Deleted folk vinyl – Argo records

•April 24, 2009 • 14 Comments

I started out with some grand idea of writing about all those thousands of folk recordings that are lying around decomposing in the vaults of record companies or lost and unlistened to on the archive racks of learned institutions.

But it somehow morphed into this ramshackle look at the British record label Argo. That’s why it’s called Folk Catalogue. But isn’t really.

It’s mostly a look at the folk records Argo issued – a sort of annotated discography that reads a bit like Bermondsey Bob’s contributions to From the Message Boards in Private Eye.

(If you find you’re into it, you can sign up for the Facebook page and you’ll be kept informed about updates and new posts)

Except that I keep getting distracted…

So, in the column on the right are

– some random bits of the label’s music to listen to (they open in a new window so you can carry on reading)

– the beginnings of a complete discography of the Argo label (a major distraction)

– a potted history of the label that I’ve started working on

– a catalogue of the folk music Argo issued decade by decade

– links to posts on the folk albums that i’ve got round to doing the track list (and, in some cases, notes) for

– and in between miscellaneous things that have cropped up, like the Bloody Decca entry…and Olga Lehmann and Arthur Wragg’s fantastic Argo album covers.

It’s still got more holes than substance. Hey, it’s not easy doing a catalogue of 30-60 year old records that only exist in charity shops and auction houses (stuck between The World of Charlie Kunz Vol 5 and Richard Clayderman Plays Abba) and on eBay.

I’ve been getting loads of help from people I bump into on the internet. So if you’ve got any Argo music or information you can pass on, I’d be very grateful.

A bit of history
Argo was a quirky one-off – a very British label that went its own sweet way from 1951…till it was so caught up in the machinations of the industry that it couldn’t go its own sweet way any more. Forget the latter-day claims of resurrection, it effectively died in 1980. At the hands of the suits at Polygram.

When the label was founded (on a shoestring), long-playing records had only been on the market in the UK for just over a year. Founder Harley Usill said the label would specialise in ‘British music played by British artists’ – and so it did – but from the earliest days Argo also explored loads of off-beat new ways of filling the whopping 23-minutes-per-side of vinyl that the new technology made available.

The complete works of Shakespeare, contemporary poets reading their own work, steam locomotives, music hall, jazz, contributions to ground-breaking, progressive English learning aids, plus outsanding recordings of choral, chamber and new classical music…They even recorded and released the birth of Usill’s first son, pre-natal heartbeats and all.

And they also released folk. All sorts of British stuff – from senior Marxist-Leninist trad scholarship to loving experiments with Kipling, to young pop folksters in ironed flairs.

And pioneering field recordings of what in those days was known as ‘ethnic’ music.

In 1953, 34 years before they started sneaking "world music" dividers into the racks in records shops, Usill was helping musicologist Deben Bhattacharya to buy a tape recorder so he could go off to India and record.

The Living Tradition series of field recording LPs that Bhattacharya went on to make for Argo were a remarkable achievement – a low-profile version of what Colombia and Alan Lomax were doing around the same time with their rather grander World Library of Folk and Primitive Music.

By 1957 Argo was making decent profits, but had cash flow problems. Decca, who had been pressing the Argo releases, made Usill an offer and in November that year Argo became a division of the Decca Record Company. Usill stayed on and was given a pretty free hand to develop the Argo division along his own lines.

By 1979, Argo had a turnover of ₤1 million, with a return on investment of 34 per cent. But then Decca got taken over by Polygram, and Polygram caught a nasty cold with the sudden death of disco. Rationalisation was the order of the day, and Argo got the chop.

"I had hoped they would let it go on, not snuff it out as they did. We were not told very much. The whole episode was a nightmare to everyone involved," Usill said.

So where is the Argo back catalogue now?
Well, in 1999 Phillips sold Polygram to Seagram and it was merged into the Universal Music Group, currently owned by the Paris-based media conglomerate Vivendi.

A couple of the albums in the Argo folk catalogue have been released on CD in Japan and some artists have reissued a handful of their own recordings (The Yetties and Dave Goulder, for example).

The Dutton Vocalion label released a couple of albums (Bonnie Dobson and The Critics Group’s Sweet Thames Flow Softly), but in June 2009 they told me they had no plans to reissue any more of the Argo folk.

Since 2007, 50 LPs from the long-deleted Argo classical catalogue have been re-released by Decca in digital form under a new Argo imprint. But there’s no sign of the folk music.


(1968) Various Artists – Songs and dances from Bulgaria

•March 21, 2011 • 6 Comments

Argo issue number: RG 562, re-issued April 1971 as ZFB 47

Recordings: made in the field by Deben Bhattacharya in 1965

Sleeve notes and photos: Deben Bhattacharya

Pena Grozeva – tambura (A1) singer & tambura (B5, B6)
Maria Lačeva Hristova – singer (A2)
Gueorgiu Blagolo Rutev – gajda (bagpipe) (A3)
Slavka Ivanova Gulova, Elenka Spasova Pavlina, Stoĩka Christova Kovažka, Nouscha Ivanova Manževa, Stoĩka Ranguelova Manževa, Spasouna Spasova Markova, Dafinka Rangelova Mechandjiyska – singers (A4)(B2)
Kiko Šumanov – dudùk flute
Assen Jlov, Atanass Varadénov, Jvan Guérov, Jana Petrova Anguélova, Vassilka Dimitrova Lazarova, Dinka Pavlova – singers (A6)
Sanka Miševa – singer (A7)
Kiril Pavlov – kaval (A7, A10)
Alil Alilov – clarinet (A8)
Petra Massârliykata – Singer (A9)
Nikola Petko Vâlov, Christo Tsvetanov Gueoroguev, Vassil Ivanon Načev, Todar Tsankov Stoev, Zlatan Tsolov Slatev, Tsano Vassilev Petkov, Tsvetan Vassilev Ivanov, Mihal Krâstev Jolov – singers (B1)
Andrea Kriviralčov – gajda (B3)
Zaharina Kotseva Stanoeva – Singer (B4)


(click on a track and it’ll play in a new window)

Side A
1 Horo – tambura solo (Dermantsi, 1965)
2 Buen vjatar vee stano – harvest song (Pirdop, 1965)
3 Dajčova and Konéšta dances – gajda solo (Pirdop, 1965)
4 Zassviri ovĕar krai gora – harvest song (Madžare, 1965)
5 Shepherd’s melody – dudùk solo (Tuden, 1965)
6 Gree, gree messečina – men’s horo (Elin-Pelin, 1965)
7 Ovčar moma lăže – shephered’s song and kaval (Elin-Pelin, 1965)
8 Lukovitski momi horo – clarinet solo (Lukovit, 1965)
9 Zamrăknala sama Jana – harvest song (Lukovit, 1965)
10 Četvorno horo – kaval solo (Elin-Pelin, 1965)

Side B
1 Koledare – Christmas carol (Lukovit, 1965)
2 Podrum verviat kiten svatove – wedding song (Madžare, 1965)
3 Ya čuvaj Lale bajova (love song) and Račenitsa (dance) (Koprivštitza, 1965)
4 Slavčo Marijka dumaše (Pirdop, 1965)
5 Koj ti kupi, dude, kăsoto eleče – Pomak song (Dermantsi, 1965)
6 Kaži Menko, kaži nani – Pomak song (Dermantsi, 1965)

Deben Bhattacharya’s notes to the songs. Click to open in a new window


Pics from the inner leaflet

 Sanka Misva and kaval player Kiril Pavlov tambura player penagrozeva   street scene madzare, gajda andrea kriviralcov horo chain dance

Other Bulgarian recordings
For info and to hear some Bulgarian recordings between the World Wars, check out this page on the fab excavatedshellac site and this anthology of Balkan wind virtuosi from 1906 to the mid-forties on the Topic label.

Don’t know much yet about the post-war folk output of the Bulgarian state record label Balkanton, but when Bhattacharya set out for East Europe in 1964 Topic had just released the compilation ‘Bulgarian Folk Music’ (Topic 12T107, 1964) – largely the fruits of field recordings made by A. L. Lloyd in 1954 and 1963. The 1954 field trip had already formed the basis of the Bulgaria volume of the Alan Lomax-supervised Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music (Columbia KL 5378, 1959).

Topic had issued some Bulgarian music earlier in the 1950s: a couple of folk songs on a 78 by the Bulgarian (State) Song and Dance Ensemble and two tracks of recordings made at the Communist-sponsored World Youth Festival in Warsaw in 1955.

The Columbia Bulgaria record seems to have disappeared off re-issuer Rounder’s catalogue (now there’s a surprise! Not). The Topic album is still available here.

No rock, no beards
What was Bulgaria like for foreigners to visit in those days? Well, you can get a little bit of the picture in an account of a trip down the Danube by a group of young Americans, published in the National Geographic in July 1965. Here’s them entering the country at Vidin on the north-eastern border with Romania:

No place we saw was more immaculate and orderly than the customs office in Vidin. The chief inspector, a husky, dark, contented-looking man, sat behind a bare glass-topped desk. Behind him hung pictures of Nikita Kruschev amd Todor Zhivkov, the Bulgarian Premier and Communist Party leader. The chief’s deputies – shoes shined, uniforms sharp-creased – flanked him smartly. On a small table sat a powerful transocean radio receiver.

“You will tell me everything and I will believe you,” said the chief. “But if you do not tell the truth, steps will have to be taken.” We presented the inventories of our gear. After sober deliberation, the officers ordered Mike to throw away the dried sunflower seeds he had brought with him for snacks.

At Vidin the young Americans are supplied with a guide and interpreter – a lad called Jordan from the Dmitrov Young Communist League.

“Jordan helped us to overcome the reluctance of Bulgarian people to talk with us,” says the account. “Most Bulgarians we met seemed to regard the Soviet Union as a benefactor, and viewed travellers from the West with reserve.”

A little further downriver at Lom their hostess for dinner, the daughter of a local Communist Party official, advises them that her countrymen are ‘advised’ not to talk to Americans. Beards are discouraged, she tells them.

“Rock ‘n’ roll is frowned on too,” the girl said. “But I have piles of Beatles records. No one knows and it wouldn’t make any difference if they did.”

Jazz, though, was accepted. The band at the dinner played Dave Brubeck’s Take Five and other modern pieces.

Later they hitched a ride on a coal-stoked river boat.

“At village stops, dark men and pigtailed farmwomen got on and off. On the open top deck elderly couples sat with only handkerchiefs to shield their heads from the broiling sun. Young men played cards. Sun-cracked faces, threadbare clothes, and gnarled, stubby fingers told of lifetimes of unremitting labour.”

The sound of Bulgarian youth
Talking of rock ‘n’ roll, I get so caught up in this rural-backwoods-visiting-folk-song-hunting mallarkey that I forget about the world outside.

So here’s a couple of pop songs that were in the Bulgarian charts at the time. The sound of Bulgarian youth from 1964 on the state-owned label Balkanton, coming soon to a transistor radio near every old gajda player.

Click on a track title and it’ll play in a new window.

emil-labelSong 1: Emil Dimitrov (Bulgaria’s fave and pretty popular across other bits of Europe) singing Signal (BTK 2744-1)

Song 2: Studio 5 playing Madison 5 (Balkanton M33 2695 Б).

