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Forgotten Peoples


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Audio CD, February 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Tonu Kaljuste
  • Composer: Veljo Tormis
  • Audio CD (February 1, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B0000266WZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,490 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Forgotten Peoples: Livonian Heritage: Waking The Birds
2. Forgotten Peoples: Livonian Heritage: Day Of A Herdsboy
3. Forgotten Peoples: Livonian Heritage: Shrove Tuesday
4. Forgotten Peoples: Livonian Heritage: Wee Winky Mouse
5. Forgotten Peoples: Livonian Heritage: Sang The Father, Sang His Son
6. Forgotten Peoples: Votic Wedding Songs: The Ritual Whisking Of The Bridge
7. Forgotten Peoples: Votic Wedding Songs: The Arrival Of Wedding Guests
8. Forgotten Peoples: Votic Wedding Songs: Mockery Singing
9. Forgotten Peoples: Votic Wedding Songs: Distributing The Dowry Chest
10. Forgotten Peoples: Votic Wedding Songs: Instructing The Newly-Weds
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Rontuska I (A Dance Song)
2. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Röontuska II
3. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Rontuska III
4. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Chastushka I
5. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Chastushka II
6. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : A Roundelay
7. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Rontuska IV
8. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Rontuska V
9. Forgotten Peoples: Ingrian Evenings : Ending And Going Home
10. Forgotten Peoples: Vepsian Paths : My Sister, My Little Cricket
See all 29 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Estonian composer Veljo Tormis has done something special with Forgotten Peoples, forging a unique and original modern classical composition that looks to the ancient song heritage of nearly lost Baltic-region cultures. For 20 years, Tormis explored the cultural heritage of the Votians, Livonians, and Izhorians, absorbing as much source material from these displaced and fragmented groups as possible in a race against time. The results are astounding. The six song cycles bear a striking resemblance to the work of fellow Estonian composer Arvo Part in their minimalist structure, but the songs themselves are intrinsically more complex and weird. You'll hear animal sounds, polyphony, and chant in Tormis's work, discovering new elements with each listen. The Estonian Chamber Choir is in perfect form on these complex works, making them sound easy and, of course, folksy (which they are). Highly recommended. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Absolutely, but in a truly warm and inviting way.
Ed Luhrs
And then, of course, there is the music... Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (b. 1930) has fashioned six song cycles using elements of ancient folk melodies.
Karl W. Nehring
This is a fine choral collection, and one to play for that classical curmudgeon you know who insists good music isn't being written anymore.
William Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Few composers can so masterfully combine folk tradition with modern musical trends. Tormis combines the rythmic sounds of finno-ugric folk songs with the power of a choir to create a sound that is haunting and hypnotising. On the other hand, Tormis also provides these small disappearing nations with an invaluable service, by making sure their languages and their songs will not be forgotten. Their songs also include information on how these people lived, their life cycle, their rituals and traditions, etc. All of this information could have been lost had it not been for Tormis's outstanding efforts. I had the chance in the last few years to interact with some of the very few Livonians remaining in this world (one of the groups featured in this collection), and it was a great surprise for me to see that the songs included on Tormis's "Forgotten People" are still sung by them, and it was their surprise to see that I already knew some of those melodies. If you are looking for pure "ethnic" music, "Forgotten People" might not be up your alley, since these songs are stylized and sung by a choir. However the resulting sound is unique, and is a proud tribute to these forgotten people.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ed Luhrs on January 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I wish a review could do this work justice. I think Tormis has written one of the greatest choral works of all time, without question. The pieces are written in languages similar to Estonian and Finnish. The cultures, along with the languages, are becoming erased by time, hence the bleak front cover with the fence falling into overgrown grass.

On the other hand, the music is playful and filled with variety. Strange? Absolutely, but in a truly warm and inviting way. There are complete lyrics and English translations, so you will understand everything that is going on.

This is one of the greatest musical discoveries I have ever made. No exaggeration. Any work that preserves history so distinctly deserves wide recognition. Spread the word.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Roberts on February 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I haven't much to add to the previous review except to say that I agree with it. This is a fine choral collection, and one to play for that classical curmudgeon you know who insists good music isn't being written anymore. I've had this recording for over 4 years and it's one I keep taking off the shelf and relisten to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karl W. Nehring on August 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
What a treasure this ECM New Series release is! From its haunting cover photograph to its informative booklet, this two-CD set is clearly a labor of love for those who produced it. And then, of course, there is the music...

Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (b. 1930) has fashioned six song cycles using elements of ancient folk melodies. The music is not an assemblage of old folk tunes that he researched; rather, it is his evocation of these melodiesCthe music of forgotten peoples. The music sounds at once very ancient and very modern, something like the music of Arvo Pärt, but this is music with its own voice. Indeed, it is hard to keep in mind that this is all music that has been composedCit has the feeling of genuine folk art.

ECM has done a wonderful job of capturing this choir in a resonant but not cavernous acoustic, and as sheer sound, this music is a rewarding aural experience. You can enjoy this recording simply for its sound, or you can take the time to study the lyrics and learn something about these forgotten peoples. No matter which approach you take, you will find that this is music that is powerful, haunting -- and hard to forget.
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