● Festival Glasperlenspiel: July 11th − 16th, 2019, St John’s church, Tartu / Estonia. Artists from Estonia, Russia, Belgium, Iceland, Germany, Japan, China, Australia… premieres… open-air bonus concert for free. Artistic director − Peeter Vähi. Tickets available online at Piletilevi from May 6th.
A joint project of ERP and the city of Tartu. 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 very special 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, as well as the leading musicians of Estonia.
● Thu, July 11th at 7 pm, St John’s church (address Jaani Str 5, Tartu)
MOZART & FRIENDS
Selvadore Rähni (clarinet, Iceand), Elina Nechayeva (coloratura soprano), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Andres Mustonen (violin, conductor)
Bach, Bach-Mozart, Mozart, Mozart-Adam, Vähi
Selvadore Rähni is one of the most famous Estonian clarinetists in the world. Active as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, he is well-known in Japan, where he served as the principal clarinetist of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra from 1997. He hold that position until 2005 and recorded as principal clarinet with KSO for the National TV and Radio of Japan as well as record company Arte Nova. As guest principal clarinet Selvadore has played with Württemberg, Pforzheim, Polish and Czech chamber orchestras as well as with Osaka and Yamanamy festival orchestras and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
As a soloist, Selvadore at the age of 16 had a debut with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in Tallinn and Moscow.
Selvadore has also a brilliant educational backround. From 1986 to 1991 Rähni studied clarinet with Rein Karin and Vahur Vurm in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, having meanwhile studies at the Estonian Humanitarian Institute. From 1991 to 1997, he studied at the University of Music Karlsruhe with Prof Wolfgang Meyer, where he completed his postgraduate and doctoral studies, graduating with honors in 2001. He also improved his skills further through additional studies under the guidance of Prof Alain Damiens in Paris from 1993 to 1997. Selvadore Rähni has given clarinet master courses in Japan, Spain, Estonia, and Germany.
● Fri, July 12th at 7 pm, St John’s church
VARIATIONS ON A PERSIAN THEME
Ensemble HaftCraft (Belgium): Ana Naqe − soprano, Bert Helsen − bassoon, Philip Handschoewerker − violin, Maria-Elena Boila − violin, Katelijne Onsia − viola, Lesya Demkovych − cello
Radman, Kashani, Taremi, Westerlinck, Vähi (première), Mofakham, Osqueezadeh
The bassoon is still not as well known as other classical instruments, even in the 21st century. Bert Helsen and Filip Neyens, both of whom are soloists with the Belgian National Orchestra, decided to set up an ensemble that puts a greater emphasis on the versatility of the instrument. This concept highlights the varied tone colour of both the bassoon and contrabassoon, in a powerful, accessible musical context.
The HaftCraft ensemble has been giving concerts since 2014 in various formations. It started out as a septet with a bassoon, contrabassoon and string quintet (whose members were also members of the Belgian National Orchestra). They played in the concert halls of Belgium, the Netherlands, China, Iran… In the programme Variations on a Persian Theme, the ensemble goes in search of a symbiosis between Iranian traditional and Western classical music. The formation here is a string quartet, bassoon and soprano.
● Fri, July 12th at 10 pm, St John’s church
KLANGKUNST / SOUND ART
Jochen Fassbender (multi-instrumentalist, Germany)
Knock on the sky and listen to the sound! − musical improvisation on the sound objects made of glass, stone and metal
The sound oriented concert presents German multi-instrumentalist Jochen Fassbender who has been interested in the phenomenon of sound through all of his life. From the childhood he has been experimenting with everything that makes sound, building and developing innovative musical instruments and sound objects. He has been working as a sound artist since 1989 and still actively gives concerts, seminars and lectures at the university. His mission is to teach how to listen consciously in the world that is increasingly getting louder. Fassbender has said that the sound has a central meaning in a contemporary world − Bach’s compositions are played by different instruments, jazz singers sing organ scores and Branderburg concertos are performed on a synthesizer.
