2 CD HELIjaKEEL Variatio Delectat

 Liner notes by Saale Kareda



Alo Mattiisen
1. Tšellosonaat / Sonata for Cello and Piano (1986) 7:27

Artur Uritamm
Klaveritrio “Nõukoguliku inimese kolm palet” / Piano Trio Three Faces of the Homo Sovieticus (1948)*
2. I “Elurõõm” / Joie de Vivre 10:02
3. II “Ohvrimeel” / Martyrdom 5:07
4. III “Sangarlus” / Heroism 4:37

Andrei Volkonsky
Klaverikvintett op 5 d-moll / Piano Quintet in D minor, Op. 5 (1955)
5. I Allegro Moderato 10:40
6. II Burlesca. Adagio 5:30
7. III Passacaglia. Adagio con intimissimo sentimento 7:31
8. IV Fuga. Allegro 6:57


Hillar Kareva
Sonaat klarnetile ja klaverile nr 2 / Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No. 2, Op. 17 (1972)
1. I Sostenuto e pesante 3:31
2. II Molto lento e impassionato 2:41
3. III Allegro vivace 5:10

“Neli gemmi” op 23 ksülofonile, vibrafonile ja klaverile / Four Gems Op. 23 for Xylophone, Vibraphone and Piano (1975)*
4. I Oonüks / Onyx. Andantino espressivo 5:34
5. II Jaspis / Jasper. Presto con angloso 2:53
6. III Ahhaat / Agate. Adagio elegiaco 3:16
7. IV Krüsopraas / Chrysoprase. Allegro vivacissimo 3:31

Raimo Kangro
8. “Variatio Delectat” op 49a kitarrile ja klaverile / Variatio Delectat Op. 49a for Guitar and Piano (1993)* 6:29
9. “Tarzan mängib tšellot” tšellole ja klaverile / Tarzan plays cello for Cello and Piano (1981) 3:21

Mati Kuulberg / Lepo Sumera / Raimo Kangro
“Malera Kasuku Trio” viiulile, tšellole ja klaverile / Trio by Malera Kasuku for Violin, Cello and Piano (1977)
10. I Allegro con gusto 4:54
11. II Andante 4:09
12. III Presto 5:54


Leho Karin: tšello/cello (CD I, CD II 9–12); Diana Liiv: klaver/piano (CD I, CD II); Olga Voronova: viiul/violin (CD I 2–4, CD II 10–12), 2. viiul/violin II (CD I 5–8); Harry Traksmann: 1. viiul/violin I (CD I 5–8); Laur Eensalu: vioola/viola (CD I 5–8); Toomas Vavilov: klarnet/clarinet (CD II 1–3); Madis Metsamart: löökpillid/percussion (CD II 4–7); Andre Maaker: kitarr/guitar (CD II 8)


It was in March 2012 when Olga Voronova (violin), Leho Karin (cello) and Diana Liiv (piano) gave the world premiere of Artur Uritamm’s Piano Trio, titled Three Faces of the Homo Sovieticus, at the Pärnu Museum of Contemporary Art. The concert also included the Cello Sonata by Alo Mattiisen. It didn’t take long before the idea to perform other obscure, and even banned, compositions from the Soviet era, emerged. These were to be complemented with poetry. The original idea was to organize a concert of works by the Russian avant-garde composer Andrei Volkonsky together with commentary by his son, Peeter Volkonski. This idea gave rise to the concert series HELIjaKEEL (“SOUNDandLANGUAGE”), the first season of which (2012–2013) was dedicated to the oeuvre of well-known father-child pairings in which one composes and the other writes. Concerts featured Doris and Hillar Kareva, Maarja and Raimo Kangro, Peeter and Andrei Volkonsky and Märt-Matis Lill and Jaan Kaplinski. The 2013–2014 season focussed on creative proximity and reciprocal inspiration between authors and composers. One of the concerts featured, once again, the music of Andrei Volkonsky, complemented, this time, with the poetry of his ex-wife, Helvi Jürisson.
This double record contains recordings of music presented in the first two seasons of HELIjaKEEL and concerts immediately preceding thereof.

