Baltic Homeland: Folksong Heritage from the Baltic Shores (at St. Thomas, Medina)
"Coleman draws a lot of excitement, power and well-focused singing from his performers."
"The Seattle Choral Company sang superbly, with firmness and presence anchoring their sound and a light velvety bloom on the surface."
Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly
The Seattle Choral Company, conducted by Fred Coleman, will conclude its 24th Season with Baltic Homeland: Folksong Heritage from the Baltic Shores. The choral heritage among the Baltic countries is centuries old. Unknown to most Americans, there are more choirs per capita in this region than anywhere else in the world. Communal singing and national song festivals play a significant role in the Baltic states, attracting thousands of participants. Here folk traditions and epic poems have been great sources for a vast choral repertory that is now being appreciated everywhere.
The Seattle Choral Company will first explore several key figures in the Finnish choral repertoire: Jean Sibelius, the foremost composer of the Nationalist school, Toivo Kuula, a deeply Romantic visionary, Einojuhani Rautavaraa, a contemporary composer who succeeds in finding a universal musical language, and the young Jaakko Mantyjarvi, who has achieved overnight fame with the zany humor of his El Hambo.
The second half of the program will allow listeners to witness the colorful vocal writing of Veljo Tormis, Estonian master of ancient Baltic folk song. You will discover the magic, primeval power of age-old, runic folk tunes, found among the surviving peoples of the Baltic shores.
The program will include choral songs by:
Veljo Tormis (Estonia)
Four Game Songs from Sangaste
Jean Sibelius (Finland)
Rakastava (Beloved, The Lover)
Toivo Kuula (Finland)
Auringon noustessa (Sunrise)
Siell on kauan jo kukkineet omenapuut (Yonder the apple trees are blooming)
Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finland)
Och gladjen den dansar (With joy we go dancing)
Sommarnatten (Summer night)
Jaako Mantyjarvi (Finland)
Q. What was the "Singing Revolution"?
A: Huge choir festivals held in Baltic nations, involving thousands of participants, that turned into defiant rallies against Soviet rule.
"In Finland, music is practically the national language. Children are frequently taught to read notes before they can read words...and the result of all this national emphasis on music is clear: Finland, with a population comparable to the state of Minnesota, is dominating the international music scene."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
8398 NE 12th Street
Medina, WA 98039
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