Thanks to Andreas Michalke for the Bulgopop. His blog – the resting place for all sorts of ‘forgotten cultural artifacts’ – is here.

(1971) Various Artists – Music from Hungary

•March 19, 2011 • 2 Comments

Argo issue number: ZFB 49

Recordings: made in 1964 (Sárpilis, Mekényes), 1965 (Szebény) and 1967 (Csurgó, Budapest, Támasi, Szebény, Egyházaskozár) by Deben Bhattacharya

Cover photo: Deben Bhattacharya

Sleeve notes: Deben Bhattacharya

Szücs György – tambura (A1) 
”Women friends of the Bogar household” – singers (A2)
Istvan Bogar, Eva Bogar and ‘friends’ – singers (A3)
Vass Sandor – citera (A4)
Kelec Jószef – furulya (A5)
Jankovics Imre – duda (A6)
”A group of girls from Szebény” – singers (A7)
Toth Janos – singer (A8, A10)
”Women from Szebény” – singers (A8)
”Villagers of Szebény” – music and dancing (A9)
Unnamed musicians – (A10)
Csaba Pálfi, Katalin Balogh and group – cimbalom and dancing (A11, B1)
Gypsy musicians of the Szeged restaurant Budapest – clarinet, violin, cimbalom, double bass (B2)
Gypsy orchestra of the Szeged Restaurant Budapest (B3)
Horváth János – harp (B4,B5)
Simon Ferenc Jozsefné – singer (B6)
Gusa Pál – a pair of green pear leaves (B7) furulya (B10)
Gyurka Mihályné – singer (B8, B9)
Gyarka Antal – Kecse dancing

Pics of performers below from ‘Musik Fran Ungern’ Caprice RIKS LPX2

Gusa Pal playing furulya  singers from Szebeny 
          Gusa Pal playing furulya                                   Singers from Szebény         

jankovics imroe bagpipessimon ferenc jozsefne
Jankovics Imre playing duda                                   Simon Ferenc Jozsefné


(click on a track and it’ll play in a new window)

Side A
(Village traditions)
    a) Slow Csárdas – Megérett a fakete eseresznye 
    b) Fast Csárdas – Szörkesztyü (Sárpilis, 1964)
Song for ring dance – Bádogozzák a Pilisi templomot (Sárpilis, 1964) 
In the green wood – Zöld erdöben (Sárpilis, 1964)
Pigherd’s dances
    a) Pigherd’s dance
    b) Esteledik a faluna – Csárdas
    c) Hol lakik kend Báosi – pigherd’s dance (Csurgó, 1967)
Pigherd’s dances – Kanásztánc (Csurgó, 1967) 
Two melodies on bagpipe
     a) Kukorica Csutája
     b) Este virágzik a repce (Csurgó, 1967)
Song of Szebény – Da sáros és pozik a szép Szebényi utea  (Szebény, 1967)
Love songs from Csárdas dance
     a) Háromszinü sözre van a lovamnak
     b) Este késön kiálltam a kiskapuba egy diil (Szebény, 1965) 
Wedding songs and dance – Máma tedd rá, holnap tedd rá (Szebény, 1965)
Love song – Csütörtökön este (Szebény, 1965)
Fergeteges – dance (Budapest, 1967) 

img048 img049

Side B

(The Gypsies)
Ciganytánc – Gypsy dance (Budapest, 1967)
Shepherd’s melody – Juhászlegeny, Szegény, Juhászlegeny (Budapest, 1967)
Gyors Csárdas – fast Csárdas (Budapest, 1967)
The Rain – Esik esö fuj a szél (Támasi, 1967)

(The Csángó Hungarians)
Gyors Csárdas – fast Csárdas (Egyházaskozár, 1967)
The ballad of the three orphans – Kaszálomba van egy nyirfa (
Old Csárdas – Cicéles levélbul (Mekényes, 1964)
Lullaby – Babaalitó (Egyházaskozár, 1967)
Bride’s song – Készüjj Szep Leány Készüjj (Egyházaskozár, 1967)
Kecsketánc – goat dance (Egyházaskozár, 1967)

A brief note to say that Bhattacharya had already mined his 1964, 65 and 67 visits to Hungary on several LPs for other labels (featuring some of the same performers) before Argo brought this one out four years after the last recordings. All new tracks, though, as far as I can tell.

Thanks to Lars/Bolingo for pics of the performers from the Caprice album.

Further notes when I get round to it.

Deben Bhattacharya – vinyl discography

•March 10, 2011 • 12 Comments

Here’s a first draft of a vinyl discography of the late great Deben Bhattacharya, who wandered Europe and Asia with a microphone and a tape recorder in the second half of the 20th century. It’s often said that he produced some 130 albums, so this collection (around 80) has more holes in it than my winter socks.

Not just holes. Putting a date to the records’ issue has been tricky, sometimes impossible. Knowing what’s on some of the records and whether tracks are repeated elsewhere on another label is currently beyond me. For the time (correct me if I’m wrong) he seems to have had an almost unique independence, issuing the fruits of one field trip on up to half a dozen different labels.

And it’s not that it was just smart marketing of the same tracks in different countries. The more I look, the more it seems that each label usually got its own original tracks for their compilations.

A lot of them, of course, were on Argo. He clearly had a special relationship with the label’s founder Harley Usill and with producer Kevin Daly. But then, what’s struck me in starting to put this together is the number of labels across Europe and the USA who were into issuing his (and other people’s) field recordings a long, long time before someone dreamt up the idea of ‘world music’.

The Argo ‘Living Tradition’ albums are the most traceable, but there were (so I understand) over 25 for the Dutch label Philips, about the same number for the French labels Boite à Musique and Le Club Français du Disque, up to a dozen for the Swedish label Caprice…

Which brings me back to the holes. That’s where you come in. You’re probably sitting there with dozens of his albums on your shelves…

If you are, help me out, so I can make the necessary additions and corrections.

I haven’t barely touched the audio cassettes, a fair few of which are listed here. Happily, and rarely for an Argo artist/producer, loads of his stuff has been reissued on CD by labels like ARC and Fremaux. Check them out.

Some of the album titles are in a larger face. Click on them and they’ll take you to more information.

I’m slowly putting together a companion list of his field trips, which may, or may not, clarify what’s in the discography. It’s been done for Alan Lomax, so why not?

There are some brief biographical details of Deben Bhattacharya here, which lead to more detail if you’re interested.

Thanks to collaborators: lars/bolingo, gadaya…

Music from India – Songs from Bombay

Argo RG 61-62

Musique Populaire de l’Inde du Nord – Chants et danses

Contrepoint, Paris, MC 20.110

Issued in cooperation with the Paris Musee de l’Homme’s Ethnic Music Dept. Edited by the Department’s G. Rouget.

Folk Songs and Dances of North India

Period SPL 1614

One of several albums issued by the US Period label in cooperation with the Paris Musee de l’Homme’s Ethnic Music Department. It’s an American re-issue of the Contrepoint album above.

folk songs and dances northern india period front folk music of northern india period back
Music on the Desert Road

Angel 33513

Music from Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan recorded in 1955-6 on an overland trip from the UK to India.

music desert road angel front Angel_35515_back_ed Angel_35515_label_A_ed Angel_35515_label_B_edAngel_35515_folder_00_front_back_ed Angel_35515_map_ed
Songs and Rhythms of Bengal

The Record Society Ltd (UK), RSX 7

I’m pretty sure the three BAM LPs listed below were released in 1958 (or even before), as I’ve seen them reviewed in magazines in January 1959. If you can confirm or otherwise, please let me know.  
Musique Religieuse de l’Inde 

Boite a Musique BAM LD 015

BAMLD015_front BAMLD015_back BAMLD015_label_A BAMLD015_label_B
Musique Traditionelle de l’Inde

Boite a Musique BAM LD 014

BAM_014_Musique traditionelles de l'Inde_frontBAM_014_Traditionelles_Inde_back BAM_014_face_A BAM_014_face_B
Chants de Bengale

Boite a Musique BAM 310

In Israel Today Vol 1

Westminster Collectors Series WF 12026 


In Israel Today Vol 2

Westminster Collectors Series WF 12027 

The orange and red cover is from the original release. Don’t know how much later the other re-issue is. Or was it just a deluxe version?


in israel today westminster p1010960
In Israel Today Vol 3

Westminster Collectors Series WF 12028 


In Israel Today Vol 4

Westminster Collectors Series WF 12029 


A Gypsy Festival

Westminster WF 12030 and WWM 79102

Items of ensemble music performed at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, France: secular and religious songs, the chanting during a procession to the sea, vocal and guitar music from camp and cafe performances.

Music of Western Asia

USA, Westminster WF 12033

Recordings from Macedonia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India.

Music of the Oriental Jews – Visages d’Israel

France, Boite a Musique BAM V1 901
Classical Ragas of India

Mercury SR 90481

Pelerinage Gitan aux Saintes Maries de la Mer – Manitas de Plata

France, Disques Vogue LVLX 261 (1960?)

pelerinage gitan
Rythmes et Melodies d’Iran

Club Francais du Disque CFD 284

Rythmes et Melodies du Bengale

Club Francais du Disque (1962?)
rythmes et melodies du bengale clun francais du disque
Rythmes et Melodies du Monde Gitan

Club National du Disque, CND 2451 (1962?)

Side A
(Roumanie et Hongrie)
Danse Rapide
Romance Gitane, aux cimbales
Je vais traivailler aux champs
Czardas Gitanes
”Dieu, ouvre les frontieres”
Musique de cafe Hongroise

Side B
(Les Saintes Maries de la Mer)
Descente de la Chasse
Improvisation a la guitarre
Soleares Gitana
Flutes de charmeurs de serpents
Chant d’amour des Gdolia Lohars

rythmes et melodies du monde gitan club national du disque CND 2451
The Vee Jay albums listed below were part of a series of up to a dozen LPs issued in conjunction with the 1964 World’s Fair in New York as the ‘Horizon World Series’.

They were all dubbed “Official New York World’s Fair” recording

The Popular Folk Music of India

Vee Jay, VJ 6402, mono

The Popular Folk Music of Israel

Vee Jay, VJ 6405, mono

popular folk music of israel - vj
The Popular Folk Music of Greece

Vee Jay, VJ 6409, mono

1964 - folk music of greece - vj
Musique de l’Inde: Chants et danses populaires du Bengale

Boite a Musique, BAM LD 076

BAMLD076_front BAMLD076_back BAMLD076_label_A BAMLD076_label_B
Music from the Middle East

Supraphon Artia SUA 12699

Recordings from Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey

Zigeuner – Pilgerfahrt Nach Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Vogue Schallplatten LDK 18008

Musique Indienne du Rajasthan – Painted Ballads

Ocora World of Music Series, Sweden, OCR 26 Sponsored by the National Centre for Folk Concerts in Sweden (Rikskonserter) under the auspices of the Museum for the History of Music, Stockholm.

Side One contains ‘a variety of Bhil folk and religious music’, including two religious songs from Hindu festivals (one Diwali), a circular dance song, a wedding song, wedding dance, lullaby and a grievance song.