In this concert he invites the listeners to meditate on a kōan of Zen Buddhism: “Knock on the sky and listen to the sound!”
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta’s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-art form projects and a vigorous commissioning program. The orchestra’s repertoire spanning over centuries, entwines old music with new, from Bach to Piazzolla, from Pärt to Vähi.
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta introduces to the listeners the music from the past as a live, breathing, joyful organism and proves that every type of music could bring freshness to the mind, warm the soul and give energy. It is only up to thinking and attitude. The resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta concert experience.
During the last years Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta performed in Switzerland and Austria, in Italy and Finland, in Germany and Belgium, in Brazil and Chile, in Argentina and Uruguay and also took part at international music festivals like Ars Musica in Brussels, Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo, Mittelfest and Emilia Romagna in Italy, Oleg Kagan International Music Festival in Kreuth am Tegernsee in Germany, Saint Petersburg Easter Festival in Russia, Iitti Music Festival in Finland, Riga Music Festival Artissimo in Latvia, Tallinn Music Week.
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta has played on many prestigious stages in Europe, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Grand Hall of St Petersburg Philharmonia in Russia, Cologne Philharmonic Hall among them, getting high acclaim for each concert.
Heigo Rosin is the first solo percussionist to emerge out of Estonia. Despite his young age he has appeared frequently as a soloist with numerous symphony and chamber orchestras. Additionally, he has performed with different solo programs both in Estonia and abroad. There are a growing number of compositions being especially written for Heigo. In 2016, Heigo was also selected as principal percussionist with full scholarship to the World Percussion Group tour in the USA.
In 2004, Heigo Rosin started his percussion studies at Heino Eller Tartu Music College. Despite the lack of instruments in his hometown and literally practicing all percussion techniques on his bed, he was accepted to study in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT) in 2008. He completed his studies (Bachelor and Masters degree) there in 2014 with a distinction in Rein Roos’ percussion class. Simultaneously with EAMT Heigo studied in the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and earned his second Bachelor and Masters degree with a distinction in Prof Carlo Willems’ and Prof Koen Wilmaers’ percussion classes. Since 2014, Heigo has been studying at the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus / Aalborg in Prof Henrik Knarborg Larsen’s percussion class to earn a soloist diploma. During his years of studies Heigo has participated in numerous master classes of teachers and educators from all over the world including She-E Wu, Pius Cheung, Emmanuel Séjourné, Mark Ford, David Friedman, Hakim Ludin, and Pedro Carneiro. He has also participated in the drum clinics of Dave Weckl and Sheila E. In addition to that Heigo has had personal percussion sessions with the world famous solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Additional honors awarded to Heigo through various national and international competitions include 1st Prize at the Contemporary Music Competition De Linkprijs in the Netherlands (2013), 1st Prize at the Yamaha Scholarship Competition for Percussion (2013), 2nd Prize through the Estonian Academy of Music, classical music radio Klassikaraadio prizes at the Estonian TV competition “Classical Stars” (2013) and 1st Prize at the Estonian National Competition for Winds and Percussion in Tallinn (2012).
Heigo’s performances are hypnotizing and his choice of program content is unique. The way he breathes life into the rhythms in the music is enrapturing and the melodies and harmonies are mesmerizing; his performances carry audiences to other worlds. On the stage, his presence is fluid and versatile; sometimes an angel, who comforts, protects and brings blessings, sometimes a demon that shadows the whole hall with darkness. While performing he likes to play with emotions and energy, establishing a deep connection with the music he plays. Over ten years of karate practice has inspired Heigo to combine the movements of karate with his percussion playing. This unique aspect of his playing has given Heigo the nickname “Percussion Athlete” and makes his performances extraordinary not only to hear but to see.
