On valmis UUS PLAAT - Ilus maa! Esitluskontsert 10. novembril!

Two Rock Cantatas by Rein Rannap

Rein Rannap, Estonia’s distinguished rock and pop composer, the founder, leader and keyboard player of the legendary rock group Ruja, has recorded for the present album two of his major rock cantatas.

Both 1982's "Ilus maa" (The Beautiful Land) and the brand new work, "Taevas ja maa" (Heaven and Earth, 2009), are based on the poetry of Estonian writer Hando Runnel. The compositions are performed by an impressive cast: one of the most talked-about rock bands in present-day Estonia, Kosmikud (with the composer himself on the keyboards), two world-class Estonian choirs — the State Academic Male Choir RAM and the girls’ choir Ellerhein —, and several additional musicians. The new cantata also employs the academic opera bass Priit Volmer.

The first cantata, "Ilus maa", praising and admiring the homeland and its nature, was deemed ideologically 'unacceptable' and banned by the communist authorities after its second performance in the early 1980s. Subsequently, this work was not performed again in its entirety for the next 25 years! The current release is the first studio recording of "Ilus maa". The new cantata was written in 2009 and was performed live, together with the well-loved earlier piece, to appreciative audiences all over Estonia.

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