Side Two contains extracts from two ballads (Pabuji and Bagh-Rawat)

Musique du Moyen-Orient (7” mono LP)

Boite a Musique, BAM LD 385 (1966? may be earlier)

Recordings made in Syria and Jordan

musique du moyen orient BAM LD 385
In the mid-sixties (1966 in the UK) the Dutch label Philips issued a series of folk recordings entitled ‘Song and Sound the World Around’.

Apart from the albums listed below, I’ve seen reference to the series containing music recorded by Deben Bhattacharya from Bulgaria and Hungary (both of which he visited in 1964-5).

See also the tentative Philips entries for 1967.

Songs and Dances from Turkey

Philips BL 7713 (UK issue)

songs dances turkey philips front
Classical Ragas from India

Philips 831 215 PY, BL 7716

1965 - classical ragas from india philips
Chants Religieux du Bengale – Religious Songs from Bengal

Boite a Musique BAM LD 099

Songs of the Bauls and poems of Chandidas  

BAM_LD_099_frontBAMLD099_folder_01BAMLD099_folder_02BAMLD099_folder_03BAMLD099_folder_04BAMLD099_folder_05 BAM_LD_099_label_A BAM_LD_099_label_B  
Gypsy Music from Romania

Philips BL 7778, part of the ‘Song and Sound around the World’ series

Am guessing this is a Deben Bhattacharya recording. Needs substantiating.

Gypsy Music from Hungary

Philips BL 7779, part of the ‘Song and Sound around the World’ series

Am guessing this is a Deben Bhattacharya recording. Needs substantiating.

Indisk Musik fran Rajasthan: Malade ballader  

Rikskonserter World of Music series, Sweden,  Caprice Riks LPX 1

Recorded in Rajasthan 1962

Musik fran Ungern: Csangosanger

Rikskonserter World of Music series, Sweden, Caprice RIKS LPX 2

Recorded in Hungary 1964-5

CAP_LPX2_front_ed CAP_LPX2_label_A_ed CAP_LPX2_label_B_ed
Music from the Himalayas

Argo (Z)RG 530, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 40

ZFB40_front ZFB40_back ZFB40_label_A 
Music from Rumania

Argo (Z)RG 531, re-released in 1969 as (Z)DA 125 and in 1971 as ZFB 41

zfb 41 - rumania
Music from the Middle East

Argo (Z)RG 532, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 42

ZRG532_front_ed ZRG532_back_edZRG532_label_A_edZRG532_label_B_ed ZRG532_gate_1 ZRG532_gate_2
Music from the Far North

Argo (Z)RG 533, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 43

zfb 43 - music from the far north
Music from Rumania

London International (1968?)  

Tracks (need them by order and side, please)
Aseara am fost pe coasta
Briul din Muscel
Ce are nieca cu mine
Dance Cimpulung
Doina and wedding dance
Doina Trisca
Feciorasca Baia Mare
Prelude Hora Sirba
Sirba fluier
Two dances
Two dances Brasov

music from rumania london international
Songs and dances from Turkey

London International TW 91453, SW 99453 (stereo) (1968?) 

Gypsy Music from Hungary

London International SW 99451

Ragas from Benares

Argo (Z)RG 559, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 44

zfb 44 - ragas front 
Portrait of Andalusia

Argo RG 560, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 45

(coming soon in Argo blog)



Music from Turkey

Argo (Z)RG 561, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 46

(coming soon in Argo blog)

zfb 46 - music from turkeycut
Songs and dances from Bulgaria

Argo (Z)RG 562, re-released in 1971 as ZFB 47

zfb 47 - bulgariasongs and dances bulgaria back
Music and Drum Rhythms from Iran

Limelight LS 86057 

Classical Ragas of India

USA, Mercury SR 90481, Limelight (re-release of Mercury) LS 86053  

USA, Mercury SR 90481, Limelight (re-release of Mercury) LS 86053

Recording dates/locations not listed. Same with most performers

Click on a highlighted track to play

Side One
1 Sindh-Bhairavi (5:07) – sarod, tabla
2 Paraj (4:06) – on two sarangis
3 Raga Sari (2:47) – song from Kathakali dance-drama, acc. chenda, shuddha madalam, gong, cymbals 
4 Sindh-Bhairavi (4:02) – on satara

Side Two
1 Raga Madhuvanti (6:08) – sarangi and tabla
2 Religious song (4:20) – in Mand style with pair of sangas
3 Pilu (7:28) – sarod, tabla, tambura drone

 classical ragas of india - limelight
2 Ragas

Sveriges Radios Forlag RELP 1066 (1969?)

Some time in the early to mid-1970s the French label Musidisc issued a series of folk and field recordings under the header ‘Musique Folklorique du Monde’.

No info about year of issue on the covers/labels, and little info either about the performers or the date of recording.

Listed below are the LPs in the series which were recorded by Deben Bhattacharya. I haven’t been able to date most of them, but have seen the first – Les Gitans – dated as 1970.

Earliest reviews I’ve seen for many, though, were in 1975, suggesting a 1974 (ish) issue date.

Further details much appreciated.

Les Gitans

Musidisc 30 CV 1102 (1970)

Recordings made in Romania, Hungary,Yugoslavia, France, Spain, India, Bulgaria


Musidisc 30 CV 1106

 mfdm - grece - musidisque 

Musidisc 30 CV 1107


Musidisc 30 CV 1109

musidisc bengale deben
Bali Java

Musidisc 30 CV 1110

Musique folklorique du monde - bali - java - musidisque

Musidisc 30 CV 1111

CV1111_Roumanie_front_light_edCV1111_Roumanie_back_edCV1111_Roumanie_side_A_ed CV1111_Roumanie_side_B_ed

Musidisc 30 CV 1112 (1974?)

mfdm - yuoslavie - musidisc

Musidisc 30 CV 1113

Side A
1 Na janovej hore
2 Zelene malinaci
3 Joj, joj, joj, joj, sem chaso
4 Chanson d’amour du sud de la Moravie
5 Slobodenka, sloboda
6 Zbojnicka, danse de Moravie-

Side B
1 Odzemek, danse de valachie
2 Fujara et chants de bandits
3 Voklepaky, danse solo
4 Starodavny, vieille ronde
5 Prichod jara, jeu d’enfants
6 Ej vojna, chant de conscrit


Musidisc 30 CV 1115

Side A
1 Mahour
2 Chant d’amour
3 Improvisation (Oud)
4 Improvisation (Zarb)
5 Segah

Side B
1 Ballade
2 Beyat
3 Isfahan

mfdm  - iran - musidisque

Musidisc 30 CV 1116

Side A
1 Ugros et Csardas
2 Ballade de Podoripuszta
3 Violinistes gitans
4 Ballade Moldave
5 Chant d’ amour gitan , en romani

Side B
1 Furulya
2 Szeretnem, Szeruetnem
3 Kad bi suze moje na kamen padala
4 Improvisation gitane au cymbalum
5 Nem zorog a falevele
6 Tambura et choeur

CV1116_Hongrie_front_light_edCV1116_Hongrie_back_ed CV1116_Hongrie_side_A_ed CV1116_Hongrie_side_B_ed
Grand Nord

Musidisc 30 CV 1117

musidisc grand nord cv 1117 
Folk Songs and Dances from India

Qualiton 12637

Folklore from the Middle East

Qualiton 12699

Music from Iran, Jordan, Syria and “adjacent countries”

Voyages Autour du Monde – Iran

Philips 831 216 BY (1970?)

Tracks (from front cover)
Bayate Tork
Bayate Esfahan

deben philips voyages autour du monde iran 831 216 BY
Musique du Moyen-Orient

Boite a Musique, BAM LD 5716, issued as part of ‘Folklore et musiques de l’univers’ series

The Sitar of India

Argo ZFB 48

(coming up soon in a later post in Argo folk blog)

zfb 48 - sitar of india
Music from Hungary

Argo ZFB 49

zfb 49 - hungarymusic from hungary back img048img049
Music from Israel

Argo ZFB 50

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

zfb 50 music from israel cut
Music from Iran

Argo ZFB 51

Recorded in Meshehr and Tahran, 1955

ZFB51_iran_front ZFB51_iran_back ZFB51_iran_label_1 ZFB51_iran_label_2
Songs of Krishna

Argo ZFB 52

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

ZFB52_front  ZFB52_backZFB52_label_A ZFB52_label_B
Music from Yugoslavia

Argo ZFB 53

zfb 53 - music from yugoslavia
Religions of the Middle East

Argo ZFB 54

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

zfb 54 - religions of the middle east cut
Religions of India

Argo ZFB 55

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

ZFB55_frontZFB55_backZFB55_label_1 ZFB55_label_2
Music from Bangladesh

Argo ZFB 74

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

ZFB74_front  ZFB74_back ZFB74_label_1 ZFB74_label_2
Musique Populaire Hongroise

France, Ocora OCR 54

For track listing click on gatefold scans

OCR54_front_edOCR54_back_edOCR54_gate_01OCR54_gate_02 OCR54_gate_04 OCR54_gate_05 OCR54_gate_06 OCR54_gate_03 OCR54_label_A_edOCR54_label_B_ed
Musik fran Bulgarien

Caprice, Sweden, CAP 1085

The scans to the right are from a reissue published in 1978 with issue number CAP 1085 on the back cover, but RIKS LPX 4 on the disc labels.

The RIKS LPX World of Music series started in 1967. The CAP 1000 series started in 1971.

I’ve seen a reference to ‘Musik fran Bulgarien’ having been issued in 1969. So the scans to the right could well be a reissue of a reissue of RIKS LPX 4.


RIKSLPX4_front RIKSLPX4_backRIKSLPX4_label_A RIKSLPX4_label_BRIKSLPX4_gate_01RIKSLPX4_gate_02 RIKSLPX4_gatefolder_02_03 RIKSLPX4_gatefolder_01_04
Folkmusik fran Rumanien

Caprice, Sweden, CAP 1086

Also issued as Musik fran Rumanien, Expo-Norr, Riks LPX 5 (when?). I’m guessing they’re the same recordings.

LPX5_Ruma¦ênien_front LPX5_Ruma¦ênien_back CAP1086_gate_01CAP1086_gate_02 CAP1086_label_A CAP1086_label_B
Musique Classique d’Iran

Boite a Musique, BAM LD 5781

Not certain if this is a Deben Bhattacharya recording

Musique religieuse de la Terre Sainte

Boite a Musique, BAM LD 5782

Songs and Dances from Macedonia

Argo ZFB 56

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

zfb 56 - macedonia
Music from Afghanistan

Argo ZFB 57

zfb 57 - afghanistan
The Syrian Maqams

Argo ZFB 58

ZFB58_Syria_front ZFB58_Syria_backZFB58_Syria_label_A ZFB58_Syria_label_B
Songs and Dances from Czechoslovakia

Argo ZFB 59 

zfb 59 - songs and dances czechoslovakia
Music from Bangladesh

Argo ZFB 74

Two centuries of Bengali Songs

Argo ZFB 75

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog)

zfb 75 - two centuries of bengali songs cut
Musique Populaire du Rajastan – Music from the Indian desert

France, Ocora OCR 47 (1973?)

musique populaire du rajasthan ocora
Turkisk Musik

Caprice Riks LPX 6, also issued as CAP 1087

Dervish Ceremonial Music

Argo ZFB 91

Songs and Dances from Nepal

Argo ZFB 92

(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog – if i get to hear it)

zfb 92 - songs and dances nepal front
Songs of the Santal Aborigines

Argo ZFB 93
(coming up in a later post in Argo folk blog – if i get to hear it)

Musik Fran Bengalen

Caprice Riks LPX 7

musik fran bengalen front RIKSLPX7_01_backRIKSLPX7_01_gate RIKSLPX7_folder_01_16RIKSLPX7_02_gate RIKSLPX7_02_gate_center RIKSLPX7_folder_02_03RIKSLPX7_folder_04_05 RIKSLPX7_folder_06_07 RIKSLPX7_folder_08_09 RIKSLPX7_folder_10_11 RIKSLPX7_folder_12_13 RIKSLPX7_folder_14_15 RIKSLPX7_label_1 RIKSLPX7_label_2
L’Inde Mystique Vol  (?) – Ragas du Matin et du Soir

Boite a Musique BAM LD 5014 (1975 or 76?)

