Marje Sink “Christmas Carols”


Pille Lill (soprano)
Oliver Kuusik (tenor)
Aare Saal (baritone)
Piia Paemurru (piano)

The song titles from the CD:
1. Jõulutervitus / Christmas greeting / sõn. I. Liik
2. Jõululaul /Christmas song
3. Imeline helin / Wondrous sound
4. Rahu / Peace / sõn. A. Mill
5. Kristus on sündinud / Christ is born
6. Lumehelbeid valgeid / White snowflakes ;
7. Maria hällilaul / Maria’s cradle song / sõn. M. Sink
8. Oo armas puu / Oh, dear tree / sõn. P. Sink
9. Jõuluöö / Christmas night / sõn. V. Saksen
10. Jõululaps nutab jõuluööl / The Christ child is weeping on Christmas night
11. Laulan laulu / I sing a song : pühendatud B. Tagole’le
12. Ilm pime / The world was dark / sõn. P. Sink
13. Oo, jõuluöö / Oh, Christmas night / sõn. K. Sinik
14. Ainult üks küünal / Just one candle / sõn. J. Reitsnik
15. Vaikselt sajab ju lund / Quietly snowing / sõn. E. Ebel
16. Jõuluõhtul / On Christmas Eve / sõn. K. Sinik
17. Vaikselt, vaikselt / Quietly, quietly
18. Jõulutervitus / Christmas greeting / sõn. M. Sink
19. Jõulu helinad / Christmas sounds / sõn. M. Sink
20. Rahuöö – oo jõuluöö… / Night of peace – oh, Christmas night

On the cover of the CD: Peeter Sink painting “Winter in a South-Estonia village”.



Marje Sink (néee Marie Gildemann) was born October 18, 1910 near St. Petersburg. Her father, Mihkel Gildemann had come from Estonia to serve the local Estonian community as a parish clerk and schoolmaster. He died in 1918 leaving his widow in the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Finally, in1921 Anna Gildemann was able to return with her five surviving children to the Republic of Estonia where she had to entrust her youngest daughter to the Aaspere children’s home. There already at the age of 14 Marie composed music and conducted the choir. In 1930, Marie married the pastor, artist and poet Peeter Sink (1902-957). A prolific composer, Marje Sink set many of her husband’s poems to music. In1938 Marje Sink graduated with honors from the Tallinn Conservatory where she was a student in Artur Kapp’s composition class. Her diploma works were an oratorio “After Golgotha” and a piano sonata in F minor.

Marje Sink became a member of the Composers’ Union in Soviet-occupied Estonia in 1944 but was expelled four years later – when ordered to write odes to Stalin, she answered that her calling was to serve God. No longer able to work officially as a composer, she taught music privately and in schools.

Throughout her life Marje Sink organized and directed church choirs, continuing this activity even after suffering a stroke in 1972. The majority of her compositions are related to the repertoire needs of the choirs she directed. As a result, Marje Sink’s post-war compositions consist almost exclusively of vocal music. She composed hundreds of songs characterized by their melodiousness and depth of feeling, but which are never saccharine and often present powerful contrasts. Her duets provide an especially pleasing sense of the partnership demanded by that form. Noteworthy as well are half a dozen can- tatas, Estonian rhapsodies for piano and numerous other piano pieces. Incredibly, this prolific composer’s music was virtually unknown in Estonia for decades due to the systematic repression of religion by Soviet authorities. Her youngest son, Kuldar Sink, became a well-known composer.

Marje Sink died in Tallinn December 31, 1979. It is only now in free Estonia that her contribution is becoming widely known for the first time. The Marje and Kuldar Sink Prize for Young Singers was established in 2005.