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Concert of the group "Lad", Riga,
20 April 2003

      During Easter of christians (by Gregorian calendar) within the folklore festival Rīga music in Riga performed two men - the Russian folklore ensemble Lad from St. Petersburg.
      The group has carried out a master-class in the lecture-room of Latvian Studies of the Latvian University, tuored in Limbazhi and performed in the Small Guild of Riga, from where this reporting is.

Psaltery with humer

      The program was chronological - they begun by more ancient instruments, step by step passing to newer, with some a capella songs between them.
      After a psaltery playing in different technics, the musicians have shown humer - an instrument, found in an excavation of Ancient Novgorod and still popular in people before World War II.


      Then two balalaikas (a smaller one and a bigger one) and squeeze-boxes of two types (hromka and Vologda's) was presented. The musicians played them in different combinations, showing playing manners of different places and times. At the end musicians have fled in to a rage and begun to beat a timbrel and even to dance.
      The men sang too: some bylinas from Russia's North and a spiritual song of Cossacks-nekrasovians, which hundred years have lived in Turkey and in 1962 have repatried to Russia.

A squeeze-box with a balalaika

      To characterise the performance in general, accidentally would be desirable to compare it with the previous visitors of the festival - a Lithuanian ensemble Sutaras. If the Lithuanians were staged until smallest details (well-groomed costumes, free speeches, involving of spectators), for the sake of which were necessary slightly to offer up an authenticity of performance and a human simplicity, with the Russians all was on the contrary: they were sincere, but in the same time the speech sometimes "catched"; they showed different authentic manners of playing (instead of folklore arrangements with a smack of a conservatory, as the Lithuanians), however, they had modern and dirty boots. It is difficult to tell, what is better. Those are different, non-crossing ways; both are good, both are necessary. But anyway, if Sutaras tries to make a business on the basis of folklore materials, the participants of Lad unselfishly devote life to a preservation of authentic folklore traditions. And if the firsts arouse a high pleasure, the seconds arouse a high esteem.

      Songs' recordings from this activity (recorded 17.IV, LU):

      Article: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš, 4 May 2003
      Photos: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš

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