The BAM LD 5000 to 5111 series were used for stereo re-issues of earlier albums from the label

L’Inde Mystique Vol 1 – Ragas de Benares

Boite a Musique BAM LD 5015 (1975 or 76?)

The BAM LD 5000 to 5111 series were apparently used for stereo re-issues of earlier material from the label

L’Inde Mystique Vol 2 – Chants, musiques et prieres

Boite a Musique BAM LD 5076

The BAM LD 5000 to 5111 series were apparently used for stereo re-issues of earlier material from the label

l'inde mystique vol 2 BAM 5076
Religious music from the Holy Land

Expo-Norr RIKSLPX 3

Evening Ragas from Benares

ASV ALM 4002

ALM4002_front ALM4002_back ALM4002_label_1 ALM4002_label_2
Inside Afghanistan

ASV (???)

inside afghanistan asv 1981
Folk Music from India (audio cassette)

Sussex Video, UK, Music & Society HB8

Reflections of Romania – Village and Urban Folk Traditions

Nonesuch Explorer, H 72092, re-issue of CAP 1086 (see above), licensed from Caprice Records. Recordings made in 1965.


EAF, ZFA series – mono and stereo EPs (1960-1974)

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Argo issued its first EPs in 1960 – the year the first EP entered our family home (Cliff’s Silver Discs, a joint Christmas present to us four kids from our parents).

The Argo EPs ended up being a vehicle mainly for the steam train recordings of Peter Handsford, whose label Transacord was acquired by Argo in 1961. Transacord sound of steam LPs ended up being issued on various other Argo series – DA, ZDA, ZTR – and the Decca/Argo SPA series.

In the list below the Transacord recordings are colour-coded red, the classical recordings green, spoken word yellow, and the smallish rag bag including jazz and folk white.

The EAF issues were all mono, ZFA were stereo.

Continue reading ‘EAF, ZFA series – mono and stereo EPs (1960-1974)’

Arthur Wragg’s Argo album covers

•March 3, 2011 • 3 Comments

Throughout much of Argo’s life, Arthur Wragg contributed illustrations for the label’s LP covers.

A committed socialist, Christian and pacifist (he was a cleft stick 2 silent_majorities_2010conscientious objector during World War II), Wragg is probably best known for his acerbic contemporary illustrations of biblical texts in his ‘Psalms for Modern Life’ (Selwyn & Blount 1933), ‘Jesus Wept’ (Selwyn & Blount 1937) and ‘The Lord’s Prayer in Black and White’ (Cape 1946).

To check out some of his work, click here.

Wragg (1903-76) seems to me to be ridiculously under-appreciated. Maybe because his art was for popular consumption and only ever saw the light of day in publications (books, magazines and adverts). That’s probably why there isn’t a catalogue in existence of his work and the only serious appreciation of his life as an illustrator, cartoonist. commercial artist and designer is Judy Brook’s 2001 Arthur Wragg – 20th Century Artist, Prophet and Jester.

So I thought I’d begin to gather together in one place the fantastic album covers he worked on for Argo right up to the time of his death – work that was a bit of a lifeline for Wragg in his later years.

There are loads of gaps to be filled, in particular his illustrations for the label’s complete recordings of the Shakespeare plays and Argo’s The Poet Speaks series, so if you’ve got any that aren’t here (or have got cleaner versions than the ones I’m using), take a photo and send me a copy please. (thanks to David Harding, who did just that)

For the fastidious, some of the Shakespeare covers I’ve used are from re-releases from the 1970s, but I’m pretty sure they are the same as the original illustrations in all cases.

12 - rodgers europa 1953
W. R. Rodgers – Europa and the Bull
Argo RG 12
1972 - wragg - under milk wood sw 501 1954
Dylan Thomas – Under Milk Wood
Argo RG 21-2

(Argo issued this album with two different covers under the RG series – one by Olga Lehmann and this one by Wragg. Don’t know if they were available simultaneously. Wragg’s version was still being used for re-releases in the 1970s under the PLP series.) 

1954 - wragg - ancient mariner rg41 1954
Coleridge – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Argo RG 41
1958 arthur wragg - robert speaight rg 119 1958
Robert Speaight reads poems by Gray, Goldsmith, Collins
Argo RG 119
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - othello zpr204-7 1958
Shakespeare – Othello
Argo RG 121-4
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - as you like it rg125-7 1958
Shakespeare – As You Like It
Argo RG 125-7
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - troilus & cressida rg128-31 1958
Shakespeare – Troilus & Cressida
Argo RG 128-31
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - julius caesar zpr 218-20 large 1958
Shakespeare – Julius Caesar
Argo RG 132-4
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - coriolanus rg135 1958
Shakespeare – Coriolanus
Argo RG 135-8
1958 - wragg - shakespeare - richard II rg139 1958
Shakespeare – Richard II
Argo RG 139-41
1958 - wragg - music for the feast of christmas rg148 1958
Music for the Feast of Christmas
Argo RG 148
1959 - wragg - victoria - rg 149 1959
Victoria – Responsories for Tenebrae
Argo RG 149
1959 - wragg - shakespeare - merchant of venice zpr138-41 1959
Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice
Argo RG 160-63
1959 - wragg - shakespeare - measure for measure zpr232-5 1959
Shakespeare – Measure for Measure
Argo RG 164-7
1959 - wragg - shakespeare - king john zpr142-5 1959
Shakespeare – King John
Argo RG 168-71
1959 - wragg - shakespeare - two gentlemen of verona rg172 1959
Shakespeare – The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Argo RG 172-4
1959 - wragg - shakespeare - macbeth zpr 201-3 large 1959
Shakespeare – Macbeth
Argo RG 175-7
1959 - wragg - festival of lessons & carols king's rg 190 1959 
A Festival of Lessons & Carols
Argo RG 190
1960 - wragg - shakespeare - romeo & juliet rg200-3 1960
Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet
Argo RG 200-3
1960 - wragg - shakespeare - winter's tale rg204-7 1960
Shakespeare – The Winter’s Tale
Argo RG 204-7
1960 - wragg - shakespeare - henry IV part I rg208 1960
Shakespeare – Henry IV, part I
Argo RG 208-11
1964 - wragg - shakespeare - henry IV part II zpr 153-6 1960
Shakespeare – Henry IV part II
Argo RG 212-5
1960 - wragg - shakespeare - tempest rg216-8 1960
Shakespeare – The Tempest
Argo RG 216-8
1960 - wragg - bach st john passion rga270-2 1960
Bach – St John Passion
Argo RG 270-2
1961 - wragg - shakespeare - midsummer night's dream rg 250-2 1961
Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Argo RG 250-2
1961 - wragg - shakespeare - hamlet zpr 192-6 1961
Shakespeare – Hamlet
Argo RG 256-60
1962 - wragg - shakespeare - henry v rg261-4 1962
Shakespeare – Henry V
Argo RG 261-4
1961 - wragg - shakespeare - king lear rg280 1961
Shakespeare – King Lear
Argo RG 280-3
1961 - wragg - shakespeare - twelfth night zpr 186-8 1961
Shakespeare – Twelfth Night
Argo RG 284-6
1962 - wragg - scenes from shakespeare - tragedies vol 1 da 1 1962
Scenes from Shakespeare – The Tragedies Vol 1
Argo DA 1
1962 - wragg - scenes from shakespeare - histories vol 1 da 3 1962
Scenes from Shakespeare – The Histories Vol 1
Argo DA 3
1962 - wragg - shakespeare - much ado about nothing rg300-2 1962
Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing
Argo RG 300-2
1962 - wragg - shakespeare - anthony & cleopatra rg307-10 1962
Shakespeare – Anthony & Cleopatra
Argo RG 307-10
1962 - wragg - shakespeare - comedy of errors zpr124-5 1962
Shakespeare – The Comedy of Errors
Argo RG 311-2
1962 - wragg - shakespeare - love's labour lost zpr129 1962
Shakespeare – Love’s Labour’s Lost
Argo RG 313-5
1962 - wragg - stainer crucifixion rg320 1962
Stainer – The Crucifixion
Argo RG 320
1963 - wragg - shakespeare - venus adonis rg336-7 1963
Shakespeare – Venus and Adonis
Argo RG 336-7
1963 -wragg - shakespeare - merry wives of windsor zpr 189-91 1963
Shakespeare – The Merry Wives of Windsor
Argo RG 351-3
1963 - wragg - shakespeare - all's well that ends well rg354 1963
Shakespeare – All’s Well That Ends Well
Argo RG 354-6
1963 - wragg - tippett - child of our time da 19-20 1963
Tippett – A Child of Our Time
Argo DA 19-20
1964 - wragg - shakespeare - henry VI part1 1964
Shakespeare – Henry VI, Part I
Argo RG 386-8

(re-released as ZPR 161-3)

1964 - wragg - shakespeare - henry VI part 2 large 1964
Shakespeare – Henry VI, Part II
Argo RG 389-92

(re-released as ZPR 164-7)

1964 - wragg - shakespeare - richard III zpr 172-5 large 1964
Shakespeare – Richard III
Argo RG 407-10
1964 - wragg - shakespeare - pericles - zpr 248-50 1964
Shakespeare – Pericles
Argo RG 411-13
1966 - wragg - carols of today zrg 5499 1966
The Elizabethan Singers – Carols of Today
Argo ZRG 5499
1966 - wragg - happy prince nf 5 1966
The Happy Prince (children’s opera)
Argo NF 5
1968 - wragg - clive sansom the witnesses DA 87 1968
Clive Sansom – The Witnesses
Argo DA 87
1968 - wragg - dylan thomas boy growing up rg546-7 1968
Emlyn Williams – Dylan Thomas, A Boy Growing Up 
Argo RG 546-7
1968 - wragg - meditation on christ's nativity rg 550 1968
A Meditation on Christ’s Nativity
Argo RG 550
1968 - handel - ode for st cecilia's day rg563 1968
Handel – Ode for St Cecilia’s Day
Argo RG 563
1968 - wragg - brahms motets rg 571 1968
Brahms – Motets and Chorale Preludes
Argo RG 571
1969 - wragg - late victorian poetry rg 588 1969
Late Victorian Poetry
Argo RG 588
1971 - wragg - shakespeare - as you like it zpr180-2  1971
Shakespeare – As You Like It
Argo ZPR 180-2

(this was a new recording of the play with a different cast from the 1958 version above)

1972 - wragg - shakespeare - richard II zpr 146-8 1972
Shakespeare – Richard II
Argo ZPR

(I’m not sure why a new cover was issued for this play, unless it’s a completely new recording – something I haven’t been able to establish. See 1958 cover for Richard II above)

1972 - wragg - kipling just so vol 1 sw512-3 1972
Rudyard Kipling – Just So Stories Vol 1
Argo SW 512-3
1976 - wragg - sense and nonsense sw532  1976
Peggy Ashcroft & Martin Best – Sense & Nonsense
Argo SW 532
1975 - wragg - secret garden zsw 543-6 1975
Glenda Jackson – The Secret Garden
Argo ZSW 543-6
1976 - wragg - happy prince & star child zsw547 1976
Oscar Wilde – The Happy Prince & The Star Child
Argo ZSW 547
1976 - wragg - selfish giant zsw 548 1976
Oscar Wilde – The Selfish Giant
Argo ZSW 548


ZRG 800-899

•March 1, 2011 • 4 Comments

A busy time in the Argo/Decca recording studios for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, with involvement in no less than 30 of the 100 LPs issued under the flagship classical ZRG series. And they were selling. In early 1978 Neville Marriner received a disc on the ASMF’s behalf for European sales of over a million.

