© Kaupo Kikkas
© Janis Deinats

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Kaspars Putniņš, conductor

2018/19 Dates upon request
Lotus

Toshio Hosokawa: Die Lotusblume
Guo Venjing: The Echoes of Heaven and Earth
Jonathan Harvey: Forms of Emptiness
Robert Schumann: Die Lotusblume
With percussion

Northern Land & Spirit

Arvo Pärt: Solfeggio
Peter Tchaikovsky: 3 pieces from "9 Geistliche Chöre"
Arvo Pärt: Nunc dimittis
Arvo Pärt: The Woman with the Alabaster Box
Arvo Pärt: Dopo la vitoria
Veljo Tormis: Tower Bell of my Village
Jean Sibelius: Song of My Heart
Jean Sibelius: Beloved
Jean Sibelius: Fire On the Island
Veljo Tormis: Curse Upon Iron

The Unorthodox Tradition

Alfred Schnittke: Three Sacred Hymns
Peter Tchaikovsky: 3 pieces from "9 Sacred Chorus"
Sergei Rachmaninov: The Theotokos
Sergei Rachmaninov: 2 pieces from "Vespers" op. 37
Alfred Schnittke: 3 pieces from "12 Penitential Verses"
Sergei Rachmaninov: 2 pieces from "Vespers" op. 37
Georgi Sviridov: Inexpressible Miracle
Sergei Rachmaninov: We hymn thee aus 'Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum'


John Cage, Anders Hillborg & Kadri Voorand

John Cage: "Four 2"
Anders Hillborg: Mouyayoum"
Kadri Voorand: new work
Improvisations

With Kadri Voorand, Jazz singer and Taavo Remmel, double bass

2017/18
"Tales from Estonia"

Mirjam Tally: "Land of Tree Worshipers"
Arvo Pärt:  Nunc dimittis
Arvo Pärt: Dopo la vittoria

***
Veljo Tormis: Kullervo's Message
Veljo Tormis: Curse Upon Iron
Ülo Krigul: „Water itself“

Kanon Pokajanen

Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen

Pärt, Debussy, Kreek and Tormis

Arvo Pärt: Solfeggio, Magnificat, Dopo la vittoria, Nunc Dimittis
-Intermission-
Claude Debussy: Trois Chanson de Charles d'Orleans
Cyrillus Kreek: Maga, maga, Matsikene / Nõmmelill / Sirisege, sirbikesed
Veljo Tormis: Jaanilaulud (St. John's Day Songs)

Saar, Kreek, Tormis and Pärt

Mart Saar: Noore veljo, veeritage
Mart Saar: Seits sammeldanud sängi
Cyrillus Kreek: Secular Folk Songs: Sirisege, sirbikesed, Lauliku omaksed, Talvine õhtu
Veljo Tormis: Jaanilaulud (St. John's Day Songs)
-Intermission-
Cyrillus Kreek: Taaveti laulud (Psalms of David)
Arvo Pärt: Dopo la vittoria, Two Slavonic Psalms, Magnificat

Schnittke Psalms of Repentance

Alfred Schnittke: Psalms of Repentance

Orthodox Church Music

Alfred Schnittke: Three Sacred Hymns
Rachmaninow: The Theotokos, Ever-Vigilant in Prayer
Arvo Pärt: Magnificat
Arvo Pärt: Da Pacem Domine
Arvo Pärt: Nunc dimittis
Arvo Pärt: Two Slavonic Psalms
Ivan Moody: Thy Fatherly Embrace
Georgy Sviridov: Inexpressible Miracle
Rachmaninow: We hymn thee from 'Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum'