● Sun, July 14th, 12 at noon, Kaarsild bridge, at 12.30 pm Town Hall Square, Tartu (free entrance)
TARTU TOP TEN
The festival Glasperlenspiel offers again one concert with free entrance for the audience. Beautiful music will be performed on Kaarsild bridge and at the Town Hall Square. Organisers of the festival have chosen the best works from the Kaarsilla musical works competition. The program includes pieces by Robert Jürjendal, Marianna Liik, Kristjan Kannukene, Judith Parts, Roman-Sten Tõnissoo and Peeter Vähi.
The second part of the concert is dedicated to a carillon – a musical instrument that consists at least 23 bells and is usually housed in the bell tower of a church or a municipal building. The carillon of Tartu Town Hall with 34 bells is recognized as the biggest in Estonia. Compositions for this unique instrument are selected, arranged and programmed by Merle Kollom, the first lady of Estonian carillon music. Delibes, Rimski-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Albéniz, Liszt, Rodrigo, Saint-Saëns…
Pianist & fortepianist Keiko Shichijo is a special voice in both the Classical and new music worlds. Her traditional Japanese sensibilities combined with her knowledge of European historical performance practices shape her unique vision, and this is reflected in her feeling for the music, the instruments and the story behind them.
Keiko Shichijo studied fortepiano with Stanley Hoogland and organ with Pieter van Dijk at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and specialized contemporary music with Daan Vandewalle in Royal Conservatory of Ghent in Belgium. Hailing from Japan and residing in the Netherlands for more than a decade, she is active around the world playing both solo and chamber music. She is a prizewinner in many international competitions, including twice the International Early Music Competition (solo and duo) in Brugge, Belgium, the International Early Music Competition A Tre in in Germany and the Minkoff Prize from the music publisher, Edition Minkoff, and has performed in many international festivals such as the festivals Printemps Des Arts (France), Utrecht Oude Muziek Festival (Holland), MA Festival (Belgium), La Folle Journée Tokyo (Japan). In 2012, the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments in Japan released her first fortepiano solo CD of works by Schubert.
Her second solo CD 6 Dances by Komitas Vardapet, released in 2016, earned unanimous praise in the international press and was featured on the national Dutch TV program Vrije Geluiden.
Keiko Shichijo has a violin/fortepiano duo with renowned violinist Cecilia Bernardini which performs regularly throughout Europe.
As a specialist in contemporary music Keiko has worked with many composers, including Helmut Lachenmann, Tom Johnson, Johannes Kalitzke, Jürg Frey, Roscoe Mitchell en Bernhard Lang. Recently she premiered a concerto with the Janacek Philharmonic.
“… purity of sounds-breathtaking…” “… her sound filled the hall as one huge warm blanket…”
Since September 2017 she teaches piano and fortepiano at the Fontys Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Tilburg.
● Sun, July 14th at 7 pm, Maarjamäe Palace, Tallinn
TIME IS TICKING
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen
Penderecki, Lutosławski, Bacewicz, Bałenkowski, Pärt, Sumera, Vähi, Uusberg
Andres Mustonen is one of the most unique conductors and violinists in Estonia. His activity as a conductor follows the timeline of music history from early to contemporary music, with emphasis on performing oratorios, passions, dramas and symphonic music. A special place in his repertoire is held by the works of contemporary composers, with whom he has formed a tight creative bond: Sofia Gubaidulina, Krzysztof Penderecki, Giya Kancheli, Valentin Silvestrov, Aleksandr Knaifel, Erkki Sven Tüür, Arvo Pärt, Awet Terterjan, Peeter Vähi etc.
Andres Mustonen graduated from Tallinn Conservatory in 1977, but his career as a musician has been all but conventional and academic. During his years of study, he was a fanatic performer of avant garde music and the organiser of happenings. In the 1970s he turned his interest towards the sources of European Christian tradition that resulted in a long-term work as the artistic director of the ensemble Hortus Musicus. In addition, Mustonen likes to perform chamber music with his friends and kindred spirits. In recent years, he has performed also with the ensemble Art Jazz Quartet. Concerts have taken him from Italy to Israel, Finland to Serbia and Russia to Germany. Since 2012, he is the artistic director and chief conductor of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta. His respect towards orchestral work and musicians is well summarised by himself: “For me, an orchestra is not a static form, but a living union consisting of musicians who complement and influence each other.”
