Thursday, 2007 December 13th, 7 PM
Great Guild Hall
Friday, 2007 December 14th, 7 PM
Cesis Culture Centre
HORTUS MUSICUS (Estonia)
Andres Mustonen, artistic leader
Program Waiting for Christmas
Hortus Musicus, the ensemble celebrating their 35th birthday this year!
Such an age is phenomenal for a chamber ensemble and Hortus is the oldest constantly active early music group in Europe. Although based on academic education, the group, created in 1972 under the leadership of Andres Mustonen, a fervent dissenter, immediately found their own music, which had been practiced very rarely in the then Soviet Union but also in the rest of Europe. It was the early music that corresponded to the energetic wish of the young people to discover something unprecedented.
The secret of the longevity of Hortus Musicus is hidden in their approach of uncompromised creativity, and the title ‘early music ensemble’ only concerns the musical material. The music itself is reborn with every rehearsal and presentation, the “old” music becoming “own” and “new”.
The restless artistic nature and inexhaustible energy of Andres Mustonen, the charismatic leader and conductor of the ensemble, has as a natural course of events taken him in front of the great orchestras of Europe, this process continuing with increasing speed. As a fiery creative person he has managed to cross the line between academic and alternative (early music, jazz, rock, folk) ways of making music. A real musician knows no boundaries.
Here the Medieval music is performed next to ancient Indian ragas and Israeli temple songs, the early Christian music from Armenia and the Arabian Mughams. And as seen through the prism of eternal truths it appears that those temporally and geographically distant sounds have more in common than is different between them. The world is small!
During their lifetime of more than 35 years, Hortus have given concerts in most European countries, the USA, Japan, Israel and the vast territory of the former Soviet Union, as well as performed at most major early music festivals. They have recorded 35 programmes, a part of which is available even today in companies like Erdenklang, Musica Svecia, Forte, FGL and Finlandia Records.