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Veljo Tormis, Estonian composer

Lawrence, Mark (2013). Veljo Tormis, Estonian composer. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The music of Veljo Tormis (b. 1930) became well-established in Estonia during the 1960s yet remained little known in the West during the Communist period. By incorporating traditional song, regilaul,into his works, Tormis’s name became closely associated for Estonians with upholding a sense of national identity against the Soviet regime. It is his vast output of some 500 choral songs for which he is most immediately recognised; indeed, once regilaul had come to dominate the ‘Tormis style’, he dedicated himself almost exclusively to choral composition. This study, building on the work of Mimi Daitz and Urve Lippus, examines and contextualises Tormis’s life and music, and considers the domination of regilaul on Tormis’s vision. A postscript to the dissertation examines two of my own works for choir, The Singing will never be done (2006) and The Ruin (2012). It also explores the ways in which the second of these was influenced by Tormis’s choral music in general, and by his landmark piece Raua Needmine [Curse upon Iron] (1972) in particular.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Some appendices have been removed for copyright reasons.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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