Reede, 12 Oktoober 2012 22:03
Norman Illis Reintamm - Estonian Life No. 41 2012
From left: Arvo Leibur, violin; Norman Reintamm, piano; Aare Tammesalu, cello. Photo: Jaan Kiiv, taken at the Estonian National Opera.
More often than not, I tell the musicians that play in my orchestra that one always needs to think like a chamber musician when playing symphonic music. Oddly enough, playing the piano with colleagues in a
small setting is one of the most enjoyable forms of music making, in which I participate. When I am in front of a large ensemble, I describe it as driving a large boat. When playing with a small group
of musicians, it is like driving a high performance sports car. One's senses and reaction times have to be so "in-tune" that all of the musicians in the group can almost sense what is going to happen before
it even starts to happen!
It was my great pleasure to work together with two fabulous musicians from Estonia, Arvo Leibur (professor at the Estonian Music Academy and concertmaster for the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra) and Aare Tammesalu (Cellist with the Estonian National Opera Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Mustjala Music Festival). We sat down for the first time to rehearse our upcoming concert about a couple of weeks ago. In fact it was our first time working together as a team. Emotionally and musically the first few moments are quite telling when putting a programe together. At first there is a sense of "feeling
each other out" together with a sense of extreme concentration. Little by little, everybody's guard comes down and a sense of relaxation occurs. Finally, when everybody is at ease with each other, some fun
music making happens. Risks are taken, some of which work and others don't. At the end of the rehearsal, good-natured banter happens and everybody is smiling. New friendships are made, not having to speak a
word. Music making really is a universal language of friendship.
When I was choosing the programme for our tour of Southern Ontario, I asked myself what would people like to hear from a group of classical musicians? There are always those that like to hear the classics
(Beethoven, Mozart) and there are others, who have no classical musical background at all. How do I balance this in a chamber music programme? My mind wandered to our friends across the Baltic in
Finland. Believe it or not, the tango is a favourite dance form over there and everybody likes a good tango! This great composer, Astor Piazzolla, wrote a series of tangos called "The Seasons", great dance music that has been transformed into a very listenable classical piece. Following along from this, everybody likes a good story to go with a dance. My mind settled on Beethoven. He created a huge selection of dances (we only tend to think of Beethoven as a symphonic composer). One of his pieces is called "The Ghost Trio". It is filled with lots of good tunes, which could have originally been used as dance music. One section of
this piece sounds just like something you might conjure up in your mind for a "Gothic suspense novel". In other words, something that will certainly keep your attention! Finally, I needed something to
capture our strong song tradition. For this, I chose a number of songs, some of which have been written by such luminaries as Roman Toi, Lembit Avesson.
It was also my desire to introduce more Estonian music to my colleagues, with whom I work with on a daily basis. There is so much good "Eesti muusika", about which people in general know nothing. For
this I asked two singing colleagues of mine to work with me on this programme. The reasoning for this was that if they enjoy the stuff that I give to them, they will give it to their students, and so on.
From a small seed can come something quite great and unique. Also, it will give them access to a completely new public, and for us as Estonians, it will give us a new outlet for our artforms. Again, new
It my sincere hope that you will come to one of the concerts in Guelph, Hamilton, or Toronto. Bring a friend who isn't an Estonian! Send an email to an acquaintance that isn't an Estonia saying that
there is a concert happening , to which they should come.
We need to get the word out that the Estonians are here, they are alive, and that they are part of the Southern Ontario community. With a little bit of unabashed community support amongst ourselves, we can
reinvigorate and reenergize our place in the Southern Ontario community!
Norman Illis Reintamm