Diana Liiv
Pianist, Artistic Director of the Kammermuusikud


Composer ARTUR URITAMM (1901–1982) was often at odds with the Soviet authorities, and it was for this reason that many of his works were not performed for extended periods of time. The majority of his music has since been rediscovered and found its way into concert programs. His music is characterized by an ironic sense of seriousness and the search for new sound colours derived from the sonic quality found in folk music.
These two qualities can certainly be found in the Piano Trio, expressively titled Three Faces of the Homo Sovieticus (1948), which is anything but an endorsement of the Soviet regime. The Piano Trio is in three movements, subtitled Joie de Vivre, Martyrdom and Heroism. The premiere took place on March 18, 2012 – 64 years after the year of its completion – at a concert curated by the Pärnu Opera series Abonement 007, which took place at the Pärnu Museum of Contemporary Art, performed by Olga Voronova (violin), Leho Karin (cello) and Diana Liiv (piano).
There is an interesting story behind how this piece came to be premiered. Musicologist Leida-Tiia Järg turned to Diana with the idea of performing the piece, which was written a few years after Uritamm had been fired from his positions and expelled from the Union of Composers. Diana kept this idea in mind and began to search for the manuscript. It is safe to assume that when the work was completed, it was written in difficult circumstances. The manuscript could not be found in any archives. Diana Liiv: “All I have seen is the cello part of the manuscript. It is possible that the original score and violin parts have been lost. In any case, the originals were not found in the Museum of Music and nobody knows their whereabouts.” Copies of the misplaced parts were retrieved from other musicians, who had also considered performing the piece, but had since abandoned the idea. “It is a large-scale and challenging piece,” continues Diana Liiv, “as a performer I must say that it is an exceptional piece with an interesting musical language and deep philosophical underpinnings – a real gem. When we had compiled the parts from a variety of sources, I immediately made copies and took them to the Estonian Museum of Theatre and Music.”

ALO MATTIISEN (1961–1996) became famous during the Singing Revolution (1987–1988), in the course of which his patriotic songs of protest became legendary. The first of these songs “Ei ole üksi ükski maa” (1987) Not a single land is alone, which was inspired by the environmental campaign locally known as the Phosphorite War. This was followed by the Five Songs of National Awakening (1988), which inspired Estonians to actively pursue independence and freedom. Most of Mattiisen’s oeuvre is comprised of songs, of which there are over 80, but it also includes large-scale vocal works (two oratorios, two musicals, a short opera and a cantata) and also instrumental, choral, orchestral, theatre, film and electronic music.
Alo Mattiisen entered the Tallinn Conservatory in 1984, where he studied music pedagogy with Heino Rannap and composition with Eino Tamberg from 1988. In 1983 Alo Mattiisen took over leadership of progressive rock ensemble In Spe form Erkki-Sven Tüür, where he played keyboards. He also composed for the band. His collaboration with In Spe lasted for 10 years. Mattiisen has also worked as a music teacher, editor and free-lance composer. /Source: Estonian Music Information Centre/
The Sonata for Cello and Piano (1986) by Alo Mattiisen is one of the very few works with which the composer is known to have been satisfied. He dedicated the work to his cellist friend, Egmont Välja, who also gave the premiere. In 1988, Estonian Television (ETV) made a film of the piece entitled Tšellosonaat (“Cello Sonata”), directed by Peeter Brambat. The piece possesses a characteristic optimism in the rhythm, timbres and moods, which include everything from the grotesque to the beautiful, including a lyrical theme in the piano.

