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Hageri Brethren Prayer House

11.07 at 7 p.m.

Program: folklore and songs of the brotherhood

​*meeting-speech with the members of the ensemble after the concert


Tarmo Tabas
– vocals
Ergo-Hart Västrik – vocals
Heikki-Rein Veromann – flute, vocals
Toivo Sõmer – lute, mandola, zithers, vocals
Janno Mäe – drums, glockenspiel, vocals


The concert program consists mainly of Estonian folk chorales, whose melodies were transcribed from oral tradition in the early 20th century. These melodies represent the spiritual singing tradition that remained in the peripheral areas of Estonia during that time, predating the use of organs in accompanying congregational singing. "Twist chorales" were sung by the lead singer and also outside the church, where they began to develop their own life. In folk chorales, one can often recognize melodies that were used in the Lutheran Church, but they have been simplified in some cases and, on the other hand, embellished to a greater extent. Alongside folk chorales, the program includes emotional songs from the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, with melodies and lyrics sourced from 19th-century manuscript songbooks in the Estonian Literary Museum. In the early 18th century, the Brotherhood of the Blackheads movement spread in Estonia, emphasizing sincere and ecstatic "heart faith" in folk-like forms. Singing lessons played a significant role in the Brotherhood's practices, and the people enjoyed them so much that participation in these sessions was prohibited. It is known that musical instruments, such as flute and kannel (a traditional Estonian plucked string instrument), accompanied the singing in these lessons, which are the main accompanying instruments in this program as well. The arrangements of the chorales have been created as a collective effort by the ensemble, and the sound is enriched by both Estonian folk instruments and medieval music instruments.

Members of the ENSEMBLE TRISKELE are united by their interest in the music traditions of different countries and peoples. The ensemble creatively incorporates these influences into their sound and interpretation of source material. Over the course of their twenty-two-year existence, Triskele has released seven CD albums. In addition to Estonian folk chorales, the ensemble draws inspiration from archaic runic songs, and they consistently perform European medieval music. The ensemble combines traditional singing style with a rich array of instruments. They play Estonian folk instruments such as zither, mandola, and Jew's harp, as well as European medieval instruments such as lute, flutes, and drums. The ensemble members, who have remained nearly unchanged for two decades, form a close-knit group of friends. Besides their musical activities, they are also involved in various other fields such as acting, radio work, and teaching in hobby schools and universities. Triskele has performed concerts in many churches throughout Estonia and has participated in folk and church music festivals. The ensemble has performed at festivals such as Montalbane and Usedom in Germany, the St. Wenceslas Music Festival in Prague, the Sommelo Folk Music Festival in Finland, the Skamba skamba kankliai International Festival in Vilnius, and has appeared at the Viljandi Folk Music Festival on numerous occasions. In October 2017, Triskele received the Annual Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment's Music Fund for their performance and continuation of Estonian spiritual folk tunes. In 2019, Triskele represented Estonia at the European Broadcasting Union's Christmas Music Day with their program "This Christmas Day is of Great Joy".

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