By Vidas Pinkevicius
This Saturday, August 20 at 6 pm I will play an improvisation storytelling recital at Vilnius University St. John's church. This event will be dedicated for the Restoration of Independence Day of Estonia - organ improvisations will be based on the Estonian national epic "Son of Kalev" (Kalevipoeg).
"Kalevipoeg" is an epic poem by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald.
In Estonian (mainly East Estonian) legends, the giant Kalevipoeg was the youngest son of Kalev and Linda, born after his father's death and surpassed his brothers in intelligence and strength.
Kalevipoeg carries stones or throws them at enemies, and also uses planks edgewise as weapons, following the advice of a hedgehog. He also forms surface structures on landscape and bodies of water and builds towns. He walks through deep water. He defeats Satan and eventually dies after his feet are cut off by his own sword. He dies and goes to heaven.
Taara, in consultation with the other gods, reanimates Kalevipoeg, places his legless body on a white steed and sends him down to the gates of hell where he is ordered to strike the rock with his fist, thus entrapping it in the rock. So Kalevipoeg remains to guard the gates of hell.
I hope this recital will be a nice way to commemorate the Estonian Restoration of Independence day which happened on August 20, 1991 - following the August 19 Coup of Moscow attempt. Latvia restored Independence the next day - on August 21. Lithuania restored Independence more than a year ago - on March 11, 1990.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
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