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Estonian requiems

Under the initiative of Estonian Male Choir Association Estonian National Male Choir, Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir, Tartu Boys' Choir, and Orchestra Uue Tänava Orkester will present two requiems that are important in the history of Estonian music.

Tubin. Requiem for Fallen Soldiers
Kreek. Requiem in C minor

Cyrillus Kreek's requiem is the first requiem in the Estonian music history. The composer started composing the piece in autumn 1925 and ended the eight-part requiem on September 1927, a few months before his 38th birthday. At the same age, his friend Peeter Süda died, so the work might be written in memory of him.

The premiere of the requiem was held on October 20, 1929, at the Estonia Concert Hall under the baton of Juhan Aavik. The presentation of the requiem at the 10th Song Festival in 1933 was a major event. The work was performed eight times during the lifetime of the composer, most recently on February 18, 1940, when his 50th birthday was celebrated at the Estonia Concert Hall. The Kreek's requiem is written for the text in Estonian based on the text of W. A. Mozart's Requiem, translated by Schultz-Bertram in the 19th century. This nearly 40-minute musical work is written for the mixed choir and orchestra, at contemporary concerts, the piece is performed by highly acclaimed collectives: Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir, Tartu Boys' Choir and Orchestra Uue Tänava Orkester, conductor Kaspar Mänd.

Eduard Tubin's most important vocal work, Requiem for Fallen Soldiers (1950/1979) (written for male choir, alto, organ and percussion instruments) was premiered on May 17, 1981 in Stockholm under the baton of the author - this was the last time Tubin was conducting. In an interview given in 1979, Tubin mentioned that he wrote this work for the Estonian National Male Choir and gave the sheet to the choir's artistic director Gustav Ernesaks.

However, the premiere in Estonia was only possible in 1989, as the composer and both of the authors of the text (Henrik Visnapuu and Marie Under) were refugees and, according to the Soviet ideological apparatus, soldiers who had fought in the "wrong side" were also remembered in the musical work. This is a serious and dramatic but very intimate work. Tubin, who had experienced the ugliness of the two world wars, dedicated the requiem to the remembrance of all the fallen soldiers. At today's concerts, the piece is performed by the Estonian National Male Choir, Iris Oja (alto), Indrek Vau (trumpet), Anto Õnnis and Kristjan Mäeots (percussion) and Piret Aidulo (organ).

Concerts will be held on June 13 at 6 p.m. at the Tartu St. Paul's Church, on June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn, and on June 15 at 9 p.m. at the Kuressaare Sport Centre. Concerts commemorate the victims of the June deportation.

Organizers: Estonian Male Choir Association and Eesti Kontsert

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