Vox Clamantis Vocal Ensemble Various countries

Vox Clamantis

The Grammy-winning Estonian vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis comprises a diversity of fourteen singers who share their passion for Gregorian chant, early polyphony and contemporary music. Formed in 1996 by conductor Jaan-Eik Tulve, the group has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for their unique sound and meaningful interpretation.

The ensemble’s musical thinking has its roots deep in the tradition of early European music, but also the performance of contemporary Baltic music forms a core theme within the repertoire of Vox Clamantis. Composers such as Arvo Pärt, Helena Tulve and Erkki-Sven Tüür have written and dedicated their works for Vox Clamantis.

Concert tours have taken Vox Clamantis throughout Europe, Israel, Canada, USA, Colombia including appearances at festivals such as La Folle Journee in Nantes, Warsaw, Tokyo, Fribourg, Vale of Glamorgan, Usedom, Kissinger Sommer, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Kunstfest Corvey, RheinVokal, Trondheim, Nafplion, Sydney, Hong Kong among others.

The ensemble has also performed with a number of artists including Arianna Savall, Dhafer Youssef, Marco Ambrosini, Yair Dalal, Jean Claude Pennetier, Cello Octet Amsterdam, early music consort Hortus Musicus, NYDD Ensemble, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Latvian Radio Choir.

Their discography includes highly praised recordings as The Deer’s Cry and Filia Sion for ECM Records, Sacrum Convivium with music by Duruflé, Machaut, Poulenc, Messiaen and Gregorian chant as well as Liszt’s Via crucis for Mirare which was awarded the Diapason d’Or. In 2020 ECM Records has released another album, Cyrillus Kreek’s The Suspended Harp of Babel together with the Marco Ambrosini Trio. The album “Adam’s Lament” by Arvo Pärt with Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir among others has won the Grammy Award in 2014. The film featuring Vox Clamantis music, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), received an Oscar in 2014.

In 2011, Vox Clamantis and Jaan-Eik Tulve were awarded the annual prize of the Cultural Foundation of Estonia.

 

Jaan-Eik Tulve

Jaan-Eik Tulve was born in Tallinn. After obtaining his diploma in choral conducting at the Tallinn Conservatory, he studied Gregorian chant at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris from 1991, where he was awarded first prize in 1993. He then worked as assistant to Louis-Marie Vigne, who had a determining influence on his musical development. He continued his studies with Daniel Saulnier.

In 1996 Tulve took up a post teaching Gregorian chant at the National Music Academy in Estonia. He has also given many courses in Gregorian chant around the globe.
For his merits to vocal music Jaan-Eik Tulve has been awarded the Order of the White Star of the Republic of Estonia, the Order of Léopold of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic.

Season 2020/21

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News

Vox Clamantis: New album at ECM Records

ECM Records releases a new album of Vox Clamantis with A Cappella music by Cyrillus Kreek, The Suspended Harp of Babel, accompanied by Marco Ambrosini Trio in April.

Vox Clamantis at RheinVokal Festival

The vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis will be performing within the RheinVokal Festival in Ahrweiler on 17 August. Together with their leader Jaan-Eik Tulve these top Estonian singers will present a programme with works by Arvo Pärt, John Dunstable, Igor Strawinsky, David Lang as well as gregorian music.

Vox Clamantis at Kunstfest Corvey

The Estonian vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis appears at Musikfest Corvey in Höxter on 1 September with Gregorian Chants and music by Arvo Pärt and Pérotin.

Vox Clamantis at Festival Schwäbisch Gmünd

The Estonian Vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis was heard at Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik in Schwäbisch Gmünd on 18 July with Gregorian chants and music by Arvo Pärt.

SWR 2 broadcasts the concert on 4 August, 19:05.

https://www.swr.de/swr2/programm/sendungen/geistliche-musik/-/id=658942/sdpgid=1591810/5got1f/index.html

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Vox Clamantis at Kissinger Sommer

The Estonian Vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve gives its debut at Kissinger Sommer on 11 July with Gregorian Chants and works by Arvo Pärt, Cyrillus Kreek, Helena Tulve, Tonis Kaumann among others.

