November 26, 2013
Wiegenlieder der Schmerzen
Wiegenlieder der Schmerzen
December 11, 2011

Handbell Ensemble Arsis

20 years of Handbell Ensemble Arsis. Released on Dec 21st, 2013.

1 Tomaso Albinoni – Remo Giazotto / arr K McChesney Adagio 4:42
2 Johann Sebastian Bach – Charles Gounod / arr A Hartley Ave Maria 2:57
3 Edvard Grieg / arr F A Merrett Anitra’s Dance (from Peer Gynt) 3:18
4 Camille Saint-Saëns / arr M R Keller Dance Macabre 2:52
5 Georges Bizet / arr B B Garee The Ball (from Children’s Games) 2:11
6 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Mu süda ärka üles / Awake, My Heart!* 3:23
7 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Äiutused / Lullabies* 3:37
8 Estonian folk songs / arr T Kõrvits Karja kojukutse / Calling the Cattle Home* 2:51
9 René Eespere In dies (Movement II) 2:46
10 B Waine Bisbee Rondo del Español 2:31
11 Leo Gillis Pick a Winner 1:47
12 Peeter Vähi Vajrasattva Mantra (from Supreme Silence) 10:27
13 Peeter Vähi Handbell Symphony (Movement II) 8:29


#1 Tomaso Albinoni. Adagio, fragm, 1 min 44 sec, mp3

#6 Estonian folk song / arr Tõnu Kõrvits. Awake, My Heart, fragm, 1 min 5 sec, mp3

#13 Peeter Vähi. Handbell Symphony, Movement II, fragm, 1 min 28 sec, mp3

The selected recordings from Arsis’ CDs 1997−2010: Night Music (#1), Terra Mariana (#2−5), Awake, My Heart! (#6−8), In dies (#9−11), Supreme Silence (#12), Handbell Symphony (#13)

Performed by Handbell Ensemble Arsis, Heldur-Harry Põlda (boy-soprano, #2), Toomas Vavilov (clarinet, #9), Irén Lovász (vocal, #12), Estonian National Male Choir RAM (#12), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (#13), Konchok Lhundrup (alias Peeter Vähi, mantra recitation), #12), Aivar Mäe (conductor, #9–11, #13), Kristjan Järvi (conductor, #12)

Recorded in Tallinn Merchant Guild, Estonia Concert Hall, Studio of Estonian Radio, the House of Blackheads, Swedish St Michael’s Church (Tallinn)
Engineered by Maido Maadik (#12), Priit Kuulberg (#9−11, #13), Tanel Klesment (#1−8)
Mastered by Tanel Klesment
Photos by Viljo Pettinen
Designed by Mart Kivisild
Management by Tiina Kodumäe
Translation by Tiina Jokinen
Edited by Inna Kivi
Produced by Peeter Vähi

© Arsis, ERP (Tallinn)
ERP 7013-1

The bells are ringing
The song they’re singing
The sound is bringing the people ’round…

ImagetextChurch and temple bells, carillons, chime clocks, tinkler bells, death knells… their timeless ringing has carried through centuries and cultures, accompanying man from birth to death, always present on important moments. Uniting and parting, rejoicing and mourning, calling and cautioning (wedding and funeral bells, Christmas and alarm bells), their sound embodies strong emotions that have inspired composers and instrument masters, poets and writers from Bach and Shakespeare to Hemingway.
The roots of the handbells date back to the 17th century England where the first miniature copies of church bells were cast. The bells that first and foremost were meant for practice by carillon players, soon acquired a status of independent musical instruments and were called hand bells. Their heyday was left in the 18th century when most self-respecting civilized people practiced hand bell music as their hobby. Today, those in the meantime obsolete instruments, are gaining more and more world-wide recognition.

Handbell Ensemble Arsis (today Tiina Kodumäe, Lemme-Liis Elp, Marge Saarela, Gerda Neemre, Aivar Mäe, Margus Bubert, Mart Schifrin, Indrek Jürimets) formed in 1993 from the singers of Arsis Chamber Choir, consists today of eight professional players and has one of the biggest handbell collections in the world (7 + 4 octaves of English handbells and 7 octaves of chimes). Guest performances have taken them to South Africa, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, England, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Holland, Canada and the USA. The most prestigious halls that have hosted Arsis are the Grand Hall of St Petersburg Philharmonic, Oslo Concert Hall
and El Pardo Palace in Madrid, the concert in the latter was attended by the Spanish Royal Couple. In addition to the current one, the ensemble has released 5 solo recordings and participated in numerous recordings with symphony and chamber orchestras, choirs, and other music projects. Arsis has had close collaboration with many composers and has commissioned and premiered more than 10 new works.

            Arsis400            AivarMae300

The conductor and artistic director of the ensemble is Aivar Mäe who introduced handbell music to Estonia. However, Aivar Mäe’s work is not only limited to handbell music, he is one of the most prominent figures in the Estonian musical life, having occupied positions of director at various music theatres, Estonian National Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert, being the founder of new concert halls as well as co-initiator of several festivals. And why not also remember his youth as a pop singer (ensemble Vitamiin). 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.

Press resonance

Worldwide distribution until 2020 by Note 1 Music (Germany, phone +49 6221 720351, fax +49 6221 720381,,
Distribution in Estonia by Arsis,, +372 6621855,

See also other recordings with 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!, Night Music, Terra Mariana, Prelude, Quarter of a Century with Friends
See also other recordings with Heldur Harry Põlda: Vater unser, Cantus angelicus