This year we are
celebrating 150 years since the first Estonian Song Festival.
The Song Festival
tradition has always been an essential part of the Estonian national identity
and as such the two have always reflected each other. Both the joys and sorrows
of our nation have been expressed in the repertoires of the festival. At the
same time the festival has often served as a reminder during difficult times of
a brighter future ahead and has played a crucial part in bringing and holding
the nation together.
For those exact
reasons we have decided to put together this double album. The carefully
selected 26 recordings will take you on a journey through the festival’s 150
year long history. They will help you discover the songs which have an extra
special spot in the hearts of Estonians and what songs have played a leading
role in our history. “Mu isamaa on minu arm” by Gustav Ernesaks may be the most
famous of them but is not the only one.
What makes the
album even more exciting is that all the tracks are live recordings from
different Song Festivals from 1933 (the oldest surviving sound recording of a
Song Festival!) to the 21st century. Therefore, you can observe the progress in
both singing and recording techniques in addition to the songs themselves.
The album is
accompanied by a booklet with plenty of background information about the
history of the song festival. There’s an analysis of socio-cultural effect of
song festivals by historian Mart Laar (in both English and Estonian) as well as
commentaries about the different aspects of the repertoire. What is more, we
have definitely not forgotten about the visuals - the beautifully designed
booklet is illustrated with a wide variety of photographs, artworks and
souvenirs of the song festivals.