You may use this one at a quiz party asking friends which musical instrument is featured in this recording. The most frequent answers I guess would be ‘violin’ or ‘pipes’, and if not being recording this piece I’d vote the second. Neither of these are right though – the actual instrument is called hurdy gurdy, and it was favoured alternately by the rich and the poor, and by the rich again all across Europe. The second question would pose even the greater challenge and it applies to the pictured item. Well, that’s gusli (pronounced ‘goose-lee’) – an undeservedly neglected instrument deeply rooted in Russian folk music. Unlike much of the contemporary folk which nowadays is very likely to win hearts with piercing decibels, gusli created its magic in a thoughtful or even bashful way. Both pieces are played by Yegor Strelnikov, a folk music enthusiast, street musician and a bell ringer who is often seen at all sorts of festive events in Sergiyev Posad. Have a listen!
Recorded June 7th, 2009
Published October 23rd, 2009 (2 mb + 3 mb).