● Sat, July 13th at 7 pm, Viljandi St John’s church (in co-operation with Viljandi Early Music festival)
● Sun, July 14th at 10 pm, St John’s church
ONE HUNDRED MONTHS, THIRD OF EAST
Deborah Kayser (soprano) & Nick Tsiavos (double bass, Australia)
“Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” (Flaubert)
One Hundred Months, Third of East is journey through a kind of modernist Byzantium of the imagination, an exploration of an architecture of loss and desire, into which both voice and bass are immersed.
The Svetilen ensemble offers an insight into Russian traditional music. The ensemble was formed in 1989 to preserve the old Russian vocal tradition. This style is reflected in two types of singing: church singing and secular singing. Musical compositions are usually performed a cappella but sometimes ancient Russian instruments are used giving a peculiar sound. Svetilen tries to bring new conceptions to old Russian choral culture. The search for original choral arrangements, rhythmic patterns and harmonies, reflecting the character and forms of sacred and folk music is the main guideline for the ensemble. The group has participated in numerous festival in Russia and abroad and has won several internal awards.
Vytautas Kiminius is one of the most prominent birbynė player in Lithuania, graduated as an oboist from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Currently Vytautas is an intern in Conservatiorio di Verona Evaristo Felice Dall’abaco, in Italy. Vytautas is the first and only Lithuanian birbynė professional, who is studying birbynė performance art outside Lithuania and is representing the instrument’s capabilities by performing classical worldwide know pieces. During his study years, Vitautas won Grand Prix in the international performers’ contest Renaissance in Armenia; is a three-time laureate of Jonas Švedas performers’ contest and has won the 1st prize in the contest of the international association Menas ir švietimas XXI amžiuje. In 2016, Vytautas graduated also as Master of symphony orchestra conducting in the class of Prof. Juozas Domarkas.
In 2015, Vytautas introduced birbyne to the whole world: he played during live broadcast of the project The Sound of Europe on Deutsche Welle.
Vytautas Kiminius is actively engaged in musical activity, constantly searches for further birbyne − the national instrument of Lithuania − capabilities, and, by using intricate and complex techniques, promotes innovative performance of professional music with birbynė.
Birbynė is a Lithuanian national wind istrument that can be either single or double-reeded. Birbynė can be made of a variety of materials: wood, bark, horn, straw, goose feather, etc. The earliest and simplest examples were used by shepherds as a tool to control the herd. In the 19th century, influenced by classical instruments and especially the clarinet, the birbynė evolved into a serious musical instrument used in ensembles. Modern birbynės are made of wood with bells of horn and usually have ten holes.
Founded in 1968, the “historical” Čiurlionis Quartet has a reputation of an inventive and technically advanced collective. In 2004, the Quartet captured 2nd prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Schweinfurt, Germany; the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union awarded it with the Gold Disc. In 2005, the Čiurlionis Quartet attracted much attention of the international audiences and media by giving concerts in the EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan, and the presentation of its VCD at the world’s music fair MIDEM 2005 in Cannes, France. The Quartet has performed nearly all across Europe: from Iceland to Russia and from Norway to Italy; it has also toured Canada, UAE, the USA, Mexico, Japan, China… The Quartet has appeared in such venues as Leipzig Gewandhaus, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Beethovenhaus Bonn, Schauspielhaus Berlin, Musée d’Orsay Paris, etc; also has been invited to perform at numerous prestigious festivals, including the Pražské Jaro, Berliner Festwochen, Festival van Vlaanderen, Schleswig-Holstein, Europamusikale… Following its debut at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the reviewer of Musical Opinion, the Britain’s oldest classical music magazine, wrote about the Quartet’s exquisite interpretation “proving to be a timely reminder to chamber music lovers in London of what genuine quartet playing should be.”