Pärt, Gesualdo and Mahler/Clytus Gottwald

Arvo Pärt:  Summa 
Arvo Pärt:  Magnificat
Arvo Pärt:  The Woman with the Alabaster Box
Arvo Pärt:  Nunc dimittis
Carlo Gesualdo: „Eram quasi agnus innocens...” No. 7 from Responsoria / Feria Quinta
Carlo Gesualdo: „In monte Oliveti..." No. 1 from Responsoria / Feria Quinta
Carlo Gesualdo: „Tristis est anima mea..." No. 2 from Responsoria / Feria Quinta
Gustav Mahler/Clytus Gottwald: „Um Mitternacht"
Gustav Mahler/Clytus Gottwald: „Urlicht"
Gustav Mahler/Clytus Gottwald: „Es sungen drei Engel"
Gustav Mahler/Clytus Gottwald: "Im Abendrot"

Brahms Requiem

Brahms: A German Requiem
(choir, two pianos, solo soprano and baritone)

Lux

Carlo Gesualdo: Excerpts from ‘Tenebrae Responsories’
N.N.: New Estonian work   
Salvatore Sciarrino: Responsorio delle tenebre
György Ligeti: Lux aeterna
J.S.Bach: Motet: Komm, Jesu, Komm BWV 229

Schicksalslied

Programme with chamber orchestra:
Franz Schubert: Gesang der Geister über den Wassern
N.N.: Orchestral work
Robert Schumann: Nachtlied
Robert Schumann: Requiem für Mignon
Johannes Brahms: Schicksalslied

Pärt, Kreek, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tormis

Pärt: Magnificat, Nunc dimittis
Cyrillus Kreek: Taaveti laulud (Psalms of David)
Mendelssohn: Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt
Mendelssohn: Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen
Brahms: 4 Parts of the Fünf Gesänge op. 104
-Intermission-
Cyrillus Kreek: Sacral Folk Songs, Secular Folk Songs
Veljo Tormis: Jaanilaulud (St. John's Day Songs)

When I Crossed the Bridge Of Dreams

Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa pro defunctis
John Cage: Four 2
Anne Boyd : When I Crossed the Bridge Of Dreams
Anders Hillborg: Mouyayoum

Soupir

Ravel/Clytus Gottwald: Soupir 
Messiaen: Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jesus (fragments)
Berlioz /Clytus Gottwald: Sur les lagunes
Debussy/Clytus Gottwald: Soupir
Messiaen: Cinq rechants  
Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine

The Seasons

Kaija Saariaho: Tag des Jahrs
Mirjam Tally: New work
N.N.: New Estonian work
(with electronic and visual media)

Strawinsky in Venice

Giovanni Gabrieli: Excerpts from ‘Sacrae Sinfoniae’
Claudio Monteverdi: Sacred works
Igor Stravinsky: Mass
N.N.: New Estonian work (choir and wind ensemble)

To Thee We Sing

Galina Grigorjeva: Svjatki
Georgy Sviridov: Inexpressible Miracle
Nikolai Kachanov: Four Ukrainian Carols
Rachmaninov:The Theotokos, Ever-Vigilant in Prayer
Arvo Pärt: Magnificat
Arvo Pärt: Da Pacem Domine
Arvo Pärt: Nunc dimittis
Arvo Pärt: Two Slavonic psalms
Alfred Schnittke: Three Sacred Hymns
Rachmaninov: We hymn thee from 'Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum'

Vespers

Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil op. 37

Orthodox Christmas Carols

Vasyl Barvinskyi: Oh, What a Wonder!
Kyrylo Stetsenko: The Angels Exclaimed
Kyrylo Stetsenko: A New Joy
Kyrylo Stetsenko: Throughout the World
Yakiv Yatsynevich: Bells Rang Early in Jerusalem
Mykola Leontovich: A Song of Good Cheer 
Georgy Izvekov: Christ is Born
Peter Tchaikovsky: The Legend
Galina Grigorjeva: Svjatki
Georgy Sviridov: Inexpressible Miracle
Nikolai Kachanov: Four Ucrainian Carols

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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC)

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) has developed into the best-known Estonian music groups in the world. The EPCC was founded by Tõnu Kaljuste in 1981, who continued as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the group for two decades. Paul Hillier was Chief Conductor from 2001 to 2007, Daniel Reuss from 2008 to 2013. The Artistic Director and Chief Conductor since 2014/15 is Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš.