But by 1979 things were looking a lot less rosy for parent company Decca, which went into the red for the first time in over 25 years. The records/tv/audio division went from $1m profits in 1977-8 to posting a loss of $3.8m for 1978-9. The writing was on the wall. In November a deal for Polygram to take over the ailing company emerged. Decca boss Edward Lewis, it appears, had been talking to Polygram president Coen Solleveld (a long-term friend) for several months.

Its subsidiary Argo, meanwhile, kept on recording and issuing records right to the bitter end…

ZRG 800-1 Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, dir Neville Marriner Vivaldi –Twelve Concertos Op 4 ‘La Stravaganza’ Mar 1975
ZRG 803 Schutz Choir, dir Roger Norrington Strauss – Der Abend, Hymne Op 34/2, Deutsche Motette Apr 1975
ZRG 804 Felicity Palmer (soprano) John Constable (piano) Poulenc – Trois chansons de Federico Garcia Lorca and other titles July 1975
ZRG 805 Ralph Holmes (violin) James Walker (piano) Kreisler – 15 titles Jun 1975
ZRG 807 Peter Hurford (organ of St Alban’s Abbey) Franck, Langlais, Mathias, Stanley, Hurford, Bossi Jun 1975
ZRG 808 Anne Shasby & Richard McMahon (pianos) Rec in assoc with Music Dept. University College, Cardiff Rachmaninov – Symphonic dances. Debussy – Nocturnes (arr. Ravel) May 1975
ZRG 809 Cardiff Festival Ensemble, Martin Jones (piano) James Barton (violin) Stephen Broadbent (viola) George Isaac (cello) Rec in assoc with Music Dept. University College, Cardiff Reger – Piano quartet in A minor. R. Strauss – Piano quartet in C minor July 1975
ZRG 810 Peter Bodenham (tenor) Glenville Hargreaves (baritone)Royal Northern College of Music Chorus & Orchestra, cond Michael Lankester. Rec in assoc with British Council Crosse – Purgatory Dec 1975
ZRG 811 Magdalen College Choir cond Bernard Rose Stainer – ‘Church Music’ July 1975
ZRG 812 Gillian Weir (organ of Royal Festival Hall) Charles Camilleri – Missa Mundi Jun 1975
ZRG 813 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Addison – Divertimento Op 9 R.R. Bennett – Commedia IV Dodgson – Sonata for Brass Quintet. Gardner – Theme and Variations Dec 1975
ZRG 814 Robert Tear (tenor) Philip Ledger (piano) Liszt – Eight lieder, Chopin – Polish Songs (excerpts) Feb 1976
ZRG 815 Felicity Palmer (soprano) John Constable (piano) Faure – Five songs Op 23/1-3 Cing melodies de Venise, La Bonne Aug 1976
ZRG 816 Rhonda Gillespie (piano) Saint Saens titles Never issued
ZRG 817-8 Elizabeth Gale & Lilian Watson (sopranos) James Bowman (counter-tenor) Ian Partridge (tenor) Tom McDonnell & Alan Watt (bass) Christ Church Cathedral Choir, English Chamber Orchestra cond Simon Preston Handel – Israel in Egypt Apr 1976
ZRG 819
(see ZK 80)
Kenneth Gilbert (harpsichord) Chambonnieres – Premier livre de clavecin (five suites) Not issued as ZRG
ZRG 820 Carmel Kaine, Ronald Thomas, Richard Studt (violins) Tess Miller (oboe) William Bennett (flute) Academy of St Martin-in the-Fields dir Neville Marriner, arrangements by Christopher Hogwood Bach – a) Flute concerto in G minor b) Concerto for violin and oboe in D minor c) Triple violin concerto in D Dec 1975
ZRG 821 Carmel Kaine (violin) Neil Black (oboe and oboe d’amore) William Bennett (flute) Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner, arrangements by Christopher Hogwood Bach – Concerto for violin, oboe and flute in D minor, Concerto for oboe d’amore in A, Concerto for oboe in F Mar 1976
ZRG 822 (see ZK 64) Kenneth Gilbert (harpsichord) Clerambault – Livre de clavecin (two suites). Jacquet de la Guerre – Suite in D minor Not issued as ZRG
ZRG 823 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Renaissance Brass’ – arrangements of Franchos, Agricola, Becchi, Byrd, Gibbons etc May 1976
ZRG 824 a) Csaba Erdelyi (viola) New Philharmonia Orchestra cond David Atherton b) Felicity Palmer (soprano) Thomas Allen (baritone) Welsh National Opera Chorale, New Philharmonia Orchestra cond David Atherton c) d) New Philharmonia Orchestra cond David Atherton. Rec in assoc with Welsh Arts Council  Alun Hoddinott – a) Viola concertino b) Dives and Lazarus c) Night Music d) Sinfonietta Jun 1976
ZRG 825 Felicity Palmer (soprano) Helen Watts (contralto) Kenneth Bowen & Wynford Evans (tenors) Christopher Keyte (bass) Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond George Guest Schubert – Mass in E flat Oct 1975
ZRG 826
ZRG 827 Robert Tear (tenor) with a) Philip Ledger (piano) b) Timothy Walker (guitar) Soiree with Robert Tear’ – a) Mendelssohn – eight lieder b) Weber – thirteen lieder Jun 1976
ZRG 828 (from ZRG 773-775) Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner Corelli Christmas Concerto’ – Corelli – Concertos Nos 6, 7, 8, 12 Jan 1976?
ZRG 829 Wendy Eathorne (soprano) Paul Esswood (alto) Philip Langrdige (tenor) Stephen Roberts (baritone) Richard Hickox Singers & Orchestra cond Richard Hickox Bach – Mass in G minor, Mass in G Feb 1976
ZRG 830 (see ZK 9) Rhonda Gillespie (piano) Liszt – piano works Not released as ZRG
ZRG 831 St John’s College Choir dir George Guest, John Scott (organ) Purcell Verse Anthems for choir, soloists and strings’ Feb 1976
ZRG 832 St Alban’s Abbey Choir cond Peter Hurford Maurice Greene Anthems’  Apr 1976
ZRG 833 Alban Singers dir Peter Hurford Songs of leisure and love’ – Dowland, Morley, Tomkins, Wilbye, Delius, Gardiner, Rubbra, Warlock, Pearsall & Cornyshe Mar 1976
ZRG 834 Felicity Palmer (soprano) with a) Nash Ensemble cond Simon Rattle b) Judith Pearse (flute) Christopher van Kempen (cello) Clifford Benson (piano) c) and d) John Constable (piano) Felicity Palmer sings Ravel’ – a) Trois poemes de Stephane Mallarme b) Chansons madecasses c) Histoires Naturelles d) Cinq melodies populaires grecques Feb 1976
ZRG 835 Peter Hurford (organ of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Toronto), * with Marion Rowlett (soprano) Chorale Variations’: John Bull – Revenant, Buxtehude – Chorale Fantasia, Trauermusik*, Bach – Partite, Nicolas de Grigny – Veni Creator   Sep 1976?
ZRG 836 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Mariner, with * Stephen Shingles (viola) Telemann – Don Quichote suite, Concerto in G for viola*, Overture in D for two oboes and two horns Feb 1976
ZRG 837 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Mariner Telemann – Overture in C ‘Hamburger Ebb und Fluth’, Overture des nations anciens et modernes, Overture in C major Apr 1977
ZRG 838 Benjamin Luxon (baritone) David Willison (piano) Butterworth – A Shropshire Lad, Five Housman Songs,
Finzi – Earth and Air and Rain
Mar 1976
ZRG 839 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner, with a) William Bennett (flute) b) and Neil Black (oboe) c) Martin Gatt (bassoon) d) Celia Nicklin (oboe) Martin Gatt (bassoon) Timothy Brown & Robin Davis (horns) Iona Brown (violin) Vivaldi – ‘Concerti for wind and strings’; a) in C minor RV441 b) in F RV456, c) in A minor RV498, d) in F RV574 Nov 1977
ZRG 840 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner, with a) William Bennett (piccolo), b) Neil Black & Celia Nicklin (oboes) c) Timothy Brown & Robin Davis (horns) d) Celia Nicklin (oboe) Martin Gatt (bassoon) Timothy Brown & Robin Davis (horns) Iona Brown (violin) Vivaldi – ‘Concerti for wind and strings’; a) in C RV443, b) in D minor RV535, c) in F RV539, d) in F RV574 Apr 1978
ZRG 841 St John’s College Choir, Cambridge, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond George Guest, Jonathon Bond (treble) Benjamin Luxon (baritone), Stephen Cleobury (organ) Faure – Requiem & Cantique de Jean Racine Apr 1976
ZRG 842 a) London Symphony Orchestra Ensemble cond Michael Lankester, with Sarah Francis (oboe) b) Sarah Francis c) Sarah Francis (oboe) Emanuel Hurwitz (violin) Margaret Major (viola) Derek Simpson (cello) a) Gordon Crosse – Ariadne b) Britten – Six Metamorphoses after Ovid c) Britten – Phantasy Quartet Aug 1976
ZRG 843-4 Alban Singers, Peter Hurford (organ) Bach – ‘The Eighteen Chorale Preludes’ Jun 1976
ZRG 845 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner Barber – Adagio for Strings Copland – Quiet City
Cowell – Hymn and Fuguing Tune
Creston – A Rumour
Ives – Symphony No 3 ‘The Camp Meeting’
July 1976
ZRG 846 Magdalen College Choir cond Bernard Rose, Ian Crabbe (organ) Music at Magdalen Volume 4’ – Early English music – five titles Apr 1976
ZRG 847 a) Schutz Choir dir Roger Norrington b) Schutz Consort cond Roger Norrington a) Schutz – Cantiones Sacrae (motets) b) Monteverdi – Lagrime d’amante (sestina) Mar 1978
ZRG 848
(both sides issued earlier)
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner. Re-coupling of a) ZRG 584 and b) ZRG 670 Serenades for Strings’: a) Tchaikovsky – Serenade for Strings in C major  b) Dvorak – Serenade for Strings in E major June 1976?
ZRG 849 (see ZK 37) Jordi Savall (viola da gamba) Trevor Pinnock (virginal, organ) Titles by Bull, Ferrabosco, Gibbons, Simpson etc released as ‘Seventeenth Century English Music’ in Oct 1978 Never issued as ZRG
ZRG 850 Felicity Palmer (soprano) Paul Esswood (alto) Philip Langridge (tenor) Christopher Keyte (bass) Philomusic of London, John Scott (organ) St John’s College Choir cond George Guest A. Bononcini – Stabat Mater Caldara – Crucifixus
Lotti – Crucifixus
Mar 1978
ZRG 851 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Divertimento’: eight titles by Tchaikovsky, Arnold, R. R. Bennett, Previn etc Jun 1977
ZRG 852 Magdalen College Choir cond Bernard Rose Stanford – Three Latin motets & Three English motets. C. Wood – Six anthems Sep 1976
ZRG 853 Felicity Palmer (soprano) Helen Watts (contralto) Robert Tear (tenor) Stephen Roberts (bass) King’s College Choir Cambridge, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Philip Ledger Bach – Magnificat in D minor Mar 1977
ZRG 854 Felicity Palmer (soprano) Helen Watts (contralto) Robert Tear (tenor) Stephen Roberts (bass) King’s College Choir Cambridge, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Philip Ledger Bach – Magnificat in D major Vivaldi – Magnificat Sep 1977
ZRG 855 James Bowman (counter-tenor) Robert Tear (tenor) Christopher Keyte (bass) St John’s College Choir, Philomusica of London dir George Guest The King Shall Rejoice and other Chapel Royal Anthems’: Six titles by Mathew Locke, John Blow & Pelham Humphrey Mar 1977
ZRG 856 Tommy Reilly (harmonica) Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner Tommy Reilly – harmonica’: James Moody – Little Suite, Gordon Jacob – Five Pieces, Vilem Tausky – Concertino Vaughan Williams – Romance Feb 1977
ZRG 857 Magdalen College Choir dir Bernard Rose, Richard Gowman (organ) Laudate Dominum – Venetian music by the Gabrielis and Bassano’ Mar 1978
ZRG 858 Christ Church Cathedral Choir cond Simon Preston Byrd – Mass for Four Voices, Mass for Five Voices Apr 1977
ZRG 859 Magdalen College Choir dir Bernard Rose, Richard Gowman (organ) Music from Venice’: titles by Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni Gabrieli, Croce, Bassano, Monteverdi Apr 1977
ZRG 860 Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields cond Neville Marriner Britten – Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge; Butterworth – The Banks of Green Willow, Two English Idylls, A Shropshire Lad Rhapsody Nov 1976
ZRG 861 (see ZK 39) Robert Tear (tenor) Timothy Walker (guitar).

