Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu
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Sun, April 17 2022
Trio ’95

University of Tartu Museum
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Tickets: 12/8€

Robert Traksmann (violin)
Marcel Johannes Kits (cello)
Rasmus Andreas Raide (piano)

Rein Rannap (b. 1953) – Branching (2021/2022, premiere)
I Homage to Veljo Tormis
II Homage to Arvo Pärt
III Homage to Jaan Rääts

Liisa Hõbepappel (b. 1994) – First Step, Last White (2022, premiere)

Ülo Krigul (b. 1978) – Brahm’s glitch (2022, premiere)

Ester Mägi (1922–2021) – Piano Trio in D minor (1950)
I Adagio ma non troppo
II Variations on Mart Saar’s Pitter Patter Lullaby. Andantino
III Allegro molto


Branching (“Hargnemine”, a trio for violin, cello and piano, 2021/2022, premiere). “Every movement of this trio is an homage to one great Estonian composer. The oeuvre of each of them has sprung and branched from earlier music: Tormis links contemporary music with Estonian runic songs, Pärt with early Western music, Rääts (in presently paraphrased early work) with baroque textures. From them branches out in turn my musical language which connects classical and pop music. 

It is difficult to find titles that would unambiguously and indisputably click with the music. Therefore, it is beneficial to use a title that creates various associations with the composition. On the one hand, the word ‘branching’ is suitable to depict how these three different composers grew out of the trunk of Estonian music while maintaining everything integral to us, also the Nordic spirit of runic songs. Secondly, how they all have developed from the music that came before them and have boldly used it. Thirdly, how also the present piece evolves further from these three strong branches.”(Rein Rannap)

“The composition First Step, Last White (“Esimene samm – see viimane valge”, 2022, premiere) brings together various active light-coloured movements which grow into a detailed and constantly evolving network of meanings. Typically of the author, the composition style is mosaic-like and based on the same source material. “I was intrigued by the connections between otherwise solitary and fleeting micro-details. It struck me that by trying to define these consecutive musical movements I was simultaneously dealing with a perpetual, even mechanical motion inside myself. For me, this motion, a force of movement, is an essential part of being a mother.” While composing this piece I drew on the poem titled XXVIII from Mina Loy’s (18821966) poem cycle Songs to Joannes. (Liisa Hõbepappel)


The steps go up for ever
And they are white
And the first step is the last white

Coloured    conclusions
Smelt    to synthetic
Of my


And wills and words all white
Illimitable monotone
(Translation by Kadri Kosk)

Brahm’s Glitch (2022, premiere) proceeds from the linguistic notion that music is played, music is meant for playing. ‘Glitch’ means ‘malfunction’. The piece proceeds from Johannes Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1, its musical material is as if inserted into and reproduced by an imaginary granular synthesiser. The partially preserved harmonic plan and melodic lines hint at what used to exist, and its particles are now floating around in this entirely new environment. The glitch-aesthetic used in electronic music and digital technology has been placed into a purely acoustic form. Also, by shifting the apostrophe in the original composer’s name, we can open up an entirely different horizon of meanings.” (Ülo Krigul)

Ester Mägi composed her Piano Trio (1950) as a student at the Tallinn State Conservatory, but it is far more than a student’s experiment. The premiere took place in October 1951 at the Estonia Concert Hall, performed by the then famous and renowned musicians Endel Lippus (violin), Laine Leichter (cello) and Virve Lippus (piano). Hugo Lepnurm has noted: “The trio is a mature and enjoyable piece that surpasses the majority of student compositions. The variations on the theme of Mart Saar’s Pitter Patter Lullaby in the 2nd movement fully expose Ester Mägi’s musical talent for the first time. The piece is intricate, at times playful, at times sorrowful – but while displaying stark contrasts, creative delight is what prevails. The entire composition boasts an easily understandable form and conveys inner tension.”

Trio ’95 was founded in 2003, when Robert Traksmann, Marcel Johannes Kits and Rasmus Andreas Raide were still classmates at the Tallinn Music High School. They obtained their higher education in Germany – Berlin and Karlsruhe. This highly professional ensemble has achieved 1st Prize at the International Ilmari Hännikäinen Chamber Music Competition in Finland (2020) and 1st Prize along with numerous special prizes at the international chamber music competition “Tallinn 2021”; the collective has also received the Annual Music Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment (2020). As proud Estonians, the trio highly values Estonian music: for this year’s Estonian Music Days, new pieces will be composed for the trio by Liisa Hõbepappel, Ülo Krigul and Rein Rannap, complemented by Ester Mägi’s trio as a timeless Estonian classic.

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