Conductor Peeter Perens to create new male voice choir
Peeter Perens, the musical director and conductor of the Song Festival 'Minu arm', is to create a new men's choir in Tallinn. His ambitions are high and there are to be no quality discounts, he pledges, ERR's Kultuur portal reports.
The choirs of Tallinn's St. John's (Jaani Kirik) Congregation are swelling in numbers, ERR reports, and Peeter Perens, the musical director of the last Song Festival, is fulfilling one of his longest-cherished dreams by creating a new men's choir. "A dream is a big word," Perens said modestly, "but that thought has really sent me for a long time."
Perens told Klassikaraadio show "Delta", said that despite the current situation regarding male voice choirs and a life blighted by the pandemic, the idea of creating a new choir is nonetheless very strident, with those wishing to join expected to be able to sing in a few weeks. To the question "How is a choir created?" Perens replied that he had re-read textbooks on choral conducting written by his father.
"I have also looked around among the men I know who are not singing at the moment and invited them to join the male choir. At the moment, people are not running to go to men's choirs, that's clear. There are rather always not enough men in choir," he said.
However, the singer should think for himself whether he is ready to contribute to the work with notes and vocal arrangements and whether sacred music is of his interest - basic sheet music reading skills and personal choral singing experience are useful.
"Notes reading is a relative skill," Perens said. "I've come across a lot of singers and seen good note readers, whose music interest I don't understand. At the same time, there's somebody who can't read the notes that well, but he is really interested and at the end, his contribution is bigger."
The choir ought to reach the top of the current field in terms of quality, and Perens added that there is a lot of songs to perform while doing this. "The desire is to sing good music can be found with the choir, the emphasis is on sacred music, but also on Estonian composers like Tormis, Vettik," Perens added.
"Yes, I have a notes ready with songs to sing with this new choir," he said. The plan is to sing world classics, early music and works by contemporary composers. But it also makes sense for me to perform music that for some reason has been forgotten or accidentally not performed at all."
In the light of the current coronavirus, Perens considers the 2019 Song Festival to be significant, which he said was helped by mystical forces. "We were so lucky," Perens admits. "Thinking of that great party during the coronavirus, we just have to be grateful that we have been kept safe."
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Editor: Roberta Vaino