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Concert of funeral songs "Run, the little mouse, through the ground",
Riga, 1 November 2003

Sings Cielava

      The concert passed in the Ligo hall of the Riga Latvian society - it was not big, but almost full.
      The concert was a joint performance - all groups were in front of spectators for all the time, though sang basically separately. The atmosphere was free, that, by the words, for a folklore concert is not a rarity.

Cielava plays

      Cielava from Salacgriva consist of half-dozen women, half of which sang vehemently, with theatricality. The most interesting item, in my opinion, was an instrumental folk-tune played on a three-string monochord and a pipe, however, sometimes musicians were mistaken.


      Zvīgzna - the new youth ensemble - has looked as harmonious and conformable collective. The most heart-felt song was a Latgalian one with two voices Forbid, God, to die young. However, the manner of singing of the participants was too far from traditional and reminds more choral, some songs even sounded as schoolboyish.
      Two roundelays showed by Zvigzna with friends from ensemble Maskačkas spēlmaņi were very interesting.

Maskačkas spēlmaņi

      As to Maskačkas spēlmaņi, there was five persons, however only voices of three of them gave an appreciable contribution. If the Zvīgzna was one whole, the Maskačkas spēlmaņi were separate persons, separate voices, and it bothered a little bit. Besides, this band is able to prepare not only a vocal demonstration of little-known songs, but also something musicaly interesting.


      The most pleasant to my hearing and soul there was a performance of Laiva - psalteries, a lot of rattles and bells, children's voices, in total - a very saturated sound. In the ensemble also are good singers - both lads and girls. However, the sonorous voice of the group's leader standed out too much against the others' voices.
      The conclusion of the concert - joint singing of a song A bubbled river flows - was very beautiful and even touching.
      Though the concert on the whole has made a positive impression, I have some thoughts concerning the forms of realization of such concerts. To me as to a spectator, likely, it would be more interesting to see a show, because funeral and burial songs were used during certain ceremonies.

      Article: Kristīne Karele, 4 November 2003
      Photos: Kristīne Karele

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