Russian composer, harpsichordist and conductor ANDREI VOLKONSKY (1933, Geneva – 2008, Aix-en-Provence) was one of the most important composers of the Russian avant-garde, a.k.a. underground. He was also an outstanding harpsichordist and one of the key figures in the early music scene in the Soviet Union. He founded the renowned early music ensemble Madrigal and his passion for renaissance and baroque music coupled with his charisma also gave rise to the Estonian early music group Hortus Musicus.
Andrei Volkonsky’s lineage can be traced back to the oldest branch of Russian aristocracy, such as the Rurik Dynasty, who ruled Kiev over one thousand years ago and whose members made significant contributions to Russian art, science and social order. The Volkonsky family’s involvement in Estonia began when Andrei’s grandfather, Duke Pyotr Volkonsky, became one of the owners of the Laulasmaa Manor. Andrei Volkonsky was married to author and translator Helvi Jürisson and Peeter Volkonski is his only progeny.
Andrei Volkonsky was among the first composers in the Soviet Union who began to experiment with dodecaphony, which had a major impact on his contemporaries. In 1956, he wrote his piano suite Musica Stricta, which is one of the very first dodecaphonic works composed in the Soviet Union. Andrei Volkonsky has also composed orchestral works, vocal-symphonic works to the texts of Gogol and Ѐluard, theatre and film music, and several chamber works.
The neoclassical Piano Quintet in D minor Op. 5 (1954) is one of the major works of Volkonsky’s early period and was composed immediately before he began experimenting with serialism. The piece was written around the time when Peeter Volkonski was born. The idea for the piece came when Volkonsky was working on his opera Ivan the Terrible, which he never finished. The third movement quotes the popular Russian folk song Dubinushka. Volkonsky’s Piano Quintet at times makes reference to Shostakovich (fourth movement) and Prokofiev (second movement) through his use of neoclassicism. Despite the fact that the Piano Quintet was composed very early in his career, one can still clearly recognize his characteristic style, which includes a very nuanced sound world and a stark dynamic development of the themes.

It is so holy holy
on this field of longing
it is silence and also thunder
an end to emptiness and thirst for love

Now you only can go to the desert
or to a tower higher than world
to shout from there hark hark!
you are the utmost freedom of soul – poetry!

Helvi Jürisson / Translated by Kersti Unt

HILLAR KAREVA (1931–1992) composed a significant amount of chamber music, which forms the core of his oeuvre. This includes several sonatas for a variety of instruments which do not enjoy an abundance of repertoire. Kareva’s style is harmonic and rhythmic, often unexpected with moments of romantic warmth and Nordic coldness. Much of his music is inspired by the mythology of the antiquities. He began studying violin with Herbert Laan and studied composition at the Tallinn Conservatory with Eugen Kapp. He also played the bass in Uno Naissoo’s ensembles Swing Club and Stuudio 8 and taught theory at the Tallinn Conservatory. In 2003, the first Kareva Saxophone and Trumpet Competition took place at the Estonian Academy of Music. The poet Doris Kareva is his daughter.
The music critic Ines Rannap has said the following of Hillar Kareva’s music: “Hillar Kareva’s style is completely unique and cannot be confused with that of any other composer. I would also argue that no clear connection can be made between his music and any folk music, nor does it include any quotations, anachronisms, overt simplicity or extravagance, or any such effects. It is simply a sequence of tones, harmony and rhythm which is consistent with his world view and is often rather complex.”
Hillar Kareva’s Sonata No. 2 for Clarinet and Piano (1972) was written during what Doris Kareva describes as one of his most productive periods. During the same year he also composed the Concerto for Horn, Woodwinds and Piano, the Duo Concertante for Horn and Violin and Quasi una sonata for trumpet and piano. Roland Kriit played clarinet at the premiere.
Kareva’s Four Gems: Onyx, Jasper, Agate, Chrysoprase (1975) was originally composed for xylophone, vibraphone and piano, but its version for trumpet and piano is much more frequently performed. According to Diana Liiv, artistic director of HELIjaKEEL, the first public performance of the original version of Four Gems may have indeed taken place in 2012 in this very concert series. Kareva’s Four Gems bring to musical life the crystal structures of universal proportions, in which perfect mathematical ratios can be found on both micro and macro levels. One can modify Goethe’s famous saying “Architecture is frozen music” to “Four Gems are temporally fluid crystal structures”.

The scalpel and the metronome
on my father’s piano
kept silence between them,
when I was a child.
Only now, given time,
have I started to hear,
to heed
their strange tales.
They trim time to a sliver.

