Folk hymns from Kolga-JaaniOn the present CD Triskele performs ten folk hymns from the parish of Kolga-Jaani. The choral tunes were written down in 1906, during a campaign organised by the Estonian Students’ Society and carried out by the student Juhan Simm. Altogether, Simm was able to write down 93 folk melodies, 19 hymn variations included. Such a large amount of religious songs indicates the existence of a powerful folk hymn tradition in the Kolga-Jaani parish. Probably this arose from the singing manner, characteristic of the time before 1883, when organ began to be used as an accompanying instrument to church songs. Prior to that, the most important role belonged to the cantor who led the singing of the whole parish. Choral tunes passed from one cantor to another as an oral tradition, and naturally changed in the course of time. In the music of Kolga-Jaani folk hymns, we can recognise the melodies published in Punschel choral book, but the folk variations are much more ornamented and structurally simplified.
Triskele has arranged accompaniments to the melodies, using both the traditional Estonian folk instruments as well as medieval and Oriental ones. All arrangements have been created by the ensemble as a whole. Their aim is not so much precisely to recreate old performances of the music as to evoke, using the particular verse and melody, inner pictures condensing a spirituality independent of the period and the rule.