Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eastern Europe

Map of the Czech Republic


  1. The Czech Republic is a really lovely country--in parts, the countryside reminded me a lot of Oregon. Prague is fascinating but so are Brno (the home of Janacek) and Olomouc in the east part of the country (Moravia). The Czech Republic was one of my favorite countries I visited in Eastern Europe.

  2. All the talking we did in class about composers being influenced by folk music got me thinking about one of my favorite composers, Veljo Tormis. I was lucky enough to work with him twice- once when he was here at UO, and on a month- long recording project with the chamber choir when I was at PSU. In another post on this site, I talked about how folk music is so emotionally moving, and how classical and folk musics have different abilities to move us. Tormis' music combines both the poignancy of folk music with the complexity of 20th century classical music. For me, working with him was one of the most influential music experiences of my life. He mostly writes choral music, but I just recently discovered that he has written some solo vocal music. I am on the search for these pieces, and will let anyone interested know how it goes! In the meantime, here are two Youtube videos I found of his music, so you can hear what I am talking about.

    This is the last movement from "Jaanilaulud," based on the folk tunes of "Eesti rahvalaule viisidega."

    This piece is the second movement of "Laulud Laulust ja Laulikust." Sorry about the background noise and bad camera work, but it is the only recording of this song on Youtube that I thought was okay enough to put up.

    Also, here are some websites I found that have good info on Tormis:

    Sorry to go a little off topic, but I feel like the folk elements he uses are very relevant to the folk music stuff we have been talking about in class. Plus, I feel like we as solo singers can learn a lot from other types of music ;)