Press

  • Album: Cyrillus Kreek: The Suspended Harp of Babel

    Whenever I have heard Vox Clamantis in concert it has been an amazing experience. Their clarity, their precision, their sheer musicianship make them easily one of the best vocal ensembles currently active anywhere in the world. Much of the music on this disc I heard in concert quite recently, in Tallinn, and it is true to say that, with ECM’s superb engineering, the frisson of live performance is captured here to perfection.[…] Two of the most impressive works are Bless the Lord, my soul and By the rivers of Babylon, both of which are absolutely ideal vehicles for Vox Clamantis, whose precise placing of chords, assisted by impeccable tuning, means that every harmonic detail is as clear as a bell. Highly recommended.
    www.gramophone.co.uk
    , Ivan Moody, June 2020

    The work of Cyrillus Kreek is hardly present in this country. Quite wrongly, as the new album by the outstanding ensemble Vox Clamantis under Jaan-Eik Tulve proves. […] The choir demonstrates its immaculate intonation and homogeneity, especially in the Aappella pieces and two psalms.
    FonoForum, Thomas Otto, July 2020

    Vox Clamantis’ recording of this Estonian composer’s music is “a real stunner…magic of another sphere …beautifully crafted, really atmospheric, absolutely bewitching”.
    BBC Radio 3, Hanna French & Andrew McGregor, May 2020

     

     

  • Album: Cyrillus Kreek: The Suspended Harp of Babel (continued)

    Gregorian chant affords a common meeting place for Vox Clamantis but their reach has spanned from medieval polyphony to contemporary music. […] A caressing velvety choral reassurance underpins Jaan-Eik Tulve’s tender direction of Psalm 121 by Kreek. The singing breathes with a collective, gentle inevitability.[…] The final impression is abiding solace and nonetheless.
    BBC Music Magazine, Paul Riley, July 2020

    Atmosheric recording: On their latest album on ECM, directed by Jaan-Eik Tulve, Vox Clamantis introduce a composer from the previous generation: Cyrillus Kreek. Though largely forgotten by the world beyond, he had a lasting influence on Estonian choral music. […] In psalms and hymns, his music is tonal, sensuous yet pure, direct but almost introspective. […] This mysterious instrumental cocktail of drones and high overtones gives definition to the a cappella singing. It’s music of another place and time, beautifully done.
    www.theguardian.com
    , Fiona Maddocks, 23.05.2020

    Estonia's leading vocal ensemble, Vox Clamantis, intones hymn-glowing psalms and enchantingly beautiful folk songs by Cyrillus Kreek flawlessly. […] In the unaccompanied psalm chants trained in Bach's chorales, the crystalline brilliance of the singers can be radiated in a hymn-like splendor. […] A new dimension beyond the vocal sound opens up with the Swedish nyckelharpa and the Estonian cannel with Marco and Angela Ambrosini and Anna-Liisa Eller, who expand and strengthen the voices. A wonderful discovery.
    www.br-klassik.de, Susanne Schmerda, 06.05.2020

    Psalms and folk songs: a consolation for open ears at ECM with the ensemble Vox Clamantis, singing in the most beautiful serenity - enraptured, decelerated, intense and unpretentious.
    www.kurier.at
    10.05.2020

  • Huge plaudits at RheinVokal Festival

    The extreme, sometimes even ascetic simplicity of Arvo Pärt's works was perfectly interpreted by Vox Clamantis. The audience got to know another stylistic side of Pärt with "The Deer's Cry". In the procession song "Conductus Beata viscera", Jan-Eik Tulve entered the circle of 14 singers and managed to direct the most sensuous sounds with barely visible hand movements. With the motet by John Dunstable the ensemble was able to show its passion for polyphony.

    Blick aktuell, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, 21.08.2019

  • CD: Sacrum Convivium

    Vox Clamantis erzeugt einen Klang von höchster Reinheit. Wir sind an den hohen Standard von Chören aus den baltischen Ländern gewöhnt, aber dieses Album ist außergewöhnlich. Stimmen von großer Schönheit werden mit einem diskreten, aber ausdrucksstarken Vibrato eingesetzt. Die Tongebung ist makellos.

    www.musikweb-international.com, William Hedley, 9/2018

  • Vox Clamantis beim Kunstfest Corvey

    Die acht Damen und Herren des Ensembles verzauberten durch eine lupenreine Intonation einer sehr präzisenTechnik: Leuchtende Klangsäulen, flexible Dynamik, schattiertes Espressivo. Als Hörer konnte man sich dem Sog einer magisch mystischen Stimmung kaum entziehen. Die Antiphone und Sequenzen zeichneten sich durch höchste Formklarheit und strukturelle Dichte aus.

