The trilogy, which began with Tõnu Kõrvits’ “Moorland Elegies” gets its final part: the premiere of “The Voice of the Wings” takes place this week

  • 2022-05-25

The trilogy of Tõnu Kõrvits and Doris Kareva, which began with the widely acclaimed “Moorland Elegies” and continued with “You Are the Light and the Morning”, will be complete this week: the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra will premiere the third and final part on May 26 in Haapsalu Cathedral, on May 27 in St. Paul’s Church in Tartu and on May 28 in St. John's Church in Tallinn. The concerts are conducted by Risto Joost.

Conductor Risto Joost, the trilogy's commissioner, who personally directs the premiere performances, says that all three works have an accentuated poetic and lyrical tone, exceptionally beautiful and amazingly powerful.

According to the author of the texts, Doris Kareva, “The Voice of the Wings” is a logical continuation of Tõnu Kõrvits’ earlier works “Moorland Elegies”, based on works of Emily Brontë and “You Are the Light and the Morning” based on works of Cesare Pavese.

The third and final part of the trilogy is inspired by the life and work of Amelia Earhart, a US aviation pioneer and women’s rights activist. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in May 1932, and the second person after Charles Lindberg to take this journey, which required courage and ability, alone and without stopping. She set other records, wrote books on flying experience, and set an example for women of her generation.

“It seems to me that the quintessence of “Voice of the Wings” lies in the thought expressed by Amelia: Courage is the price that life requires for the gift of peace. This phrase should really be remembered. Perhaps the most mysterious of the texts inspired by Amelia’s letters and poems, “One Love”, is based on the last signal she sent, which no one received,” says Kareva.

The English-language “Moorland Elegies” is characterized by scary loneliness, crisp nature lyricism and Gothic blues. The Italian-language “You Are the Light and the Morning” explores tragic existential currents. It is an anthem to life and love sung from the dark and hopeless depths.

According to Tõnu Kõrvits, the new work “The Voice of the Wings” is the brightest one compared to the previous parts of the trilogy: “It is a song about flying, dreams, courage and unconditional love”.

The first two parts of the trilogy have received widespread acclaim

“Moorland Elegies” was first performed in 2015 and earned public attention. For the nine-part cycle for choir and string instruments, Tõnu Kõrvits was awarded the Estonian National Award in the field of culture in 2016. In 2017 the Estonian Choir Association chose the record as the recording of choir music of the year, and in the classical music album chart of NPR (National Public Radio USA) the album earned the third place. Additionally, in the summer of 2017, for several weeks the record remained in the first place in the ranking of classical music album sales on Amazon. In 2018, “Moorland Elegies” was awarded the title of the Classical Album of the Year, and in 2019 Vanemuine Theatre staged a ballet with the same name.

According to Tõnu Kõrvits, “You Are the Light and the Morning” (Sei la luce e il mat­tino), which was premiered in May 2019, is like a hymn of life and love resounding from the abyss. After the release of the record, the prestigious French music magazine Classica named it the album of the month, and in 2021 the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra presented the work to the public at the prestigious MITO festival, held in Turin, the city where Pavese's lyrics were born.

The third part, “The Voice of the Wings”, is just beginning its journey on the music stage. The premiere will take place in three Estonian cities – Haapsalu, Tartu and Tallinn. It will be performed by vocal soloist Marianne Pärna, viola soloist Laur Eensalu, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra conducted by Risto Joost.

Premiere performances in Tallinn and Tartu took place as part of the “Author’s Hour” series of concerts (artistic director Tõnu Kaljuste) dedicated to presenting the creations of Estonian composers, in which new works are often premiered. The Haapsalu concert is included in the program of the Nargenfest Kreek Days.

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

For many years, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra have performed together in Estonia and beyond, from Europe to Australia and from Australia to North America. They have performed at world-famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Paris Philharmonic, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, etc. They are frequent first performers of the works of Estonian composers. Tõnu Kaljuste is a world-renowned choir and orchestra conductor with multiple Grammy nominations, and in 2014 he won a Grammy for Arvo Pärt's Adam's Lament (ECM).