Hortus Musicus is an Estonian ensemble that was established in 1972 with the initiation of Andres Mustonen, a violin student of the Tallinn State Conservatory. For more than 30 years now, Hortus Musicus had undertaken an important task of rescuing from forgetfulness compositions of past centuries and presented in their programmes European music from the 8th-15th centuries: Gregorian choral, organums, medieval liturgic hymns and motets, the Franco-Flemish school, Italian masters of Trecento, Renaissance Music (including French chansons, Italian madrigals, frotollas and villanelles etc.). Also they perform ancient Indian Ragas, Armenian Christian music, Israeli temple songs & Jewish tunes, Arabian mughams, and music of 20th century composers (often created specially for Hortus Musicus, e.g. by Arvo Pärt).
The secret of the longevity of Hortus Musicus is hidden in their approach of uncompromised creativity, and the title 'early music ensemble' only concerns the musical material. The music itself is reborn with every rehearsal and presentation, the 'old' music becoming 'own' and 'new'.
During 35 years, Hortus Musicus have given concerts in most European countries, USA, Japan, Israel, as well as performed at most major early music festivals. They have recorded ca 35 programmes, a part of which is available even today in companies like Erdenklang, Musica Svecia, Forte and Finlandia Records. The latest recording is 'Ave...' (2005), music from the late Middle Ages in memoriam Helle Mustonen (1950-2005).
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