Nordic Inspiration

by Chamber Choir Kwintessens

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by Ola Gjeilo Set to the Latin Pulchra Es text from Song of Solomon, the music is also inspired by the ethereal aurora borealis phenomenon, or northern lights. Ola Gjeilo said: “Northern Lights is my most Norwegian production in years; composed in an attic outside of Oslo at Christmas time in 2007, it’s one of the few works I have written in Norway since I moved to New York in 2001. The U.S. is my home now, so I guess my work has been increasingly reflecting my love for American music, writing and scenery. Most of all, this piece and its text is about beauty. About a ‘terrible’, powerful beauty, although the music is quite serene on the surface. Looking out from the attic window that Christmas in Oslo, over a wintery lake under the stars, I was thinking about how this ‘terrible’ beauty is so profoundly reflected in the northern lights, or aurora borealis, which, having grown up in the southern part of the country, I have only seen once or twice in my life. It is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena I’ve ever witnessed, and has such a powerful, electric quality that must have been both mesmerizing and terrifying to people in the past, when no one knew what it was and when much superstition was attached to these experiences. Northern Norway is one of the areas where aurora borealis is easiest to spot, thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, which makes the area habitable. At, you can find incredible pictures of the aurora borealis phenomenon, pictures that also greatly inspired this piece.” Lyrics: Pulchra es amica mea, suavis et decora sicut Jerusalem, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata. Averte oculos tuos a me quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt. Translation: Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army set in array. Turn away thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away
by Veljo Tormis Solo Nicolet Goedhart Lyrics: Kantoi tuuli purtta kahta tuolle puolen lemmen lahta. Pilvi kuun yli kulkee. Tuonen pursi, tuima pursi korkeana kuohut mursi. Pilvi kuun yli kulkee. Iloinnenko taikka surren, nään ma Tuonen tuiman purren. Pilvi kuun yli kulkee. Unten haaksi, hauras haaksi, horjuu, vaipuu, jää jo taaksi. Pilvi kuun yli kulkee. Milloin heikon haavehaahden istuessa illoin kahden. Pilvi kuun yli kulkee. Language: Finnish (Suomi)
by Pärt Uusberg Lyrics: Siis vaikivad kõik mõtted Ja vaikid ise ka, Kui ääretu piir ja põhi - Kõik kõigele kodumaa. Mis oli iial, sisu Sel siis on sinu sees; Siis kordad oma lugu Kui loomist eneses. Siis nagu raske vara Kõik, mis sa iial said; Mis saamata ehk jäänud Siis leiad jalamaid. Kõik katkend otsad kokku Siis süda sügav saab - Kuid kas ta iial ise Siis veelgi rahu saab?... Translation from Estonian: Then all thoughts remain silent And the silence itself, too When the boundary and the bottom limit - Everything for the homeland. What ever was, content That's what's inside you; Then you repeat your story When the creation itself. Then like a heavy asset Everything you ever did; What's missing, perhaps Then you will find it quickly. All broken ends together Then the heart gets deep - But will he ever Then even more peace?
Sicut Cervus 03:30
by Pärt Uusberg Lyrics: Psalm 42:1 Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. As a hart longs for the flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God.
Kyrie 03:30
By: Pärt Uusberg Solo: Francoise Kably Lyrics: Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
By: Arvo Pärt Lyrics: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in me, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me, Christ with me.
By: Veljo Tormis Lyrics: Kuima ol’li väikokõnõ al’leaa, al’leaa, kas’vi ma sis kaunikõnõ ol’li üte üü vannu pääle katõ päävä vannu imä vei kiigu kesä pääle pan’de hällü palo pääle pan’de par’dsi hällütämmä suvolinnu liigutamma par’dsi ol’le pal’lo sõnnu suvõlinnul liia’ laalu’ par’ts sääl man mul pal’lo lauli suvõlindu liiast kõnõli säält mina lat’s sis laulu ope ul’likõnõ sõna’ osasi kõik mina pan’ni papõrihe kõik mina raiõ raamatuhe selle minol pal’lo sõnnu selle laajalt laalu viisi. Translation from Estonian: Once I was just a little one, then I grew very nicely and I was one night old. After two days my mother took my cradle to a fallow field. She put the cradle on the field and set a duck in it to comfort me, and a summer bird to rock it. The duck had a lot of words, and the summer bird had much to say. The duck and the bird both sang to me a lot. There, as a child, I learned songs and many words. All of this I put on paper, all of it I etched into a book. From this book I have many words, from this book I have many songs.
Ligo 05:35