Doris Kareva / Translated by Miriam McIlfatrick

RAIMO KANGRO (1949–2001) is one of the most energetic, colourful and shining personalities in Estonian music. Kangro’s style is loosely rooted in neoclassicism, in which the main channel of expression is an active, changing and often syncopated rhythmic pulse. His use of melody is angular, his main mode of development is through either variation or an improvisational fluidity. His active rhythm is complemented with stylized use of pop and rock music, early European and Estonian folk music. Tension is created through polyrhythm and timbrally bright heterophonic orchestral textures. The core of his oeuvre is centred around instrumental music and opera. The music of Raimo Kangro is powerful and spontaneous, which is in stark contrast to the typically melancholic, morbid and sober nature of most music from Estonia. His energetic and angular rhythmic pulse is akin to jogging on a plateau, as the sun shines in its full splendour.
In 1968, Kangro graduated from the Tartu Music School as a pianist. This was followed by composition studies under Jaan Rääts and Eino Tamberg at the Tallinn Conservatory, from where he graduated in 1973. In 1975–1976, he was the musical director of Estonian Television, and in 1977–1985, he worked at the Estonian Composers’ Union as a consultant. In 1993–2000, he was the director of the Estonian Music Foundation. In 2001, he became the president of the Composers’ Union. He was also one of the founders of the Estonian Music Days festival and began teaching composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1989. Among his students are Tõnu Kõrvits, Tõnis Kaumann, Timo Steiner and Ülo Krigul.
Kangro’s conception of music is clearly instrumental. However, text also plays an important role in his music, providing an outlet for both humour and poetry. This is presumably the result of his being surrounded by literary figures, including his wife, poet and author Leelo Tungal and their three daughters: Kirke, Anna-Magdaleena and Maarja Kangro. Much of his vocal works and opera are to texts by Leelo Tungal. /Source: Estonian Music Information Centre, Evi Arujärv/
Variatio delectat (1993), Latin for “There is nothing like change!”, is dedicated to Kalle Randalu and Boris Björn Bagger.
Tarzan Plays the Cello has an interesting history. It was commissioned by Leho Karin’s grandmother Laine Leichter in 1981 and was premiered by a young Leho, who was in fifth grade. The Tarzan series could be watched on Finnish television and this is most likely where the composer received the impetus for this piece. Leho Karin has also performed the work outside of Estonia.
The Malera Kasuku Trio has unusual beginnings, to say the least. In 1977, three young composers conceived of an original phenomenon – composer MaLeRa KaSuKu and his Trio for Violin, Piano and Cello. The Japanese-sounding name is accompanied by a tale, which Lepo Sumera very convincingly told his fellows in the Composers’ Union before presenting the work. Later, it emerged that the name was in fact a combination of a trio of composers: Mati Kuulberg, Lepo Sumera and Raimo Kangro. Their collaboration was firmly based on one principle – each composer would write one of the instrumental parts: the violin part by Kuulberg, the cello part by Sumera and the piano part by Kangro. For each of the three movements, one composer would write his respective part first. The result is an impulsive and witty musical language, in which the personal styles of each composer are melted into one colourful hybrid.


I heard it on the radio:
in ancient times, the pig strolled freely
around the house,
eating man’s shit.
It grew fat, had a litter.
The man then killed the pig and ate it.
After dinner, he went to a bush
somewhere behind the house.
The pig´s offspring knew the smell,
went to the bush to eat.
And so on.
Then it turned out that history was a spiral.
Returning to the roots,
the pig took along
many finer tools
and more articulate attitudes.

Maarja Kangro / Translated by Mike Horwood and the author


Toomas Vavilov is Estonia’s foremost clarinetist. He is a graduate of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, where his primary teachers included Hannes Altrov (clarinet) and Jüri Alperten (orchestral conducting). He also studied conducting privately with Roman Matsov. As a member of the NYYD Ensemble, he has performed at major music festivals and recorded a significant amount of new music. Also a solo performer, he gave a performance of Eino Tamberg’s Clarinet Concerto with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as principal clarinetist of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the head of the wind department at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Harry Traksmann is one of Estonia’s most recognized violinists. He graduated from the Tallinn Music High School under Tiiu Peäske and went on to study with Jüri Gerretz at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 1996, he was awarded a diploma at the Heino Eller International Violin Competition. Harry Traksmann has been a member of a number of recognized chamber ensembles, including the New Tallinn Trio and the NYYD Ensemble, with which he has performed at several renowned new music festivals. He has given solo performances with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, of which he is a concertmaster. The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra has performed all over Europe and North America and Japan and has recorded the music of Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Heino Eller for the ECM label. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

Olga Voronova is one of Estonia’s most valued chamber musicians. She began violin studies with her mother, Svetlana Voronova, in her home town of Narva. She graduated from the Tallinn Music High School and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in the class of Endel Lippus and went on to study at the Gnessen Music Academy, the Hochschüle der Künste Berlin and the Utrecht School of the Arts with Halida Ahtjamova, Ilan Gronich and Keiko Wataya, respectively. She won the 1998 Con Brio competition and received a diploma at the Heino Eller International Violin Compeition in both 1991 and 1996. Voronova has performed as a soloist with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Narva City Orchestra, the EAMT Orchestra and the Tallinn Music High School Orchestra as well as the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. She joined the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in 1995 and the Tallinn String Quartet in 2001.

