The elemental power of ancient folk music is the lifeforce that drives the compositions of Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). As the great Estonian composer famously said, “I do not use folk song. It is folk song that uses me.” This sentiment is echoed in definitive performances by the Estonian Philharmonic Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste, for decades one of Tormis’s closest musical associates. Four orchestral cycles celebrate the changing seasons: Autumn Landscapes, Winter Patterns, Spring Sketches, Summer Motifs. And three pieces – Worry Breaks The Spirit, Hamlet’s Songs and Herding Calls – feature new arrangements by Tõnu Kaljuste, continuing and commemorating Tormis’s work. The album opens with The Tower Bell In My Village which Kaljuste commissioned 45 years ago. It sets words by Fernando Pessoa that seem entirely pertinent in the context of this tribute. “Oh death, it’s a bend in the road/You can’t be seen when you’ve passed by/But still your steps continue…” Reminiscentiae was recorded at Tallinn’s Methodist Church in October and November 2020.