By: Arijs Skepasts Solo: Franca Nijman Lyrics: Līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Tumsas māte, miglas māte līgo, līgo, Aiz ezera velējāsi līgo. Dun bauzīte, čukst vālīte līgo, līgo, Ievelk mani niedrājāi līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Viegli gāju pār ūdeni līgo, līgo, Kā spārnota gaigaliņa līgo. Zelta niedri zinādama līgo, līgo, Viņā krasta galiņāi līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Nu atbridu, nu atradu līgo, līgo, Zeltniedrīti nolūzušu līgo. Jaunu meitu vainadziņi līgo, līgo, Dučiem vīta krastmalāi līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Tumsas māte, miglas māte līgo, līgo, Pacel savu villainīti, līgo. Lai redzēja mīļā Māra līgo, līgo, Kā niedrīti dziedināti, līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Līgo. Translation from Latvian: Līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Goddess of darkness, goddess of fog līgo, līgo, Was being purified on the other side of the lake līgo. Reeds are thundering, flowers with long stalks whispering līgo, līgo, Their voices tempt me into the shrubs and reeds by the lake līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Lightly I walked over the water of the lake līgo, līgo, Like a light-winged bird līgo. I knew a golden reed līgo, līgo, To be on their side of the lake līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo I shakily reached my destination and found līgo, līgo, Finding my broken golden reed līgo. With dozens of young girls wreaths līgo, līgo, The lakeside was scattered (with them) līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Goddess of darkness, goddess of fog līgo, līgo, Raise your woolen cape, līgo. So that dear Māra1līgo, līgo, Knows how to heal my reed līgo. līgo, līgo, lī līgo, līgo, līgo Līgo
Jumalaga! 04:32
By: Pärt Uusberg Lyrics: Jumalaga! Jumalaga! hüüdsid pilved, vaosid metsa taga! Linnuparved üle metsade tõtvad sügisega üle mere. Jumalaga! Hüüdis linnupere. – Kadus juba üle metsa, maa. Vana tamm, jää jumalaga ka! Raputab tamm sügislehed maha, metsas kuuldub sügav puude kaha, metsas kajab leinaline müha. Jumalaga! Jumalaga, tuuled, pilved, maa! Tuhat aastat saanud vanaks ma! Tuhat kevadet ma olen näind, tuhat tormi on must üle käind! – Tuhat korda olen nooreks saand, tuhat lainehiilgust imestand. Kevade, oh enam sind ei näe, jumalaga, hall on ju mu pää! Jumalaga, tuuled, pilved, maa, viige lõuna poole tervist ka: vana tamm teid laseb tervita'. Translation from Estonian: Farewell Farewell! Cried the clouds, sinking behind the woods! Flocks of birds over the woods Hurry with the autumn across the sea. Farewell! Cried the birds. – Disappearing over the wood, the land. Old oak, fare thee well, as well! Te oak shakes of the autumn leaves, In the woods you can hear a deep swish, And the woods echo a sorrowful whisper. Farewell! Farewell, ye winds, clouds, the land! A thousand years I have become old! A thousand springs I have seen, A thousand storms I have weathered! – A thousand times I have become young, A thousand splendour of waves I have awed. Oh Spring, I will never see you again, Fare thee well, you see, my head is grey! Farewell, ye winds, clouds, the land, Bring greetings to the southern climes: An old oak sends his regards.
By: Frank Havroy Lyrics: Bysjan, bysjan lite bån Bysjan, bysjan lite bån, no skal bånet såvvå, jenta stilt åt ramna gå, gåmål krok åt klåvvå. Ute skin en ljøske blek, stjernerap og måne, lyser opp i skauom te, dagen kjem te gråne. Lyser opp og syner vei, stjernerap og måne, for så mang en husvill krok, bysjan, bysjan båne. Hush, hush little child Hush, hush little child, time to sleep, the girl goes quietly to her bed, the old one to the chamber. Outside a pale light shines, shooting stars and moonlight light up the forest until day begins to dawn. Light up the way, starlight and moon, for many a lost soul on the road, hush, hush child.
Õhtu Ilu 05:56
By: Pärt Uusberg Solo: Francoise Kably , Anna Ofman Lyrics: Juba päeva peidetan ne, kuuval get varastetanne, kes see peidab meilda päiva, kes see kuuvalget varastab, Jumal peidab meilda päiva, Looja kuuval get varas tab las õnnis hommik kätte päeva tõus saab metsa pääle Mina laulan lauda notkub Toa taga tamme notkub, kaevu ääres kaske notkub, üle õue õrse notkub, ilu kuulub Hiiumaa le, kuma kuulub Kuramaale, mõnu kuulub meie maale, las tuleb õnnis hommik kätte, päeva tõus saab metsa pääle. Translation from Estonian: Already the sun is being hidden, The moonlight is being stolen. Who hides the sun from us, Who steals the moonlight? God hides the sun from us, The Creator steals the moonlight. Let the blessed morning come, Let the sun rise over the forest. I sing, the table bends down, Behind the house the oak bends, Beside the well the birch bends, Above the garden the bird's perch bends. Joy is heard all the way to Hiiumaa, The glow all the way to Courland, Pleasure across our land. Let the blessed morning come, The sun rise over the forest.