Unpublished due to copyright issues with publishers.

Walton – Anon in love. Seiber – Four French Folksongs, Four old French songs. Britten – Five folk song arrangements, Bonny at morn Never issued as ZRG
ZRG 862 Robert Tear (tenor) Philip Ledger (piano) Copland – Old American Songs, Twelve poems of Emily Dickinson Feb 1977
ZRG 863 (see ZK5 Dec 1976) Colin Tilney (harpsichord) D. Scarlatti – 14 sonatas Never issued as ZRG
ZRG 864 Gillian Weir (organ) ‘’The Organ at Hexham Abbey’’: titles by Bull, Tomkins, Grigny, Sweelinck, Langlais, Vierne, Widor, Mulet, Daquin, Dupre, Worster, Dubois Feb 1977
ZRG 2865 (see RG 440) a) Marisa Robles (harp) b) Roger Parker (treble) Michael Pearce (counter-tenor) Robert Tear (tenor) Forbes Robinson (bass) St John’s College Choir dir George Guest, Brian Runnett (organ) c) Brian Runnett (organ)

This matrix number used for reissues of RG 440/ZRG 5440, which had to be withdrawn after Britten requested the re-recording of ‘incorrect’ passages.

Britten – a) A Ceremony of Carols b) Rejoice in the Lamb c) Missa Brevis
ZRG 866 Richard Hickox Orchestra cond Richard Hickox with a) Sara Barrington (oboe) b) Alastair Ross (organ) Albinoni – a) Concerto in D Minor b) Giazotto Adagio in D minor c) Bononcini – Sinfonia da chiesa d) Pachelbel – Lam Canon e) Purcell – Chacony in G minor Jun 1976
ZRG 867 St John’s College Choir, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir George Guest with John Scott (organ) b) Helen Watts (contralto) Robert Tear (tenor) Benjamin Luxon (baritone) a) and b) Jennifrer Smith (soprano) Haydn – a) Mass in B flat b) Mass in C Mariazeller c) Pieces for Mechanical Clocks Oct 1978
ZRG 868 (see ZK 12) Aeolian String Quartet: Emanuel Hurwitz (violin) Raymond Keenlyside (violin) Margaret Major (viola) Derek Simpson (cello) with Kenneth Essex (viola) Mozart String Quintets in C minor and D not issued as ZRG
ZRG 869 Academy of St Martin in the Field, dir George Guest, with Wendy Eathorne (soprano) Bernadette Greevy (contralto) Wynford Evans (tenor) Christopher Keyte (bass), St John’s College Choir Schubert – Mass in A flat Oct 1977
ZRG 870 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Fanfare’ – 12 titles by Byrd, Purcell, Brian, Tippett, Walton, Copland, Jolivet, Howarth, Gevaise/Attaignant, Anon Nov 1977
ZRG 871 Christ Church1 Cathedral Choir, dir Simon Preston, Colin Walsh (organ) Romantic Choral Classics’ – 10 titles by Brahms, Bruckner, Elgar, Faure, Kalinnikov, Rachmaninov, Verdi Oct 1977
ZRG 872 (see D183D3) Academy and Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, Lszlo Heltay (chorus master) Iona Brown (leader) dir Neville Marriner, with John Wilbraham (trumpet) Kenneth Heath (cello continuo) Nicholas Kraemer (harpsichord) Christopher Hogwood (chamber organ) Elly Ameling (soprano) Philip Langridge (tenor) Anna Reynolds (contralto) Gwynne Howell (bass) Handel Messiah Choruses Nov 1978
ZRG 873 Richard Hickox Singers and Orchestra, with Wendy Eathorne (soprano) Paul Esswood (counter-tenor) and also with b) Neil Jenkins (tenor) Stephen Roberts (bass) Bach – a) Mass in F b) Mass in A Dec 1977
ZRG 874 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner William Boyce – Symphonies I-VIII Feb 1978
ZRG 875 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner Delius – orchestral works including A village Romeo and Juliet, The Walk to the Paradise Garden, Hassan Intermezzo & serenade , A song before sunrise, Fennimore & Gerda intermezzo, On hearing the first cuckoo in spring, Summer night on the river, Air & dance, Koanga – La Calinda Feb 1979
ZRG 876 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner and Chorus dir Laszlo Heltay, with Ileana Cotrubas (soprano) Helen Watts (contralto) Robert Tear (tenor) John Shirley-Quirk (baritone) Mozart Requiem Nov 1977
ZRG 877 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner Scandinavian Music’: Grieg – Elegaic Melodies; Sibelius – Valse Triste, Rakastava; Nielsen – Little Suite; Wiren – Serenade for Strings Apr 1980
ZRG 878 Academy of St Martin in the Fields dir Iona Brown, with a) George Malcolm (organ) and b) George Malcolm (harpsichord) Poulenc – a) Organ Concerto in G, b) Concert Champetre May 1979
ZRG 879 Academy and Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner, wth Elly Ameling (soprano) Philip Langridge (tenor) Anna Reynolds (contralto) Gwynne Howell (bass) Handel – Messiah Arias and Choruses 1979?
ZRG 880 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, soloist and director Iona Brown  Mozart violin concertos – K216 No. 3 in G major, K 218 No. 4 in D major Jun 1980
ZRG 881 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner Vaughan Williams – Concerto Grosso, Concerto for Oboe and Strings, Warlock – Capitol Suite, Serenade for Strings Sep 1979
ZRG 882 New Philharmonia Orchestra dir David Atherton with a) Gervase de Peyer (clarinet) c) Geraint Evans (baritone) 

Sponsored by the Welsh Arts Council

William Mathias – a) Clarinet Concerto b) Laudi  c) Elegy for a Prince d) Vistas Apr 1978
ZRG 883 St John’s College Choir dir George Guest Poulenc – Mass in G, Salve Regina, Exultate Deo; Peeters – Missa Festiva Jun 1978
ZRG 884
ZRG 885 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, cond Eiger Howarth Mussorgsky (arr. Howarth) – Pictures at an Exhibition JUn 1978
ZRG 886-7 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner, with Jill Gomez (Galatea – soprano) Robert Tear (Acis – tenor) Philip Langridge (Damon – tenor) Benjamin Luxon (Polyphemus – baritone) and Jennifer Smith (soprano) Margaret Cable (contralto) Paul Esswood (counter-tenor) Wynford Evans, Neil Jenkins (tenors) Richard Jackson (bass) Nicholas Kraemer (harpsichord continuo) Handel – Acis and Galatea Sep 1978
ZRG 888 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner with George Malcolm (organ) Handel Organ Concertos – B flat Op 4 No. 2; F major Op 4 No. 4; D minor Op 7 No 4; F major No. 13 Sep 1979
ZRG 889 Worcester Cathedral Choir, cond Donald Hunt, with Simon Colston (treble) Anthony do Rivaz & John Vickers (counter-tenors) Trevor Owen (tenor) Brian Harvey (bass) and Paul Trepte (small organ) Roy  Massey (grand organ) Saint-Saens – Mass for four voices Sep 1978
ZRG 890 Worcester Cathedral Choir, cond Donald Hunt, with Simon Colston (treble) Anthony do Rivaz (counter-tenor) Timothy Hooke (tenor) Alan Fairs (bass) and Paul Trepte (small organ) ) Samuel Sebastian Wesley  ‘Choral Music’ – Te Deum in E major, Jubilate in E major, Cast me not away, Let us lift up our heart. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace Sep 1978
ZRG 891  
ZRG 892 St John’s College Choir dir George Guest with John Scott (organ) ‘Psalms of Consolation and Hope’ – 13 titles by Skeats, Walmisley, Luard Selby, Hylton Stewart, Stanford, Watfortod Davies, S. Wesley, Attwood Apr 1979
ZRG 893-4 Margaret Marshall (soprano) Alfreda Hodgson (contralto) Robert Tear (tenor) Malcolm King (bass) London Chamber Choir(with Sylvia Halford & John Constable (pianos) John Birch (harmonium) dir by Laszlo Heltay Rossini – Petite Messe Solennelle Nov 1978
ZRG 895 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, featuring James Watson (trumpet) Ifor James (horn) John Fletcher (tuba) Easy Winners’ – 14 titles by Hazell, Mozart, Joplin, Trad., Abreu, Monti, Debussy, Premru,  Dec 1978
ZRG 896 London Symphony Orchesta, cond Richard Hickox with Philip Langridge (tenor) and a) London Symphony Chorus

Recorded in association with the Finzi Trust

Finzi – a) For St Cecilia b) Dies Natalis Apr 1979
ZRG 897 Magdalen College Choir dir Bernard Rose with Geoffrey Morgan (organ) Thomas Tomkins – music from Musica deo Sacra (12 excerpts, two organ pieces) Apr 1979
ZRG 898 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Baroque Brass’ – 16 titles by Biber, Anon.,Frank, Hassler, Speer, Scheidt, Bach, Scarlatti, C. P. E. Bach May 1979
ZRG 899 Academy of St Martin in the Fields, dir Neville Marriner

Sponsored by the Arts Council of Great Britain and supervised by Nicholas Maw

Nicholas Maw – Life Studies Nov 1979

(1972) Various Artists – The Syrian Maqams

•February 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Argo issue number: ZFB 58

Recorded by Deben Bhattacharya in Damascus in 1955 (tracks A1, A3, B1, B2, B3) and 1960 (A2, A4)

Production and sleeve notes by Deben Bhattacharya

Availability: the seven tracks here (plus two others) have been re-issued on ARC Music EUCD1765. Buy it here.

