Oglīte is a children’s and youth folklore group from the Ropaži region in Latvia. Recently, the group celebrated their 25th anniversary, and released an album of folksongs, entitled Lustīte mana, laimīte mana in 2018.
Not only do Oglīte sing and play musical instruments, but the ensemble also includes other cultural elements in their performances, such as dancing and games. Ranging in age from 7 to 20, Oglīte have performed in many Latvian towns, as well as varied European Union countries. The leader of the ensemble is Ligita Šreibere.
Most of the album is vocal performances, with some instrumental accompaniment, such as on the song ‘Ziedi, ziedi, āra pļava’, which features a solemn string based introduction which then leads to unaccompanied harmonic singing by the ensemble.
There are also elements of the traditional Latvian ‘calling style’ singing in songs like ‘Es savos bāliņos’, which features a confident and authentic vocal performance by Līva Ozola. There are also traditional Latvian instruments like the kokle on songs like ‘Skaisti ziedi pureniņi’, as well as the stabule on the instrumental ‘Kaķ’ādiņa’, a duet between Līva Ozola and Undīne Simbirceva.
There are many dance songs on the album, such as the lively ‘Ciganovskis’, as well as the more subdued ‘Henķa polka’, performed on the kokle by Anitra Berga. The group also performs instrumental works from outside of Latvia, such as the woeful ‘Igauņu subate’ from Estonia, and the slightly sentimental ‘Shottis’ from Finland.
The album also has a few humorous moments, such as on ‘Gulu, gulu’, where the narrator refuses to wake up, claiming a frightful headache, until his true bride comes along and he miraculously recovers to be able to go along with her. The song ‘Lāci, lāci’ also instructs the bear to wash his mouth before he gets any porridge.
The collection ends on the positive and uplifting title song ‘Lustīte mana, laimīte mana’, a song about happiness and good fortune following one wherever one goes, leaving ones sadness by the side of the road, and not worrying about going off to war.
Though performed mainly by children, Lustīte mana, laimīte mana is not necessarily a children’s album – the vocal and instrumental performances, as well as the song selection, reveals a certain maturity. The arrangements are usually simple, if not sparse, which result in the performances being quite intimate and personal. Including a variety of Latvian folk elements and styles, Lustīte mana, laimīte mana is a well-performed and engaging album, confirming the talents of this young ensemble.
Lustīte mana, laimīte mana
Lauska CD076, 2018
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