Concert of funeral songs "Run, the little mouse, through the ground",
Riga, 1 November 2003
The concert passed in the Ligo hall of the Riga Latvian society - it was not big, but
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.
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
spēlmaņi were very interesting.
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
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'
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