Rein Rannap: bringing rock in focus

14. March 2016
Ines Margato

Rein Rannap’s concert at Talvejazz brought the night full of new rhythms, funky sounds, it was a journey where the Estonian music history gained a new life. The concert was divided into two parts: “Concerto in rock” and “Ruja’s forbidden songs”.


Rein Rannap does not need introduction for the Estonian music world, being well-known for his compositions and piano performances, as well as, extravagant behaviours on stage. Tonight, Rein Rannap was slightly shy in comparison to other performances. However, his connection with rock’n roll was very strong and imaginative.


At the beginning, the atmosphere of Vene Kultuurikeskus (Russian Culture Centre) was calm and contained. However, all changed when the frenetic sounds started. The audience warmed up and, throughout the concert, there were smiles, legs dancing and applauses filling up the air. This building, with its majestic architecture and impressive Russian oil paintings, was the perfect host for such intensity.


The first part of the concert was dedicated to Rannap’s new creations. He combined the gentle cords of violin with the power of the drums, a fusion of classical music and dynamic rhythms of the rock. The orchestra was formed by young members in contrast with the adulthood of the rock band and Rannap. Music connected people. It showed me that, despite different generations, culture and styles, our love for music lets us to create something cool.


The music contained a variety of experimental sounds of human voices, birds and water, which were heard in conjunction to the swing of violins and the pace of the bass. The conductor danced and, at the same time, I travelled in the world of fantasy during forty-five minutes of performance.


After the intermission, people enjoyed the songs that were forbidden forty-three years ago. Songs such as ‘Oh Vabadus’ (“Oh, freedom”, 1972), ‘Nagu Loomad’ (“Like animals”, 1971), ‘Ülem Laul’ (“Song of songs”, 1973) and ‘Vana Auruvedur’ (“Old steam locomotive”1973) were brought to life again.


In this part of the concert, the main character was Kristjan Kannukene. This young man was full of energy, with his presence being remarkably noticed, by his long curly hairs, smiley face, great voice and shaky body movements. Rannap showed himself also more dynamic, jumping occasionally from his Hammond organ to a classical Estonia piano, and back. The band continued to impress with their skills and professionalism. Additionally to these amazing talents, a small orchestra of wind instruments and the angelical voices of Collegium Musicale were part of the adventure.


Old rhythms were left well behind and these songs were accepted by the public. At the end, the audience stood up and applauded enthusiastically, standing up and requesting for more…
Rein Rannap Concerto in Rock & Ruja’s forbidden songs
Vene Kultuurikeskus, Tallinn
Thursday, 10th March 2016

Rein Rannap, rock band, Kristjan Kannukene, music school symphony orchestra & big band, choir Collegium Musicale