Back to the Front Page

Veljo Tormis: Casting a spell... Estonian Calendar Songs 1966-67
Virgin Classics 7243 5 45185 2 2 (European 1st edition)

Recorded at All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, England on May 6-8, 1995. Released in 1996.
Balance engineer:Mike Clements; Producer:Stephen Johns.

All compositions by Veljo Tormis (1930-)
Tracks 1.-9. Mardilaulud [Martinmas songs] (1966-67) (8:01) TB = Tenor and Bass voices only
Tracks 10.-13. Kadrilaulud [St. Catherine's Day songs] (1966-67) (5:59) SA = Soprano and Alto voices only
Tracks 14.-16. Vastlalaulud [Shrovetide songs] (1966-67) (5:11) TB
Tracks 17.-22. Kiigelaulud [Swing songs] (1966-67) (10:27) SA
Tracks 23.-29. Jaanilaulud [St. John's Day songs for midsummer's eve] (1966-67) (14:13) SATB = Soprano Alto Tenor and Bass voices
Tracks 30.-32. Kolm Eesti Mängulaulu [Three Estonian Game Songs] (1972) (7:51) SATB Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Tõnu Kaljuste

Commissions, Dedications, Premieres and Awards
The booklet note by composer Veljo Tormis states that "the Estonian Calendar Songs were originally written for two large amateur choirs (male choir and female choir), both comprising up to ninety singers. The premiere took place in April 1968 with my contemporary, Arvo Ratassepp (1926-86), conducting."
Music Publishers
The scores of Veljo Tormis: Casting a spell... are published by Fennica Gehrman, Helsinki, Finland (previously Fazer Music Inc./Warner Chappell Finland).
Other Points of Interest and Links
1. The European edition CD booklet contains an essay by Ülo Tedre (translated by Kaja Kappel) on Estonian runo song and gives the context for the calendar songs on the disc. There is also a note from composer Veljo Tormis himself giving an overview of his career and where he states that the Estonian Calendar Songs were a turning point in his artistic life. There is also a brief biographical note on Tõnu Kaljuste. All of these notes are provided in a German version as well (translation by Anne Steeb & Bernd Müller). The texts of the Calendar Songs are provided in their original Estonian with an English translation by Kristin Kuutma with Eric Dickens except for the Game Songs which are translated by Kaja Kappel with Eric Dickens.
2. The website for Virgin Classics Records is