Joudad Halibie – Qanun (A1)
Muhammad Jaban – ‘Ud (A1, B3)
Badruddin Halibie – Nay (A2)
Unnamed teacher of the Damascus Conservatoire – violin (A3)
Muhammad Abdul Karim – Buzuk (A4)
Unnamed Dervish vocalist, chorus and musicians – Nay, Daff, Nakkar, cymbals (B1)
Unnamed Dervish musicians – Nay, Daff, Nakkar, cymbals (B2)

Click on one of the highlighted tracks and it’ll play in a new window.


Side A
1 Bashraf Sama’i Taatyus
2 Taqsim on Nay
3 Taqsim on violin
4 Ajam on buzuk

Side B
1 Hijaz
2 Rasd
3 Taqsim on ‘Ud

The buzuk player on track A4 – Muhammad Abdul Karim – was already an established musician by the time Deben Bhattacharya reached Damascus. The Syrian actor-director Abdullatif Abdulhamid opens his 2010 film ‘September Rain’ in 1940s Damascus with a young man listening to a broadcast of music by Muhammad Abdul Karim.

(1971) Various Artists – Music From Iran

•February 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Argo issue numbers: ZFB 51

Recorded in Meshed (tracks A2, B2) and Tehran (A1, B1) by Deben Bhattacharya in 1955

Production and sleeve notes by Deben Bhattacharya

Hossein Saba – santour (track A1)
Jabad Aliyani – tar (A2)
Sher Koda – chant and zarb drum (B1)
Eskandare Ebrahimi – setar (B2)

Click on a track title and the track will play in a new window.


Side A
Shur on santour
Shur on tar

Side B
Mahour on setar


Tracks A1 and A2
If you’re into finding out just what it is you’re listening to here, the shur is one of the 12 dastaghs (musical modal systems) around which Persian music is organised. The dastagh is explained here and the shur here.

Track B1
Recital of parts of the Shahnama (Book of Kings), Iran’s national epic poem, completed in the year 1010 by Ferdowsi. Take an online audio tour of the poem here, courtesy of the Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum.

Find out more about Ferdowsi here.

Track B2
The mahour is another of the dastaghs. Find out about it here.

Hossein Saba
Haven’t found anything out about the other three, but Hossein Saba (track A1) was born in Tehran in 1924. He studied the santour and the piano and graduated from the Tehran Conservatory of Music as a piano major in 1949. He went on to teach both instruments at the School of National Music.

The year after this recording (1956) he published the first method for the santour. When the National Instruments Orchestra was founded at the School of National Music, Saba was offered the position of lead santour soloist. He died from a brain tumour in 1957, at the age of 36.


Thanks and praises to bolingo once again for passing me a copy.

(1968) Various Artists – Voices (6 vols)

•December 7, 2010 • 2 Comments

VOICES – an anthology of six long-playing records of sounds, music, song and speech presented in association with Penguin Education

Argo issue numbers: DA 91-96 (six LPs), re-released 1970 or 1971 as PLP 1112-17

Edited by: Geoffrey Summerfield
Produced and directed by: Harley Usill and John Gilbert

Mike Newby
Sidney Bradley
David King
Peter Orr
Freda Dowie
Tony Church
Yvonne Bonnamy
Frank Duncan

Original Recordings – Performers/Musicians

Children of Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School, York
Children of Heslington Primary School, York
Choir of Trinity School, Croydon
Staff and students of York University
Freda Dowie
Richard Orton
Jane Phillips
Patrick Harrex
Moray Welsh

The Critics Group
Terry Yarnell
Bob Blair
Tom Paley
John Faulkner
Sandra Kerr
Phil Colclough

In the listing below, the folk music tracks are given in italics. Where possible, sources of musical tracks taken from earlier Argo and Decca recordings are given at the end of each listing. Not sure yet which of the poetry and prose readings are original recordings made for the anthology.


Band 1

Noises – knives sharpening
Band 2
The Devil’s Nine Questions (trad) – Peggy Seeger (1)
The Devil’s Polka – Ilona Porma kantele (2)

Band 3
Jabberwocky (Herbert) – n. Mike Newby, Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School children percussion
Child’s bouncing song (Connor) – Children of Heslington Primary School, York
Jane, Jane (trad) – Shirley Collins & Davy Graham (3)
Band 4
Old Man’s Song (Mellers) – Trinity School, Croydon choir, c. David Squibb
Toward The Grave – Kaarina Kuivalainen vocal, Onno Kuivalainen kantele (4)
Band 5
The Seafarer excerpt – n. Sidney Bradley, read in Anglo-Saxon
Man Cursing the Sea (Holub) – n. David King
Sea Interludes (Storm/Britten) – Royal Opera House (London) Orchestra, c. Benjamin Britten (5)

Band 1

Pastoral (trad) – Sicilian shepherd playing open pipe
Shepherds’ Fire (Clare) – n. Peter Orr
Aunt’s Tantrums (Barnes) – n. Freda Dowie
Turf Carrier on Aranmore (Hewitt) – n. Peter Orr
Derby Ram (trad) – Peggy & Mike Seeger unacc. (6)
Band 2
Church bells – sound of bells in Zurich, Switzerland in Bolby B
Bells of Rhymney (Seeger/Davies) – Terry Yarnell & The Critics Group
Band 3
What’s What (Reid) – n. Tony Church
Narnian Suite (Harrex) – staff & students of York University, primary school children spoken chorus
Band 4
Chant before battle – David King
Janos Hary excerpts (Kodaly) – LSO c. Istvan Kertesz (7)

(1) from The Long Harvest Vol 2, Argo ZDA 67, 1967
(2) from Music from the Far North – Argo ZDA 127, 1967
(3) from Folk Routes New Routes – Decca LK 4652, 1964
(4) from Music from the Far North – Argo ZRG 533, 1967
(5) from Decca SXL 2150-2, 1959
(6) from Peggy ‘n’ Mike – Argo ZDA 80, 1967
(7) from Hary Janos – Decca SXL 6136, 1965



Band 1
Noises – noises of lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys and tropical birds
Band 2
Enigma Variations, XI (Elgar) – London Symphony Orchestra, c. Malcolm Sargent (1)
Band 3
The Gallows (Thomas) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Kangaroo (Lawrence) – n. Frank Duncan
Folk Rhymes – Freda Dowie vocal
The Badger (Clare) – n. Peter Orr
Hedgehog (Clare) – n. Frank Duncan
Hedgehogs Sniffing and Eating – recording
The Fox (Clare) – n. Frank Duncan
Band 4
Ketjak (Monkey Dance) – Gamelan Orchestra from Pliatan (2)

Band 1

Violin Concerto, excerpt 1st movement (Sibelius) – LSO, c. Oivin Fjeldstad, Ruggiero Ricci violin (3)
Band 2
Thief in the Night (Lawrence) – n. Tony Church
Ploughing on Sunday (Stevens) – n. Freda Dowie
Band 3
Autumn (Kato) – n. David King
Nocturne from Serenade for tenor, horn and strings (Britten) – Peter Pears tenor, Barry Tuckwell horn, LSO c. Benjamin Britten (4)
Band 4
Cherry Tree Carol (trad) – Peggy Seeger, vocal and banjo (5)
Boy at the Window (Wilbur) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Winter (Clare) – n. Freda Dowie
Winter Piece (Tomlinson) – n. Frank Duncan
Band 5
Symphony No 7 (Vaughan Williams) – London Philharmonic Orch. C. Adrian Boult (6)

(1) from Enigma Variations – Decca LXT 2786, 1953
(2) from Music from Bali – Argo RG1-2, 1952
(3) from Sibelius, Violin Concerto D minor – Decca SXL 2077, 1959
(4) from Nocturne from Serenade, Decca SXL6110, 1964
(5) from The Long Harvest, Vol 8 – Argo ZDA 73, 1967
(6) from Sinfonia Antartica – Decca LXT 2912, 1954



Band 1

Entrance of the Emperor (Kodaly) – LSO, c. Istvan Kertesz (1)
Band 2
There Was a Man (Crane) – n. Yvonne Bellamy
The Nightmare (Wang Yen-Shou) – n. Tony Church
A Fire-Truck (Wilbur) – n. Yvonne Bellamy
Band 3
Strigaturi De Nunta (trad wedding dance) – Maria Popa (vocals) and gypsy musicians from Lazareni (2)
At a Country Fair (Hardy) – n. Freda Dowie
Roome for Companie (trad) – The Critics Group, John Faulkner vocal plus whistle and drum
Band 4
Royal Fireworks Suite Movement 4 (Handel) – LSO, c. George Szell (3)
Band 5
The Casualty (Ted Hughes) – n. David King
Band 6
Rumba – El Sali and his Band Espagnol (4)

Band One

Tod Und Verklarung excerpt (Richard Strauss) – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, c. Herbert Von Karajan (5)
Band Two
First Blood (Stallworthy) – n. Frank Duncan
Blue Moles (Plath) – n. Yvonne Bellamy
The Mosquito (D.H. Lawrence) – n. Tony Church
Band Three
Le Festin de l’Araignee (Roussel) – L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, c. Ernest Ansermet (6)
Band Four
Original Sin (Jeffers) – n. David King
Old Blue (trad) – Peggy Seeger vocal and banjo (7)
Travelling Through the Dark (Stafford) – n. Frank Duncan

(1) from Hary Janos Suite – Decca LXT 6136, 1965
(2) from Music from Rumania – Argo ZRG 531, 1967
(3) from Decca LXT 5666, 1962
(4) from El Sali and his Ballet Espagnol – Flamenco! – Decca LK4787, 1966
(6) from Decca LXT 5035, 1955
(5) from Decca LXT 5629, 1961
(7) from Poetry and Song Vol 1 – Argo DA 50, 1967