    Westfalen-Blatt, Dagmar Korth, 04.09.2018

  • Mystische Tiefe und magische Klangschönheit

    Die Stimmen der 14 Choristen erhoben sich wie eine einzige in den Raum. Vor dem Altarraum begann eine Stunde Chormusik von größter Klangschönheit (…). Gregorianische Gesänge wechselten sich annähernd nahtlos mit Werken aus späterer Zeit bis in die Gegenwart ab und verflochten sich zu einer Einheit. (…)Fast übergangslos an das gregorianische „Mandatum Novum“ fügt sich Arvo Pärts „Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fatima“ an, das 2014 von Vox Clamantis uraufgeführt wurde. Obertongesang auf der einen und der tiefe Grundton des Subbasses reicherten das Klangspektrum an, was der Komposition mystische Stimmung verlieh.

    Main-Post, 13.07.2018

    Vox Clamantis ist ein tolles Ensemble: sechs Frauen und sechs Männer, die absolut tonrein und instrumental ohne jedes Tremolo singen können und sich auch durch harmonische Querstände nicht irritieren lassen. Die aber auch brummen und pfeifen können wie eine kleine mittelalterliche Orgel.(…) Am nachhaltigsten in Erinnerung dürfte das Gebet „The Deer’s Cry“ von Arvo Pärt sein. Vox Clamantis machte auch eindrucksvoll deutlich, dass es mit der gregorianischen Tradition noch ein Weilchen weitergeht.

    Saale Zeitung, Thomas Ahnert, 13.07.2018

  • CD: The Deer's Cry

    Jaan-Eik Tulve lässt den Miniaturen die Zeit, die sie zur Entfaltung brauchen, sein Ensemble Vox Clamantis verfügt über die intonatorische Reinheit, aus der die spirituelle Reinheit der Musik erst erwächst, und über die Präzision und Disziplin, die die Mutter der Kontemplation ist. Stück für Stück, Mosaikstein für Mosaikstein fügt sich so das stimmige Porträt eines Komponisten zusammen, bei dem die Kunst der Beschränkung der Schlüssel ist zur Unendlichkeit.

    Thorsten Preuß, BR Klassik, 27.09.2016

  • CD: Arvo Pärt The Deer's Cry

    The level of artistry necessary to achieve the kind of living, breathing performance given here by the Estonian choir Vox Clamantis is a rarity. The 15 singers sound is complete, comfortable possession of the music and its incantatory intentions.

    Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine

    With a smaller number of singers and closer microphone placement, their tone comes across as more immediate and reedier (...).The Deer's Cry is an important and highly rewarding release.

    Malcolm Riley, Gramophone

    Vox Clamantis boast an exceptional purity and sweetness of tone that perfectly showcases the spare beauty and emotional immediacy of Pärt’s music, as well as its devotional intensity. Vox Clamantis’ account of the title track, ‘Alleluia-Tropus’, and the breathtaking ‘Da Pacem Domine’ are now, in my opinion, the versions against which all future accounts will be measured. No classical collection should be without this utterly gorgeous recording.

    Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist, October 2016

    The Estonian choral group Vox Clamantis comes through with a stunning, second release of music on ECM, a wonderful compilation of Arvo Pärt's works, The Deer's Cry. The choir is heavenly and recorded beautifully. (...) Vox Clamantis gives us extraordinary readings that are among the most definitive out there.

    Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

  • CD: Filia Sion

    Vox Clamantis bricht wahrscheinlich einige der "Regeln" der mittelalterlichen Musik, soweit irgendjemand eine Ahnung davon hat, wie es tatsächlich geklungen hätte. Durch die Kombination von Männerstimmen und Frauenstimmen, durch die Besetzung von Solisten mit Chor und sogar durch die Verwendung zeitgenössischer und nicht standardisierter Gesangstechniken (ich schwöre, ich höre "Obertongesang" hinter Hildegards "Ognis Spiritus"), sorgen Vox Clamantis mit ihrem Einfallsreichtum und ihrer Musikalität für eine inspirierende, musikalische Begegnung.

    John Montanari, New England Public Radio

  • CD: Liszt: Via Crucis

    Die dreizehn Sänger aus Estland bringen Licht in die ungewohnte Komposition von Liszt, Pianist Jean Claude Pennetiers Klavier besticht durch seine Exzellenz. Das strenge, zerbrechliche Opus wird zu einer mystischen Erfahrung.

    Kommt die Rettung von Via Crucis von Liszt aus dem Baltikum? Der Liszt‘sche Spaziergang vom einstimmigen gregorianischen Gesang bis zu den Grenzen der Moderne von Bach und Palestrina findet eine Einheit, die viele Interpretationen ignorieren (...). Hier erreicht die intime und einzigartige Erfahrung von Via Crucis Ausdruckskraft als auch Rätselhaftigkeit.

