Music Box
Music Box
December 11, 2011
December 11, 2011

Handbell Ensemble ARSIS

An exciting performing of classical hits and Christmas tunes by Handbell Ensemble Arsis. The festive bronze sound of the bells gives a new dimension to the well-known pieces.

1 W A Mozart / arr V Soonberg Romance from Eine kleine Nachtmusik 5:56
2 W A Mozart / arr R Herbek Menuetto from Eine kleine Nachtmusik 1:53
3 J S Bach / arr B B Kinyon Sinfonia 3:50
4 J S Bach / arr V Soonberg Aria 2:51
5 E Grieg / arr V Stephenson Norwegian Dance from Peer Gynt Suite 2:32
6 E Grieg / arr F A Merrett Anitra’s Dance from Peer Gynt Suite 2:33
7 P I Tchaikovsky / arr V Soonberg October from The Four Seasons 3:50
8 P I Tchaikovsky / arr V Soonberg April from The Four Seasons 3:02
9 T Albinoni / arr K McChesney Adagio 4:39
10 J Sibelius / arr V Soonberg Giv mig ej glans 3:13
11 A-Ch Adam / arr V Soonberg O Holy Night 3:58
12 F Grüber / arr F L Callahan Silent Night, Holy Night 3:25
13 Trad / arr A L Page Christmastime 2:57
14 Antioch tune / arr M K Parrish Joy to the World 3:04
15 A Tammeorg / arr V Soonberg Winter Night 3:12


#3, Bach. Sinfonia, fragment, 1 min 19 sec, mp3

#9, Albinoni. Adagio, fragment, 1 min 44 sec, mp3

ImagetextBells and chimes are probably the oldest instruments that many Asian and European nations knew already in ancient ages. The music of handbells is not the invention of last centuries, either. The roots of these musical instruments date back to 13th−14th cent when it was not rare that differently tuned church bells called people to the service playing beautiful melodies. Sometimes there was used carillon − bell-ringing mechanism in which a manual keyboard (and often pedals) is connected by wires to the beaters of up to 70 static bells. The bells are usually hung in church tower. Carillons are found throughout Europe and the USA, mechanized carillons were the forerunners of musical clocks and boxes, also forerunners of handbells and handchimes.

Handbell Ensemble Arsis (Tiina Kodumäe, Lemme-Liis Elp, Marge Saarela, Heli Kask, Aivar Mäe, Margus Bubert, Mart Schifrin, Indrek Jürimets) was grown up from Arsis Chamber Choir – when the conductor of chamber choir, Aivar Mäe heard handbell music in the USA for the first time, it became his fixed idea to bring this wonderful music also to Estonia, thus founding his own ensemble. It was the year 1991. It took two years explanatory work and preparations in both sides of the world and the idea became reality. In 1993 the representatives of the American Guild of Handbell Ringers visited Estonia, and brought the first 3 octaves of bells as a present to Aivar Mäe and his choir. By now Handbell Ensemble Arsis has one of the most perfect sets in the world that includes bells of 7 octaves. All the handbells in the set have been made in the USA, Malmark bell factory with whom Arsis has been co-operating already since 1993. The ensemble, having eight members, has toured in different places of the world. One of the most exotic places was the Republic of South Africa where Arsis participated in Eisteddfod festival and was awarded the Grand Prix. Already for 5 times Arsis has toured in the USA where the handbell music is most widely spread.
The ensemble is playing mostly arrangements of classical music but also a lot of original music. They have given out four CDs that include the original works by René Eespere (In dies) and Peeter Vähi (Handbell Symphony, Supreme Silence, Planet Cantata), the arrangements of folk songs by Tõnu Kõrvits (Awake, My Heart!), and also participated in the recording of The Flutish Kingdom. The recordings of Arsis are used in the soundtrack of the famous movie Alexander.

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Download: Photo of Arsis, jpg, 300 dpi, 2083 KB

ImagetextAivar Mäe (b 1960) − the artistic director of Handbell Ensemble Arsis. He acquired his musical education at Tallinn Music High School and Estonian Academy of Music where he studied choral conducting with Prof Ants Sööt. Aivar Mäe has been working with several choirs in Estonia as well as abroad − in Sweden and the USA. He has been the leader of international choir festivals, also running seminars for choral music. In 1992, Aivar Mäe studied in the USA for a year and a half improving his knowledge at the music department of Portland University with Prof Bruce Brown. 1999−2009 he has been working as the general manager of Eesti Kontsert, the National Concert Institute of Estonia, 2004−2006 the general manager of Vanemuine Theatre. Since 2009 he holds the position of general manager of Estonian National Opera. Aivar Mäe is a Honorary Member of the Estonian Society for Music Education.

Performed by Handbell Ensemble Arsis, artistic director Aivar Mäe
Recorded in the House of Blackheads, Tallinn, on March 3rd and 4th, 2007
Engineered and mastered by Tanel Klesment
Photos by Alain Hebert, Advantage-studio 2007
Desing by Mart Kivisild
Recording supervisor – Peeter Vähi

© 2007 Arsis & ERP
ERP 1407

Distribution by Arsis:; +372 6621855

Total time 50:35

Other recordings with Handbell Ensemble Arsis: Handbell Symphony, Supreme Silence, In Dies, Planetentöne Vol 2, Om Mani Padme Hung, Traumzeit, The Flutish Kingdom, World Festival Of Sacred Music Europe, Awake, My Heart!, Terra MarianaPreludeThe Best of Arsis Bells, Quarter of a Century with Friends
See also: Music Box and Legend performed by Arsis Youth Handbell Ensembles

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