"When I sing Tormis's music, I feel the earth, the salt, the wind. I've never experienced that with music before." This is how one of the singers of the Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris spoke before the Paris concert on March 14 at the Paris Philharmonic.
Veljo Tormis' cycle "Forgotten Peoples" presented in March 2023 at the Cité de la Musique in Paris was a significant event in every way. The music of forgotten peoples was performed in one of the most important concert halls of the French capital. The sound of the forgotten Isuri and Vadya languages were revived by the performance of an 80-member French choir. As part of the main programme of Tartu 2024, Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris will come to Tartu to perform this extraordinary concert at the Estonian National Museum on June 15.
Veljo Tormis' cycle "Forgotten Peoples" includes three parts in the repertoire: "Izhorian Epic”, "Votic Wedding Songs" and "Ingrian Evenings".
“When I started working in Paris, I knew right away that I wanted to introduce our rich choral music," describes Ingrid Mänd, the conductor of the concert. "Performing Tormis’s ‘Forgotten Peoples’ in Paris was one of the first ideas I proposed, and it was immediately approved. The repetitive motifs in both the text and music have a meditative effect and their traditional content connects us to a time thousands of years in the past. For the choir, this cycle is a very special experience and an intriguing addition to the classical large-form repertoire, they are fascinated by it. The joy is even greater since one year later they can perform this music in it’s natural environment, so to speak."
Alyona Movko-Mägi created the video and lighting design for the concert which conveys Finno-Ugric culture and traditions. Through these visions, the audience will experience both sonically and visually captivating customs of these ancient peoples.
Kaljo Põllu's graphic elements have been used to create the animation which accompanies the cycle of Isuri's epic. The choral works are thus interwoven with high quality visuals encapsulating the living conditions of the Finno-Ugrian indigenous people, based on materials selected from the Estonian film archive and Lennart Meri's films.
The concert "Forgotten Peoples" is part of the Tartu 2024 Finno-Ugric Festival programme, which will be held on June 15 at the Estonian National Museum. "Forgotten Peoples" (V. Tormis / Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris, cond. Ingrid Roose) is a part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main programme.
Choir of the Paris Orchestra
Conductor Ingrid Roose
Videographer Alyona Movko-Mägi