The large repertoire of the choir extends from Gregorian chant to late baroque and the music of the 20th century, opera and an ever special focus on the work of Estonian composers as Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Galina Grigorjeva, Toivo Tulev, Tõnu Kõrvits and Helena Tulve. Each season the choir gives about 60 to 70 concerts in Estonia and abroad.

The EPCC has performed in major concert venues around the globe as Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Versailles Opéra Royale, Palau Musica in Barcelona, LSO St. Luke London, Esplanade Signapore, Kennedy Centre Washington, Lincoln Centre and Carnegie Hall New York and Opera House Sydney. Furthermore the choir appeared at numerous festivals including Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Cervantino Festival Mexiko, Edinburgh International Festival, Festival International d‘art lyrique d`Aix-en-Provence, Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Musikfest Stuttgart, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Flanders Festival, Bergen International Festival, Oslo Church Festival, Istanbul Music Festival, Mosel Musikfestival, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Osterfestival Tirol Austria, Cheltenham Music Festival, Tampere Vocal Music Festival, Folle Journées Festival Nantes and Lissabon, Vale of Glamorgan Festival Wales, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Abu Gosh Music Festival, World Expo Cultural Center Shanghai, Wratislavia Cantans and the Nargen Festival Estonia.

Notable cooperations include appearances with Claudio Abbado, Louis Langrée, Helmuth Rilling, Eric Ericson, Iván Fischer, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Andrew Lawrence-King, Roland Böer, Frieder Bernius, Louis Langrée, Stephen Layton, Marc Minkowski, Christoph Poppen, Sir Colin Davis, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Paul McCreesh and the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Les Musiciens du Louvre, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart Bologna, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Norwegian, Australian, Lithuanian, Prague, Basel and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, Concerto Palatino, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Their considerable discography includes numerous recordings for ECM Records, Ondine Records, Virgin Classics, Carus, Harmonia Mundi which received highest plaudits with distinction worldwide. EPCC recordings have won two Grammy Awards for the Best Choral Performance: 2007 for the album Arvo Pärt Da Pacem (Harmonia Mundi) with the conductor Paul Hillier and 2014 for Arvo Pärt Adam’s Lament (ECM) with the conductor Tõnu Kaljuste. All in all, the choir has 14 Grammy nominations with the works by Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and the music of Nordic countries. The EPCC recordings have won also the award Diapason d’Or, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Danish Music Award and Choc de l’Année Classica 2014.

Season 2017/18

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Kaspars Putniņš

Kaspars Putniņš is permanent conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir since 1994. From the season 2014/15 he was appointed as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Since 2013 he is Conductor of the Tenso Europe Chamber Choir.

The Latvian conductor regularly appears with the RIAS Kammerchor, NDR Radio Choir Hamburg, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Swedish Radio Choir, Danish National Vocal Ensemble and Choir and Netherlands Radio Choir.

Whilst Kaspars Putniņš' work encompasses a wide range of choral repertoire from the polyphony of the Renaissance period through to romantic music, his foremost goal has always been to promote new outstanding choral music. He has forged close relationships with many Baltic and Nordic composers including, Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen, Gavin Bryars and Andris Dzenitis and has set standards with his interpretations. Putniņš has initiated several drama projects in collaboration with visual and theatre artists.

His discography includes recordings of Peteris Vasks' Mate Saule for BIS Records, Jonathan Harvey's The Angels for Hyperion, works by Bryars, Vasks, Esenvalds, Maskats and Silvestrov, all with the Latvian Radio Choir as well as the CD New Latvian Harvest with contemporary Latvian music with the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers. He has also recorded Rachmaninov's The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with the Flemish Radio Choir for Glossa. BIS Records released Rachmaninov Vespers with the Netherlands Chamber Choir.

In recent years, Putniņš has worked extensively with young singers and conductors in various projects and masterclasses, such as Bachakademie Stuttgart, Kurt Thomas course, Vocaal Talent and Meesters & Gezellen.