● Sun, April 14, 2019 at 5 pm in Kaarli kirik (Charles’ church), address Toompuiestee 4, Tallinn
Palm Sunday Concert: Johann Sebastian Bach − ST JOHN PASSION, BWV 245
Anto Õnnis (Evangelist, tenor), Jaanika Kuusik (soprano), Annely Leinberg (mezzo-soprano), Tõnis Kaumann (baritone), Alvar Tiisler (bass), Tallinn Boys Choir (chorus master Lydia Rahula), Collegium Musicale (chorus master Endrik Üksvärav), Arsis handbell ensembles (artistic director Aivar Mäe), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen. In addition − All-Estonian Choral Choir.
Bach composed his St John Passion during his second year in Leipzig, in 1724. As the freshly appointed cantor of the St Thomas church and therefore also the music director for the four churches of Leipzig, Bach probably felt the need to prove himself in this new situation. After all, he was far from first choice for the position − one official of the city council even remarked that, in lieu of the best man, they would have to make do with a mediocrity. With the St John Passion, Bach was surely able to surpass these doubts, as the piece was the most extensive he had written so far.
It is known from his obituary that Bach wrote five settings of the passion story, but the only surviving ones today are the St John’s and St Matthew’s. Perhaps this is the reason why these two masterpieces are constantly compared to each other. Robert Schumann, who conducted the St John Passion in 1851, considered it “more daring, forceful and poetic” than the St Matthew Passion. The St John Passion is also often described as more realistic, faster paced and more anguished. Bach never composed an opera, but this is about as close as he came.
St John Passion is written for an intimate ensemble of soloists, four-part choir, strings and basso continuo and pairs of flauti traversi and oboes. For additional colours, Bach also used lute, viola d’amore and viola da gamba. The author of the libretto is unknown, although it is likely that it was Bach himself. The core of the libretto is made up by chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John, with some additional paragraphs from the Gospel of Matthew and settings of poems by Barthold Heinrich Brockes, Christian Weise and Christian Heinrich Postel. The St John Passion was first performed on Good Friday, April 7 in 1724 at the St Nicholas church in Leipzig.
Bach repeatedly returned to the piece, revising it three times: in 1725, 1732 and 1749. This clearly shows how much value Bach placed on the work. Nowadays, the original work of 1724 is the most often performed version.
Bach. St John Passion, fragment; performed by Tallinn Boys Choir, Voces Musicales, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, and conductor Andres Mustonen; recorded live 2018 in Tallinn; 3 min 35 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
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Peeter Vähi − artistic director
Taavet − artistic advisor
Tiina Jokinen − executive director
Kadri Kiis − producer, accountant
Meeta Morozov − booklet editor, liner notes
Olavi Sööt − logistics
Johannes Vähi − webcast / live streaming, logistics
Marje Hansar − social media marketing
Tarmo Tuvike − PR, marketing
Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Toyota Baltic AS, Urmas Klaas, Juhani Jaeger, Priit Reiman, Assar Jõgar, Kaupo Kiis, Anne-Liise Kiis, Kristel Leppik, Estonian Choral Association, Kaie Tanner, volunteers
See also: Glasperlenspiel-festivals; Glasperlenspiel 2018, Glasperlenspiel 2017, Glasperlenspiel 2016, Glasperlenspiel 2015, Glasperlenspiel 2014, Glasperlenspiel 2013, Glasperlenspiel 2012, Glasperlenspiel 2011, Glasperlenspiel 2010, Glasperlenspiel 2009, Glasperlenspiel 2008, Glasperlenspiel 2007, Glasperlenspiel2006, Glasperlenspiel 2005, Archives: Glasperlenspiel2003 and 2004
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