Band One

False Friends-like (Barnes) – n. Freda Dowie
Band Two
Cancion del amor dolido (Falla) – Marina de Gabarain, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, c. Ernest Ansermet (1)
Girl, Boy, Flower, Bicycle (Joseph) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Crow Sat on the Willow (Clare) n. Frank Duncan
Scarborough Fair (trad) – Frankie Armstrong and Sandra Kerr unacc. (2)
Band Three
Song (Clare) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
The Great Silkie (trad) – Bob Blair
Reuben Bright (Robinson) – n. Tony Church
Band Four
Amores (Cage) – Richard Orton prepared piano, Jane Phillips percussion, Patrick Harrex percussion, Moray Welsh percussion

Band 1

Johnny Armstrong (trad) – John Faulkner unacc.
Night Wind (Clare) – n. Frank Duncan
North Wind (Whittemore) – n. Freda Dowie
Band 2
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Strauss) – Vienna Philharmonic, c. Von Karajan (3)
Band 3
John Henry (trad) – Tom Paley (4)
Scialoma (trad) – Sicilian fishermen (5)
Gresford Disaster (trad) – Critics Group, John Faulkner vocal
Band 4
Choirmaster’s Burial (Hardy) – n. David King

(1) from El Amor Brujo – Decca LX 3151, 1956
(2) from Poetry and Song vol 4 – Argo DA 53, 1967
(3) from Decca LXT 5620, 1961
(4) from Poetry and Song, vol 7 – Argo DA 56, 1967
(5) from Sicily in Music and Song – Argo DA 30, 1965



Band 1

Dustbowl Song (Guthrie) – Tom Paley vocal and banjo
Follower (Heaney) – n. David King
Hay for the Horses (Snyder) – n. Frank Duncan
Band 2
I am (Clare) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Africa’s Plea (Dempster) – n. David King
Telephone Conversation (Soyinka) – n. Tony Church
Black and White (MacColl) – John Faulkner and Sandra Kerr
From William Tyndale to John Frith (Bowers) – n. Frank Duncan
Band 3
Dance of the Knights (Prokofiev) – Orch. De la Suisse Romande, c. Ernest Ansermet (1)
Band 4
Sair Fyeld Hinny (trad) – Bob Blair unacc.
Soup (Sandburg) – n. Frank Duncan
Epitaph on a Tyrant (Auden) – n. David King
Leader of men (MacCaig) – n. Tony Church
Band 5
Dārbāri Kānadā (raga for the second quarter of the night) – Jyotish Chandra Chowdhury on surbahar (bass sitar) (2)

Band 1

Miralogia (trad) – Nicholas Halkias clarinet, with ‘three female voices’ (3)
Jesus and his Mother (Gunn) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
The Unquiet Grave (trad) – Sandra Kerr unacc.
Band 2
Father and Child (Yeats) – n. Tony Church
Strawberries (Morgan) – n. Yvonne Bellamy
Ou Phrontis (Causley) – n. Tony Church
Frankie and Johnny (trad) – Tom Paley, vocal and guitar
Band 3
Kije’s Wedding (Prokofiev) – L’Orchestre de la Societe des concerts du Conservatoire de Paris, c. Adrian Boult (4)
Band 4
Magpies (Glover) – n. Freda Dowie
Death and the Maiden (Nemerov) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
For Sale (Lowell) – n. Tony Church
Father Dunman’s funeral (Hardy) – n. Frank Duncan
Last mystery (Stallworthy) – n. David King
Band 5
Soleares (trad) – Paco Peña guitar (5)

(1) from Romeo and Juliet – Decca SXL 2306, 1962
(2) from Ragas From Benares – Argo ZRG 559, 1968
(3) from Greece in Music and Song – Argo DA 29, 1965
(4) from Decca LXT 5119, 1956
(5) from El Sali and his Ballet Espagnol – Decca SLK 16825, 1966



Band 1

Latest Decalogue (Clough) – n. David King
Grey October (Peggy Seeger) – Peggy Seeger (1)
Band 2
Guns firing – sound effect
Anthem for Doomed Youth (Owen) – n. Peter Orr
Parable of the Old Man and the Young (Owen) – n. Tony Church
Big Muddy (Pete Seeger) – Tom Paley vocal and guitar
Defence (Silkin) – n. Frank Duncan
Band 3
Victory Dance – villagers from Himalayan village of Tuinem (2)
Death (Yeats) – n. David King
Musee des Beaux Arts (Auden) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Twin of Sleep (Graves) – n. Tony Church
Band 4
Death of Tybalt (Prokofiev) – Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, c. Ernest Ansermet (3)

Band 1

Trap (Stallworthy) – n. David King
Birds (Wright) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Red Cockatoo (trans Waley) – n. Frank Duncan
Wedgebury Cocking (trad) – Critics Group, Phil Colclough vocal
Band 2
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (Stevens) – n. Freda Dowie
Four Seasons, Spring, 1st movement (Vivaldi) – New Philharmonia Orchestra, c. Stokowski, Hugh Bean violin (4)
Band 3
Four Seasons, Winter, 2nd movement (Vivaldi) – New Philharmonia Orchestra, c. Stokowski, Hugh Bean violin (5)
Saying from the Northern Ice (Stafford) – n. David King
Snow (Thomas) – n. Yvonne Bonnamy
Band 4
God’s Grandeur (Hopkins) – n. Tony Church
Lament (Stallworthy) – n. David King
Felix Randall (Hopkins) – n. Tony Church
Acension (Messiaen) – Simon Preston organ (6)

(1) from The Angry Muse, Argo DA 83, 1968
(2) from Music from The Himalayas – ZRG 530, 1967
(3) Death of Tybalt – Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet Suites, Decca SXL 2306
(4) and (5) from Decca LK 4873, 1967
(6) from Argo ZRG 5339, 1963



Here’s a nice summary of what these records are all about, courtesy of a review in The Gramophone in January 1969:

“Briefly, Argo and Penguin Education have collaborated to produce a set of records to complement the latter’s threebook anthology of poetry and pictures entitled Voices. The anthology is edited by Geoffrey Summerfield, of the York University English and Education departments, costs 25s. 6d. for the three books and has been very well received. The books give the visual and literary side; each record deals with a special topic (heroes, winter, jealousy inter alia) and adds further dimensions through natural, musical and ‘prepared’ sounds. Bands of a disc enclose elements of the topic, so the inbuilt variety might give you some Kodaly, a Rumanian wedding dance, Hardy’s poem on a country fair, a folksong and a movement from Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music. On another side, a Balinese choir, sniffing hedgehogs, a John Clare poem and an Enigma variation will find common ground.

“Although there appears to be no financial package deal, I would think that many people will want to buy both discs and books as it is rather difficult to absorb the poems at first hearing. In any case, one angle that the discs add is musical settings of established poems—two excerpts from Britten’s Serenade appear in this context. The orchestral music, from existing first-class recordings, is programmatic, thus adding possibilities of mime and spontaneous drama to the inexaustible discussion-points of musical and poetic imagery. Mr Summerfield’s introduction, which usefully appears on all six record-leaflets is stimulating, particularly on creative music-making.”

(More on the people responsible for putting this fantastic teaching aid together and how it was received in the classroom when I find my notes)

(1973) Various Artists – Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band

•December 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

Argo issue number: ZDA 158
Produced by: Kevin Daly
Recorded by: Iain Churches
Sleeve notes: Kevin Daly

Availability: long deleted by Argo; issued on CD in 2004 by German label Valhalla (WH90324)


St George’s Canzona:
Frank Grubb – rebec, recorder
John Grubb – lute, harpsichord
Derek Harrison – rebec
John Lawes – crumhorn, recorder
Mike Oxenham – crumhorn, clarinet, curtal, recorders
John Sothcott – citole, crumhorn, rebec, recorders, whistle
Leila Ward – crumhorn, recorders

Trevor Crozier’s Broken Consort:
Trevor Crozier – vocals, banjo, cittern, guitar, harmonica, mandolin
Annie Crozier – concertina, bowed psaltery
Vic Gammon – concertina, guitar

The Druids – vocals
Judi Longden
Keith Kendrick
John Adams
Mick Hennessy

Jeff Clyne – bass guitar
Dave MacRae – electric piano
Trevor Tomkins – drums, percussion


Side One
1 The Hare’s Maggot (trad. arr Gammon)
2 Rufty Tufty/Beau Stratagem/Apply House (trad. arr Gammon)
3 The Hole In The Wall/The Chirping Of The Nightingale (trad. arr Sothcott)
4 Pastime With Good Company (Henry VIII arr Adams/Sothcott)
5 Daphne (trad. arr Sothcott)/Nonsuch/Jack Maggot/Childgrove (trad. arr Gammon)
6 Shrewsbury Lasses (trad. arr Sothcott)
7 Newcastle Brown (Sothcott/Daly)
8 Helston Furry Dance (vocal Trevor Crozier)/Picking Of Sticks/The Butterfly (trad. arr Sothcott)

Side Two
1 The Indian Queen (trad. arr Sothcott)
2 The Happy Clown (trad. arr Sothcott)
3 Ratcliffe Highway (trad. arr Adams/Sothcott)
4 The Twenty Ninth Of May (trad. arr Sothcott)
5 The Black Nag/Poor Robin’s Maggot/Greensleeves (trad. arr Gammon)
6 Portabella (trad. arr Sothcott)
7 The Draper’s Maggot (trad. arr. Grubb)/Tower Hill (trad. Arr. Grubb)
8 Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot (trad. arr Gammon) /The British Toper/Londons Glory (trad. arr. Sothcott)

Producer Kevin Daly’s sleeve notes

“Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band make an entirely new medieval-electric sound. Formed by linking the medieval St George’s Canzona with the folk trio Broken Consort, the resulting band brings together early and present day instruments in imaginative and unique performances of some of the most tuneful and infectious music of all time.

“Most of the titles on this album are taken from ‘The English Dancing Master, published by John Playford, Britain’s first ever music publisher. The Tin Pan Alley of 1655 was situated near the Temple Church in London, and it was from a tiny shop near the church door that Playford’s publications were sold.

“The English Dancing Master or ‘Plaine and easie rules for the dancing of country dances, with the tune to each dance’ was first published in 1651, during the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Commonwealth. It was an austere time, with most of the old customs forbidden: dancing, profane singing, wakes, revels, ringing of bells, maypoles were all banned as dangerous to the security of the nation, and it seems a curious time to publish a collection of dance music. Playford’s own explanation was simple…’I publish this book lest the tunes be forgot’…

“The volume was immediately successful and went into several editions over the next twenty years (in fact it is still in print today). A possible reason for its popularity might have been that although Parliament abolished most forms of merry making, the Lord Protector himself seems to have enjoyed the occasional revel and given dancing a subdued show of approval…

“14th November 1657: ‘On Wednesday last was my Lord Protector’s daughter married to the Earl of Warwick’s grandson; and on Thursday was the wedding feast kept at Whitehall, where they had 48 violins, 50 trumpets and much mirthe with frolics, besides mixed dancing (a thing heretofore accounted profane) till five of the clock yesterday morning.’

“The first West End appearance of Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band.”