 1900 performances in 20 countries and participated in about 40 recordings (Columbia, EMI, Sony, BMG, Polygram, Erato). They include both personal CDs and CDs with other artists all over the world. His latest records include Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphonie (Classical Music Award 2002 – Midem) for Naxos, considered as a reference for this work. For the new Milos Forman’s movie “Amadeus”, Thomas Bloch has recorded an extract of Mozart’s glass harmonica quintet. Thomas Bloch gives lectures, master classes, concerts and writes articles to popularize his instruments and the works composed for them, and is a continuous incentive to others to compose music of all styles for them (he plays about 10 new works every year). Since 1992, he has been teaching Ondes Martenot at Strasbourg Music Academy and, since the opening of the musical instruments Museum in Paris in 1997, he has been charged of presenting to the visitors and playing for them several instruments of the collection. He gives recitals, plays in chamber ensembles and as a soloist with various orchestras. He has played in Amsterdam, Milano, Paris (more than 300 times!), London, New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Budapest, Osaka, Boston, Helsinki, Bruxelles, Firenze, Bologna, Philadelphia, Toulouse, Montreal, Prague, Lisbon, Barcelona, Stockholm, Warsaw, etc.
Thomas Bloch: Mozart. Adagio and Rondo, fragment, 62 sec, mp3
● Wed Jul 26 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
SOUNDS OF RUSSIA, SPAIN & CHINA
Kaia Urb (soprano) & Heiki Mätlik (guitar)
Romance Don’t Damn Me, fragm, 72 sec, mp3
● Thu Jul 27 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
Pärnu City Orchestra
Ralf Taal (piano)
Conductor Olari Elts
Program: Mozart, Chopin, Tshaikovsky, Silvestrov
Pärnu City Orchestra, 83 sec, mp3
● Sat Jul 29 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
Sun Jul 30 at 7 pm Dome church, Riga (in co-operation with Herman Braun Foundation)
THE END OF COMPOSER’ TIME
Tatiana Grindenko (violin) & chamber orchestra Opus Posth (Moscow)
Program: “The Four Seasons”
Opus Posth: Tatiana Grindenko, Igor Solokhin, Elena Poluyanchenko, Sergey Gutman, Egor Ivanenko, Natalya Panasyuk, Fedor Stroganov, Nikita Kochergin, Alexander Ivanenko, Liudmila Egorova, Vladimir Metelev.
The four seasons are four embodiments of the living periods of composers: the beginning (Antonio Vivaldi), the flourishing (Johann Sebastian Bach), the fading (Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy), and the end (Arvo Pärt). Each of the composers symbolises its epoch. Composed or compiled by Russian composer and “music-philosopher” Vladimir Martynov.
Opus Posth, 61 sec, mp3
● Sun Aug 6 at 8 pm Pärnu Concert Hall
THREE GENERATIONS OF MOZART
Maano Männi (violin) & Toomas Vana (piano)
Program: Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Xaver Mozart
Violinist Maano Männi (b 1966) has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music under the guidance of Prof Jüri Gerretz in 1992. He has been the principal violinist of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (1993-96), and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (1993-2000). Maano Männi is known as a solo artist and a chamber musician. Concert tours have taken him to the most of European countries, also the USA and Canada. Maano Männi is the founder of the Tobias String Quartet and the artistic director of the period-true Strauss-Orchestra. Since 2002, he has been the principal violinist of the Vaasa City Orchestra; during the season of 2004 / 2005 he has been the guest concert-master of the orchestra of Estonian National Opera.
Download: flyer in English and Estonian, pdf, 2681 KB
Download: booklet (detailed info in English & Estonian), 67 pages, pdf, 1720 KB
video-clip “Glasperlenspiel 2006”
audio-clip in Estonian “Glasperlenspiel 2006”
audio-clip in Russian “Glasperlenspiel 2006”
Thanks: Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Pärnu City Government, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Eesti Kontsert, Estonian National Opera, Toomas Sildmäe
Riin Eensalu – assistant producer
Tiina Jokinen – management director
Marika Pärk & Margit Saks – Pärnu Concert Hall
Piret Mikk – designer
Vello Rand, Virve Hallik & Clelia Piirsoo – advertisement
Mart Schifrin – logistics
See also: Glasperlenspiel-festivals; Glasperlenspiel on Facebook, Glasperlenspl 2014, Glasperlenspiel 2013, Glasperlenspiel 2012; Glasperlenspiel 2011; Glasperlenspiel 2010; Glasperlenspiel 2009; Glasperlenspiel 2008; Glasperlenspiel 2007; Glasperlenspiel 2005; Archives: Glasperlenspiel 2003 and 2004
animated symbols of Glasperlenspiel