In April 2014, the Kwintessens Chamber Choir left for Estonia and Latvia to come into contact with the rich choir culture of the Baltic states. Again, the choir praised itself by being able to collaborate with the world-famous Arvo Pärt and also getting to know the young promising composer Part Uusberg.

Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic states that have escaped the Russian regime through a singing revolution. A 600 kilometer long chain of singing people heralded a new era for a people who wanted to be true to their own traditions. This autonomous expression of freedom can still be experienced in the four-yearly Laulupidu where a choir of 30,000 singers performs in front of an audience of 80,000 men. Estonia is a country with a rich choir culture; a sparkling sound world that is peppered with folkloric motifs, love of nature and spiritual flexibility.
Time and again, I am struck by the integrity and fearlessness that characterizes this music. Two major composers are the figurehead for the Estonian choir repertoire, namely Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt. On the one hand, there is Tormis who grabs the folkloric side and often plays it with rough sounds. On the other hand, Pärt, who attracts many with his transparent and deeply religious style.
Pärt Uusberg is a great admirer of these two grand masters for the beautiful task of giving Estonian music a new dimension. He succeeds in any case in a special way in expressing the atmosphere and meaning of the texts he chooses in delicate melodies and harmoniously composed harmonies. As he put it himself, Uusberg strives to reconnect us with a world of harmony that, according to him, everyone desires from his deepest being.

Raoul Boesten


released July 1, 2015


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Chamber Choir Kwintessens The Hague, Netherlands

Chamber Choir Kwintessens was founded in the Netherlands in 2005. Settled in The Hague, the Dutch Choir consists of 24 passionated singers. Committed to mostly contemporary music the choir has collected a large repertoire, serving its audience with more then only beautiful music. The choir stands out for creating an experience that touches the soul.
Founder & conductor: Raoul Boesten
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