The Gusli (-> Wikipedia) is an old Russian stringed instrument, a kind of a zither. The gusli is used in folk music, but can also be used for classical music.
The gusli is usually played with the right hand while the left hand mutes to strings that should not sound. This can be used for harp-like arpeggios. It is also possible that the left hand plays accompanying chords while the right hand plays the melody. The right hand can also play the strings with a tremolo.
My first example is a Lullaby played by Olga Shishkina, she has studied in Russia and lives in Helsinki today.
Gusli: Lullaby by Shakhanov
Performance at St. Maria’s Church in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Another professional player of the gusili is Pavel Lukoyanov
Pavel Lukoyanov professional gusli-musician. Pavel was born in 1982 in Moscow. In 2002 has finished the Second Moscow Regional Musical College named S.Prokofiev (professor, merited artist of Russia Fediration Lubov Zhuks class). In 2007 has finished the Gnesins Academy of Music folk instrument department now. (L. Zhuk’s class).
You can find many solo pieces for the gusli in his youtube channel. This is his performance of Legend for gusli:
Legend for gusli
von Aleksei Larin
Read more “The Gusli – A Great Stringed Instrument from Russia”
Some days ago I have descovered the youtube channel of SenorDaVoz. In this channel you can find some great playlists with music from Brazil, including 3 large playlists with choro music. You can find original recordings of masters like Jacob do Bandolim, Pixinguinha and Luperce Miranda.
There was one playlist that made me very curious – the image showed a man with a zither – an instrument that I did not expect to find in Brazilian music. I have watched the 3 videos in the playlist and was really surprised.
The musician that has played the Brazilian choros on the zither is Avena de Castro.
I have found some information about Avena de Castro in the Choro Music Blog:
Avena de Castro (Heitor Avena de Castro, 1919 – 1981) is regarded a Brazilian master of the zither. He started his career in the 1930s after studying the instrument at conservatory composing and transcribing classical repertoire to be performed on the zither. In the 1950s he recorded pieces by Ernesto Narareth and Zequinha Abreu a.o. and he was later to be involved in the founding of the Club de Choro of Brasilia and was actually elected as the first president of the organisation. He recorded more LPs, both as a soloist and participating in recordings by others, i.e. Waldir Azevedo (1973).
Avena de Castro planned a cooperation with Jacob do Bandolim and he even recorded one piece together with Jacob ( “Três estrelinhas” – see the playlist). This cooperation however was made impossible by the sudden death of Jacob do Bandolim. Later Avena de Castro published his LP Avena de Castro relembra Jacob Bittencourt’.
I think this Brazilian music played on a typical zither sounds very interesting, and therefor I have compiled a playlist with the best videos with Avena de Castro.
Let’s start with the famous choro Cochichando in the zither version by Avena de Castro:
COCHICHANDO-AVENA DE CASTRO EM UMA CITRA E DUAS ROSAS
Playlist Avena de Castro – Zither
Blog article in the Choro Music Blog: http://choro-music.blogspot.de/2007/04/evocao-jacob.html
Read also my related articles about the zither: