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Toivo Tulev is one of the principal figures in Estonian music today. Deeply influenced by his study of Gregorian chant,Tulev’s works have a mystic, incantatory dimension. Songs is the title of the largest work on this CD, but it reflects on the other works as well, and not only because they are vocal or choral. During the 1980s, the composer was a member of the EPCC: this background has given him an innate sense of what singers can do. Dedicated to Paul Hillier, Songs is a polychoral piece with various groups of singers and instruments distributed around the concert venue.The text is a collage created by the composer from various sources: the Bible, the Song of Songs and two poems, Cantico espiritual and Coplas del alma que pena por ver a Dios by St John of the Cross.The small orchestra includes recorder and duduk, an instrument whose longing quality is well suited to the poems. World-renowned countertenor Robin Blaze joins Paul Hillier and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in this world premiere recording.