    Diapason, Benoît Fauchet, Juni 2013

Programmes

Missa Syllabica

Gregorian antiphon: Mandatum novum
Arvo Pärt: Kleine Litanei (2015)
Guillaume de Machaut: Kyrie (La Messe de Nostre Dame)
Arvo Pärt: Kyrie (Missa syllabica) (1977/1996)
Arvo Pärt: Gloria (Missa syllabica)
Gregorian gradual: Locus iste
Arvo Pärt: The Deer's Cry (2007)        
Perotin (1160  1230): Beata viscera
Cyrillus Kreek (1889-1962): How large is our Poverty based on Estonian folk hymn from Nissi parish (1918)
Cyrillus Kreek (1889-1962): The Psalm 212 of David By Day the Sun will not… (1923)
Gregorian offertory: Super flumina Babylonis
Cyrillus Kreek (1889-1962): The Psalm 137 of David By the Rivers of Babylon
Præfatio

Arvo Pärt: Sanctus (Missa syllabica)
Guillaume de Machaut: Agnus Dei (La Messe de Nostre Dame)
Arvo Pärt: Agnus Dei (Missa syllabica)
Gregorian communio: Exulta filia Sion
Arvo Pärt: Ite missa est (Missa syllabica)
Arvo Pärt: And I heard a voice… (2017)
Mediaeval programmeGuillaume de Machaut: Messe de Nostre Dame
Perotin: Work for choir A cappella
Hildegard von Bingen: Work for choir A cappella
Codex Las Huelgas
Kanon PokajanenArvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen (20 singers)
David Lang & Josquin DesprezDavid Lang: Little Match Girl Passion
David Lang: New composition
Josquin Desprez: Pieces for choir A cappella
Cyrillus Kreek: The Suspended Harp of Babel1. The sun shall not smite thee
2. Whilst great is our poverty
3. Jacob's dream / Proemial psalm
4. From heaven above to earth I come
5. Bless the Lord, my soul
6. Awake, my heart
7. Praise the name of the Lord
8. Do the birds worry?
9. Lord, I cry into thee
10. He, who lets God prevail
11. By the rivers of Babylon
12. The last dance
13. O Jesus, thy pain

with Marco Ambrosini Trio
Further programmes:The Deer's Cry: Music by Arvo Pärt, Perotin, Cyrillus Kreek, David Lang, Helena Tulve, Tõnis Kaumann and Gregorian chants.

Missa Syllabica: Music by Guillaume de Machaut, Arvo Pärt, Perotin, John Dunstable, Igor Stravinsky, David Lang and Gregorian chants.

Arvo Pärt: Passio 

Arvo Pärt: Da pacem and Gregorian chants.

You and I: Music by Arvo Pärt, Tonis Kaumann, David Lang and Gregorian chants.

Sacrum convivium: Music by Guillaume Machaut, Maurice Duruflé, Francis Poulenc, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, Cyrillus Kreek and Gregorian chants.

Sacrum convivium: Music for ensemble and instrumental trio by Guillaume Machaut, Maurice Duruflé, Francis Poulenc, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, Cyrillus Kreek and Gregorian chants.

Partner: Marco Ambrosini Trio
Marco Ambrosini, nyckelharpa
Angela Ambrosini, nyckelharpa
Anna-Liisa Eller, kantele

Discography

The Suspended Harp of Babel

Cyrilllus Kreek: The Suspended Harp of Babel
Jaan-Eik Tulve
Vox Clamantis
ECM (2020)

Sacrum Convivium Gregorian chants, Duruflé, de Machaut, Poulenc, Messiaen
Jaan-Eik Tulve
Vox Clamantis
Mirare (2018)
The Deer's Cry Arvo Pärt: The Deer's Cry
Jaan-Eik Tulve
Vox Clamantis
ECM (2016)
Liszt: Via Crucis Franz Liszt: Via Crucis
Jaan-Eik Tulve
Jean Claude Pennetier (Klavier)
Vox Clamantis
Mirare (2013)
Filia Sion Gregorian Chants
Jaan-Eik Tulve
Vox Clamantis
ECM (2012)
Arvo Pärt: Adam's Lament Vox Clamantis
Latvian Radio Choir
Estnischer Philharmonischer Kammerchor
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Sinfonietta Riga
ECM (2012)