Laur Eensalu studied violin and viola at the Tallinn Music High School with Tiiu Peäske and went on to study viola at the Karlsruhe Music High School with Fabio Marano and at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Viljar Kuusk. He joined the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in 2005 and became principal violist in 2011. He also performs with the Estonian National Opera Orchestra. In 2006, he won the EAMT award and the audience appreciation award at the Con Brio competition as a member of the TetrArchi String Quartet. He has performed and recorded a significant amount of new music as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician around the world.

Leho Karin is one of Estonia’s foremost cellists, acclaimed especially for his dedication to new music. He began cello studies at the Tallinn Music High School in the class of Laine Leichter and went on to the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he studied with Toomas Velmet. This was followed by studies at the Edsberg Music Institute and Karlsruhe Music High School with Frans Helmerson and Martin Ostertag, respectively. As a member of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra he has performed throughout Europe, Japan and the United States and recorded the works of Pärt, Tüür and Eller for the ECM label. Leho Karin frequently plays in chamber groups and has performed as a soloist with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra, with conductors Peeter Lilje, Paul Mägi, Vello Pähn, Tõnu Kaljuste, Olari Elts, Eri Klas and Gregory Rose. He has given several performances of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Cello Concerto. Leho Karin was also a member of the NYYD Ensemble, with whom he has participated in many of Europe’s most renowned new music festivals.

Pianist Diana Liiv is the artistic director of the Society of Friends of Music and has held the position since 2007. She is an active chamber musician and has performed as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Longy and Kaunas and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. In 2014, she performed Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate with the Lexington Symphony Orchestra. Her teachers include Victor Rosenbaum (Longy Music School), Peep Lassmann (EAMT), Hui-Ying Tawastsjerna (Sibelius Academy) and Konstantin Bogino (Accademia Santa Cecilia) and Anna Klas, with whom she studied privately. She is a winner of the Estonian Young Pianists’ Competition and a two-time winner of the 2010 “Music Without Limits” Competition in Lithuania, where she took home prizes in both solo and chamber music performance. She also won the Best Soloist and Best Chamber Ensemble prizes at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Percussionist Madis Metsamart is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician both at home in Estonia and abroad. In 2005, he became the principal percussionist of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Tallinn Baroque Orchestra and the Hortus Musicus Academic Orchestra. Madis Metsamart began his studies at the Tallinn Music High School under the instruction of Rein Roos. This was followed by studies with Kalju Terasmaa at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, from which he graduated in 1994. He has been a member of several ensembles in Estonia including NYYD, the Paukenfest Trio and UMA. He has premiered the works of several prominent Estonian composers, including Toivo Tulev, Mirjam Tally, Arvo Pärt, Tõnu Kõrvits, Eino Tamberg, Tauno Aints, René Eespere, Peeter Vähi and Galina Grigorjeva. Madis Metsamart also performs jazz, popular and theatre music.

Andre Maaker began guitar studies with Tiit Paulus in 1995. This was followed by studies at the Georg Ots Music School with Mart Soo and the Viljandi Culture Academy with Ain Agan. He has been most active as a jazz musician and improviser, and also worked as a sound engineer. He founded the CD label KUULA! together with jazz singer Hedvig Hanson. Andre Maaker participated in the making of 45 CDs as a guitarist and/or sound engineer. In 2007, he began organizing the annual Kuressaare Guitar Week. In 2014, he released a solo album entitled My Song Festival, which includes his arrangements of Estonian Song Festival songs. His interests also include world music.

Translations by Viire Tiirik, A&A Lingua, Riho Esko Maimets
Drawings used in CD design: Doris and Hillar Kareva and Raimo and Maarja Kangro by Kirke Kangro