kuus kuus kallike – Arvo Pärt – Beauty

Quite simply, one of the most beautiful lullabies I know….

The Estonian Composer, Arvo Pärt was asked some years ago to compose a lullaby for a CD that Montserrat Figueras was recording of a whole collection of lullabies, ranging from ones composed way back in the 15th century to totally modern ones – which last obviously included this work of Arvo Pärt.

His contribution to this CD was a little song of quite amazing beauty, with the title of kuus kuus kallike.   These words apparently have no meaning in Estonian or any other language, but are simply soothing sounds to be made by the singer of the song to send a kid to sleep.  Whilst I love this song, I rather doubt if it would actually send any kid to sleep, since just as the kid’s eyes were becoming heavy, and sleep was stealing up on it, the singer suddenly goes into a high and loud section of the song, as you will hear in the several versions of this lovely song I have chosen for this post.

So, without any more ado, here is a superb version of this song to whet your appetite.

See what I mean?  Isn’t it beautiful and soothing?

This version was put together by Goeyvaerts String Trio and the singers Kristien Roels, Kris Matthynssens and Pieter Stas.

Curiously I first heard this song on a flight between Beijing and London, not the sort of music one normally finds on those inflight entertainments , but that is where I first came across it.

And upon landing in London, the first thing I did was to get onto Amazon to find and buy the CD, the details of which you will find at the end of this post.   And I can highly recommend this CD as it has some truly delightful little songs on it, and of course it is beautifully sung by Figueras as you would expect.

Any how, time for another version of this little song, this time it is a performance by the Choir and Orchestra of The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, conducted by Mai Simson.

Whilst this is a very polished and gentle interpretation of this song, it lacks the force of the last version, but still…………

And as my last offering to you of this gentle and pleasing song, here is yet another Estonian version, details of which are on the video, but basically it is a children’s choir performing with an Estonian orchestra.

I am afraid the sound level on this video is remarkably low, no idea why this should be, so you will need to turn the volume up on your computer to hear it properly.  Well worth doing by the way.   This version has a simplicity and a delightful calmness about it that truly works for me.  A very soothing version of this song.

So, there you have several versions of this lovely little song to enjoy, and I hope it will have the same effect on you that it had on me all those years ago at about 35000 feet above southern China, namely a feeling of peace, tranquility and a oneness with the world.

Details of the CD:

Title: Ninna Nanna,

Artist: Montserrat Figueras,

CD id.  ALIA VOX AV 9826

4 thoughts on “kuus kuus kallike – Arvo Pärt – Beauty”

  1. The words really have a meaning in Estonian. The title is: “Kuss-kuss kallike” – “Hush-hush little darling”, but the way it is sang it sounds more like “Kuus kuus kaalike” and this has also meaning in Estonian. Either “Six six turnip” or “Where where turnip?”. (kuus – six, kus – where)


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