Archived Articles 05 Apr 2006  EWR
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Veljo Tormis (1930 - ) : Vespa Rajad;Jaanilaulud; Vistel – Vastel;Sügismaastikud;Laevas lauldakse; Virmalised
Musica Intima | vocal chamber ensemble

Born near Tallinn, Estonia in 1930, composer Veljo Tormis was raised in a country steeped in rich musical tradition, particularly choral singing. Throughout his career Tormis has composed almost exclusively for a capella choir, either for mixed voices, men’s, women’s or children’s choir. The music featured on this new ATMA recording is inspired by nature and the rhythms created by seasonal and religious milestones. The traditional folk style permeates many of the selections, including Nature Pictures, Autumn Landscapes, St. John’s Day, Northern Lights, Shrovetide Songs, Vespian Paths, and Singing Aboard Ship, with words derived from poetry and traditional Estonian and Finnish texts. The CD’s title work, Forgotten Peoples, was completed in 1989, and was inspired by Tormis’ chance contact with the language and songs of the Livonian people, a stateless population living in Latvia.

Canada’s internationally renowned vocal chamber ensemble, Musica Intima, brings to life this music from remote corners of the earth. The twelve professional singers make up the ensemble, known for their « flexibility and agility » (Vancouver Sun), rehearse and perform without a conductor, allowing a free exchange of ideas that encourage spontaneity and creativity not found in other ensembles.

Based in Vancouver, Musica Intima performs a series of self-produced concerts and collaborates regularly with other organizations including Festival Vancouver, Vancouver New Music, Modern Baroque Opera, the Vancouver Symphony and Pacific Baroque Orchestra. Other collaborators inlcude cellist Steven Isserliss, pianist Rena Sharon, conductor Paul Hillier, actor Christopher Gaze, percussionist Salvador Ferreras, Celtic-funk band Mad Pudding, the Borealis String Quartet, and writer/broadcaster Bill Richardson.

Forgotten Peoples marks the ensemble’s third recording for ATMA Classique, and is available in retail outlets across Canada starting April 4, 2006. Musica Intima performs selections from Forgotten Peoples on their current Canadian tour, which includes stops in Oakville (April 7) and Almonte (April 8). For more information, please visit

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