Early music ensemble "Drolls"
(Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia)
The early music ensemble Drolls was founded in October 1999. The major part of the ensemble creative activity is Western-European music of Middle Ages and Renaissance.
This story was told not once nor twice…not even twenty two times. It has been constantly evolved, enriched with details and peculiarities until the story became a legend. That is verbal creativity after all. What is an anecdote without its particulars? The same is with a story. Even though it is your own story.
Here comes the legend:
In autumn, 1999 Popov Brothers Sergey and Pavel decided to play duet. But there was a mishap: one of them played contrabass, while another played oboe. It is impossible to find a musical piece for this kind of music line-up. You should try by yourself sometime. But we had a great mind to play. Then a young composer of promise, Dmitry Cherevko, heaved in sight. We immediately placed an order to him: let the duet for contrabass and oboe be! As a promising composer, Dmitry promised us to think it over. Meanwhile he made an arrangement of a bestselling melody of the 16th century "Greensleeves", and off he went. Once Alexey Nikitin, no less promising drummer, came over to one of our music sessions and joined the band on the spot. Soon our work was presented to a distinguished audience, which highly appreciated the version of the well-known ballad, and we decided to continue moving into the depth of musical history. At the certain level Igor Solovyov, a romantic and fancy person, was detected. He was the last who took a place in the cart (or in a bathyscaphe?) of goliards. We took the road and follow it to the present day.
That is how Drolls started.
Drolls (amusements in Old English) is a kind of comical musical performances widespread in England in the XVI-XVII centuries. Folk music including lyrical and festive songs at table, songs for dancing and others was widely represented in those. Y. Bulutchevsky, V. Fomin "Ancient Music" Dictionary. Moscow, "Music" Publishing House, 1996
During the last centuries, the mankind has probably changed, but the Man is still the same. The Man still loves and has fun just as eight centuries ago. It is possible to feel the still alive past through music. The music, which has been historical. We strive for proving and prove this principle by our every single performance. We are always glad and happy when our creative work resonates with different audience: from specialists to unsophisticated listeners. It is a doubtless evidence that we are on the right way.
The record of service of the ensemble includes hundreds of performances on stages of Russia, Poland, Finland and Belorussia. ‘Drolls’ participated in numerous international festivals of folk music and the medieval culture.
On the credit side we have TV and radio programs dedicated to the ensemble, many publications in Russian and foreign media and many performances on stages of Russia, Poland, Finland, Belarus, Karelia. The band has recorded and edited five albums. "Drolls" cooperates with bands spiritually close to it trying to turn every performance into bright show using pantomimes, dance and authentic instruments.
The ensemble has recorded and released ten albums. The unique outfit of the ensemble comprises more than three dozen of the copies of ancient instruments.
Under the belt of the ensemble are concert programs aimed at varying audience: interactive entertainment and amusement as well as spectacle «Carmina Burana». The program «Holy People» is absolutely new line in the development of the group. It reconstructs sounds and faces of art performers of Medieval Rus’.