NOW AVAILABLE FROM GIA!
Dedicated to the Westminster Williamson Voices and Dr. James Jordan, who in 2018 celebrated his 25th year of teaching at Westminster Choir College: a new choral arrangement of an Estonian folk-song, "Mu mano tulge latse," is now available through GIA's Evoking Sound Series!
SATB, with divisi
A folk-hymn of the Vormsi parish, this Estonian "runic song" and other spiritual folk tunes owe their recent rediscovery to the work of Cyrillus Kreek (1989-1962) who began collecting and organizing Estonian folk tunes in the early part of the twentieth century. In addition to preserving much of the rural music of Estonian Swedish villages, Kreek's work was influential to a developing national style: a music characteristic of a people under foreign rule for the majority of their history, a people caught between the East and the West, a people full of hope.
For a time, the native Estonian language was often associated with the peasantry-class (as opposed to the tongue of the ruling power, such as German or Russian). The simplicity and humility of eesti keel is reflected in the meekness of this beautiful melody. The tune, as well as the color of E major, reveal a deep hopefulness. The brief sojourn into A major reflects the heavenward gaze of hopeful prayer.
The arrangement intends to respect the meekness inherent in both tune and text. Though there are harmonic complexities presented, each voice should be sung melodically – the vertical harmonies are the consequents of several simple ideas weaving together. When I first heard this folk-hymn sung in concert by Margo Kolar and the Estonian ensemble "Heinavanker", I was struck by the beauty and atmosphere of the tune. There seemed to be a familiar sound in the DNA of the piece, akin to one recognizing a unique smile: truly, this music smiled at me.
I have dedicated this work to Dr. James Jordan in celebration of his twenty-five years at Westminster Choir College. This work is also a gift to the Westminster Williamson Voices, whose warm love and support have forever impacted my musicianship and changed my life: the best 'thank-you' I can offer is a smile.
MU MANO TULGE, LATSE
Performed in St. John's Church
St. Stephen's House - Oxford University
Oxford - Uk
Westminster Williamson Voices
"Mu mano tulge, latse, na mulle armsa omm!"
Nii armas Jeesus kutse, "Ma teie kilp ja kruun,
et hukka na ei saa, ma esi sundi latsess;
et saase mino omas, naid ole kutsnu ma."
Sa latse holma votat, oh Issand, armsaste,
suud heldest naile annat, ja kaet naid lahkeste!
Su seen na elava, su kalli puha haava
ka naile eloss saava, na taiva perija!
Seeparast, rahvas, tooge koik latse roomsaste,
nuud siia armuveele, naid arge kegle te.
Naid holma votap ta siin armas Jeesus esi,
nink taiva ussest sisse, naid karnap armuga.