The five-part set of Estonian Calendar Songs (Eesti kalendrilaulud) by Veljo Tormis comprises five cycles and altogether 29 songs for male and female choruses about the annual round and the shared rhythms of man and nature: 1. Mardilaulud (Martinmas Songs) for male chorus, 2. Kadrilaulud (St. Catherine's Day Songs) for female chorus, 3. Vastlalaulud (Shrovetide Songs) for male chorus, 4. Kiigelaulud (Swing Songs) for female chorus and 5. Jaanilaulud (St. John's Day Songs) for mixed chorus. The set culminates in the jubilant St. John's Day Songs (Jaanilaulud) describing the light midsummer night's festivities around the maypole.
In them the male and female choruses form a magic contrast and together produce a beautiful sound that is both original and unusual. In the last of this set of seven songs (Jaanilaulud) the sopranos are divisi a tre, and each of the other voice parts split into two lines, for a total of nine vocal lines, moving in parallel major triads and parallel seconds and thirds. This song is one of those most frequently sung by itself.
Texts are in Estonian and English singing translations by Ritva Poom are also provided.
1. Kutse jaanitulele I / Call to the Midsummer Bonfire I
2. Kutse jaanitulele II / Call to the Midsummer Bonfire II
3. Ei ole püssil püütav / Can't Be Caught by a Gun
4. Miks Jaani oodatakse / Why St. John is Awaited
5. Jaani hobu / St. John's Steed
6. Tulesõnad / Fire Spell
7. Jaanilaul / St. John's Song