Valdis Muktupavels - Kokles
Latvian Folk Songs
The Latvian kokles is one of a family of zithers that is common around the Baltic; similar instruments include the Finnish kantele, the Estonian kannel and the Norwegian langeleik. Its shimmering yet ringing sound is showcased on this two-CD set, the entry in UPE\\\\\\'s Latvian Folk Music Collection.
Valdis Muktupavels is an ethnomusicologist and musician who is a central figure in the Latvian folk revival. He leads the Rasa Ensemble and is a member of a musical family (brother Maris Muktupavels is a member of Ilgi). On Kokles, Valdis also plays stabule (flute), svilpes (whistle), ganurags (hornpipe), giga (bowed monochord) and sings, but his mastery of the kokles is the core of the album.
One disc is devoted to traditional music played on the kokles, while the other contains Muktupavels\\\\\\' original compositions for the instrument. The traditional CD has many more tracks, but both discs are more or less the same length because the original pieces tend to be longer than the traditional ones. Muktupavels is the whole show on the traditional disc, but he has several musical guests on the other. Ruta Muktupavela of Ilgi (also Muktupavels\\\\\\' wife) sings on three tracks and Ilgi\\\\\\'s Ilga Reizniece plays violin on \\\\\\"Prusu Vedibu Dziesma.\\\\\\"