Veljo Tormis is one of Estonia's greatest classical composers. Almost all of his song cycles or extended choral works have been performed, mostly by members of Estonian National Male Chorus, while, his creative output has also included operatic pieces, incidental music for eight plays and 35 film scores. The King Singers performed his composition, The Bishop and the Pagan, in 1992, while, Hilliard Ensemble commissioned him to compose Kullervo's Message two years later. Traditional folklore has played an important role in Tormin's work. A student of Livonian, Estonian Votic, Izhorian, Karelian, and Finnish folklore, he initially based his suites on ancient folk tunes. His later compositions represent an Estonian national style of music that combined original choral passages and traditional tunes in their original form. Born in Kuusulu, a small farming village 40 kilometers from the Estonian capitol city of Tallinn, Tormis was descended from many generations of farmers. His father, who had begun in the family tradition, was increasingly drawn to music, accepting a position as organist at the parish church of Vigalia, West Estonia when Tormius was six years old. While his father rehearsed the church choir, for which his mother sang alto, he absorbed all that he heard. Although he began studying organ at the Conservatory in Tallin, at the age of 12, Tormis' studies were interrupted by the Soviet Invasion and annexation of Estonia. With the organ class closed, he was forced to study composition with Vissarion Shebalin and orchestration with Yuri Fortunatov at the Moscow Conservatory. Graduating from the prestigious music school in 1956, Tormis returned to Tallin to teach at the music school and academy. He balanced his academic work with song-collecting trips to remote Estonian villages. He completed his first song-cycle, Estonian Calendar Songs, in 1967. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi

Veljo Tormis - Raua needmine (Curse Upon Iron) (1985)
Veljo Tormis: Autumn Landscapes (w. SATB Score)
Veljo Tormis "Hällilaul" - Unustatud rahvad / Forgotten Peoples
Veljo Tormis - Curse upon iron | Nederlands Kamerkoor o.l.v. Tõnu Kaljuste
Veljo Tormis - Kalmuneiu (The Bride From The Grave)
Veljo Tormis Raua Needmine/Curse Upon Iron - Collegium Musicale
Tantsulaul (Veljo Tormis) - All The King's Men (King's College)
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