Kaspars Putniņš is recipient of the Latvian Grand Prix of Music and the Latvian Council of Ministers Award for Achievements in Culture and Science.

Season 2017/18

News

EPCC at the Festival Wratislavia Cantans

Under the baton of Tõnu Kaljuste, the choir will perform Arvo Pärt's sacred master piece Kanon Pokajanen at Wroclaw's University Church on September 7. Further concerts on September 6 and 8 in Lower Silesia. In 1998

ECM released a recording of the Canon of Repentance sung by the EPCC under Tõnu Kaljuste, the choir's chief conductor at that time, one of the most highly valued CD recordings of the choir.

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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir on tour with Haydn and Pärt

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will sing Haydn's Nelson Mass and Arvo Pärt's Adam's Lament with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn in

three concerts in Heilbronn on 25 March, Dortmund on 26 March and Ulm on 27 March.

Life recording available on WDR3 media centre.

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Press

  • Kaspars Putnins and EPCC in New York celebrated

    Under Kaspars Putnins' direction, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir sang with a shimmering, warm blend of voices and easy mastery (...) and present and illuminated in the range of piano to mezzoforte.

    New York Classical Review, George Grella, 02.02.2017

  • CD: Galina Grigorjeva: Nature Morte

    This new album from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir reinforces their position as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles. Paul Hillier directs them through a deeply satisfying survey of music by the Ukrainian-born Estonian composer Galina Grigorjeva (Ondine Records).

    www.gramophone.co.uk, Malcom Riley, 01.04.2016

    Familiar yet strange, archaic but modern, these deeply felt choral pieces by Galina Grigorjeva are brought radiantly to life in this magnificent recording.If you are unfamiliar with the music of the Estonian composer, these beautiful new recordings will come as a revelation. But then if you did know her music, you’d have bought this album already – it’s that good. With a sound world that in places seems to contemplate the immensity of the cosmos, it’s an engrossing and richly rewarding experience, and it’s brought radiantly to life on this album with fine solo performances and immaculate ensemble work under Paul Hillier.

    Primephonic, Kevin Painting, 27.04.2016

     

     

  • Meditative lament, spiritual brilliance

    The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is an outstanding advocate of Pärt’s music. Characterized by purity, transparency and homogeneity. (...) Bright shining sopranos and sonorous grounding bassos exemplary matching with altos and tenors. The male voices are especially challenged and impress with their delicate Mezza Voce-register. Unisonous succeed as intriguing as large-scale climaxes.

    Heilbronner Stimme, 27.03.2015

  • Spiritual brilliance

    The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is an outstanding advocate of Pärt's music. Purity, transparency and homogeneity characterize the ensemble. (...) The sopranos shine clear, the basses ground sonorous, alti and tenors tenors sing immaculately. The male voices are challenged and delight with their delicate register of mezza voce. Unisono passages work out as intriguingly as large-scale cumulations.

    Heilbronner Stimme, Theophil Hammer, 27.03.2015

     

     

  • Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Salt Lake City

    The EPCC is one of the absolute premiere choirs in the world, and their performance was intense, full of power yet also with amazing nuances.(…) The centre piece was "Carlo" by Australian composer Brett Dean. The choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Tonu Kaljuste created dynamics from pppp to ffff and the music constantly shifted in direction, yet all the while creating its own logic over the arc of the composition. This performance was one of the highlights of the entire American Choral Directors Conference in Salt Lake City. I could listen to these folks FOREVER.

    Paul Carey, Komponist, 03.03.2015

  • Brahms' "A German Requiem" (version for two pianos)

    The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is in a very good shape and shows its entire ability at the very beginning of the new season. The high notes were shining, the chords clear, the choir's timbre balanced with a beautiful sound; the tutti was powerful, the piano breathtaking.

    Sirp, Mart Jaanson, 03.10.2014

  • Haunting of elves and chants of fairies

    The whole Shakespearean staff operated in the imagination of the listener to mischief, wonderfully played by the orchestra, held taut in tempo and presented with tonal delicacy, from the overture on the chorus of elves with the fabulous Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, of which one would have liked to hear more.

    Frankfurter Neue Presse, Michael Dellith, 03.07.2014

  • CD Erkki-Sven Tüür: Awakening

    When the bolder, more stylistically emancipated perspectives of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s recent music meet the direct, almost vibrato-less timbres of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the results are more than musically impressive: they are spiritually stirring. Tüür’s ability to transmute if not base metal into gold then at the least the familiar into the magical is immediately evident, as the grandest piece on this disc, Awakening, begins with inchoate swirls that turn the tired old “tuning-up” gesture into a real tuning-in. The Wanderer’s Evening Song, another deeply felt piece, composed for and dedicated to the EPCC, is performed with luminous precision.

    Gramophone, 01/2012

  • CD Vivit! Choral works by Max Reger and Rudolf Tobias

    Max Reger in particular offers the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir a productive scope and activites the abundant qualities of the ensemble. It’s a matured and splendid choir with great registers, … powerful, in perfect domination of dynamics and with a convincing balance. The ensemble evolves marvellously, with an applaudable legato culture. … The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber choir once more presents itself as an outstandingly profiled ensemble.

    www.klassik.com,19.06.2013

  • Mendelssohn and Kreek: Psalms

    The Baltic states have produced some very fine choirs, and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of the finest of all. The Mendelssohn pieces receive outstanding performances from this marvellous choir. We need not concern with such matters as intonation, balance and blend, so accomplished is the singing. Listen to the subtle way Daniel Reuss ensures that the radiance written into the music at the phrase "Sende Dein Licht" appears only gradually, thereby increasing its dramatic effect. The psalms by Cyrillus Kreek are fascinating and extremely beautiful music. It is perfectly conceived for choir. The Estonians are totally at home in the idiom. In any event, hearing this choir in almost any repertoire tends to have the same effect as hearing the music of Cyrillus Kreek – once you have experienced it you immediately start to look for more.

    Musicweb International Classical Reviews, 07/2012

Discography

Galina Grigorjeva: Nature Morte

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Theatre of Voices, YXUS Quartet,
Paul Hillier (conductor)
ONDINE (2016)

Francis Poulenc: Stabat Mater Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Cappella Amsterdam
Estonian National Symphony
Daniel Reuss (conductor)
Harmonia Mundi (2014)
Wagner/Dietsch Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer, P.L. Dietsch: Le Vaisseau fantôme
Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, Marc Minkowski
Naïve Records (2013)
Vivit! Max Reger/Rudolf Tobias A cappella works
Daniel Reuss (conductor)
Ondine (2013)
Mendelssohn/Cyrillus Kreek: Psalms Daniel Reuss (conductor)
Ondine (2012)
Arvo Pärt: Adam’s Lament Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga, Vox Clamantis, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Tõnu Kaljuste (conductor)
ECM Records (2012)
Grammy Award
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Awakening Sinfonietta Riga
Daniel Reuss (conductor)
Ondine (2011)
Baltic Runes A cappella works by Veljo Tormis, Jean Sibelius, Cyrillus Kreek and Erik Bergman
Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2010)
Frank Martin: Golgotha Capella Amsterdam
Estonian National Symphony
Daniel Reuss (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2010)
Arvo Pärt: In Principio Estonian National Symphony
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Tõnu Kaljuste (conductor)
ECM Records (2009)
Kreek/Kõrvits Cyrillus Kreek: Requiem
Tõnu Kõrvits: Kreek’s notebook
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Tonu Kaljuste (conductor)
(2008)
Toivo Tulev: Songs Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2008)
Scattered Rhymes The Orlando Consort
Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2008)
Orthodox Chant Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2008)
Arvo Pärt: Da Pacem Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (Orgel)
Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2006)
Rachmaninow: All-Night Vigil op. 37 Paul Hillier (conductor)
harmonia mundi (2005)