Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sicily in Music and Song - James McNeish 1960 recordings



Sicily in Music and Song
recordings from 1960 by James McNeish
Argo DA 30 - P.1965




Side A

A1 Tarantella (Catania province) 1'50
A2 La vò - Lullaby (Catania) 2'52
A3 Stornello (Catania province) 2'37
A4 Tarantellina (Enna province) 0'32
A5 C'era 'na volta (Trapani) 0'58
A6 Ballad of Giuliano 3'53
A7 Dungeon Song (Palermo) 2'18
A8 Lullaby (Trapani province) 2'05
A9 La nova moda di li fimmini 2'08
A10 Easter wailing (Caltanissetta) 3'02
A11 Romance (Catania province) 1'31


Side B


B12 Ballad of Turiddu Carnevale (Palermo province) 1'38
B13 Pastoral (Agrigento province) 2'18
B14 Tarantella (Ragusa province) 1'51
B15 Sonnu Sonnuzu (Caltanissetta province) 1'50
B16 Stornello (Enna province) 2'54
B17 Prayer song (Palermo province) 0'45
B18 Mazurka (Ragusa province) 1'31
B19 Nennia (Enna) 2'12
B20 Drum sonata (Agrigento province) 2'33
B21 Stornello a botte (Enna province) 2'25
B22 Scialoma (Trapani province) 1'18


Here is another of the James McNeish field recordings full of good music and atmosphere. I think that some tracks on this record are very precious in deed. I like the big variation covering many different styles and traditions, only thing that is sad is that so many tracks are so short. That does not make the record less important it only makes you want to hear more. I think the Easter wailing track, the Pastorale and the Prayer song are wonderful glimpses allowing a real time travel. The Tarantellina with the jews harp and the Nennia is also very good listening.

Hope you enjoy this one! I will post another one of his recordings with music from Greece, but a little later. Too much other music waiting in line... We will see what comes first, and maybe someone else has some more of the McNeish recordings they could pass along to me so I could put them together with the others...




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Portrait of Andalusia - Rec. 1956 by Deben Bhattacharya





Portrait of Andalusia - The Living Tradition
Recordings 1956 by Deben Bhattacharya
Argo Record Co. - ZRG 560 - P.1968


A Street In Andalusia


The Roman Marchers In The Procession


The Cross Bearer In The Procession


Easter Procession In Puente Genil

A Close Up From The Procession

Penitents In Puente Genil



Side A

A1 Saetas et tambours assourdis 4'12
A2 Soleá 3'50
A3 Procéssion de Paques à l'église de la Macarena 8'34
A4 Serrana 4'04



Side B


B1 Cantiñas de Cadiz 3'46
B2 Soleá 3'15
B3 Alegrias de Cadiz 2'34
B4 Saeta mozarabe 1'03
B5 Improvisation à la guitare 8'44
B6 Soleá "Apolá" 3'01





Julian De Cordoba - (B2)


Juan Garcia (B6)
Accompanied by Jose Bedmar (A2,A4,B1,B2,B3,B6)


Antonio Fernandez (A2, B1, B3)



I really like this record very much and I think it is partially because I like the singing of the Saeta so much. There are some other great recordings of Saeta music and as Easter is approaching maybe there will be time to post something more of that. I have to say again that I find the earlier recordings by Deben Bhattachariya to be the most enjoyable and maybe it is the time that has passed and maybe it is partly the fresh and eager recorder himself. This record is in my opinion very pleasant as a whole and hopefully there will be more of his excursions in Andalucia unearthed before we have found all the records he produced. There is a gypsy music collection that may have some more. If you know anything more let me know and that is also in general if you find some of his recordings that are not here already I would be most happy if you shared them with me! This record comes with a four leaf inlay of accompanying notes and you have just seen all the photos from that folder.

After this one, I have just a few more of his recordings so maybe there will be a break from Deben for a while. There is no shortage of music however, just to little time to prepare the posts. I think I will share some more religious and ritual music as it has been a long time interest of mine and I have a big collection from many parts of the world and representing many of the faiths, religions and practices.

This record I got from Barraka, a long time friend who shares, if not all, so at least very many of my musical tastes. We first met already in the early seventies I think, looking for rembetika and demotica in a shop called Zorba, that like so many record shops are no more. It was run by a very jovial fellow by the name Costas.

Maybe you can guess that there will be much more Greek music later on...






The Madurai Brothers - Nadhaswaram



M.P.N. Sethuraman & M.P.N. Ponnuswamy - Nadhaswaram
EMI Columbia - S-33 ESX 6086 - P.1974




Side A

A1 Parath Para — Jaganmohini
A2 Ninnu Vina — Navarasa Kannada

Side B

B1 Nathajana Pari — Simmendra Madhyamam
B2 Maadu Meikkum Kanna — Desh
B3 Ayi Giri Nandhini — Vedham


Thevur S. Rajarathnam, Thavil
Thevur S. Santhanam, Thavil


It has been brought to my attention that I have been posting far too little Nagaswaram music lately, so here on public demand is another, to my ears very good record again with The Madurai Brothers. I promise I will post some more as soon as the ones waiting in line does not complain about being pushed aside...




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Akathistos Hymn and the Veneration of the Cross




Ο Ακάθιστος Ύμνος και η Σταυροπροσκύνηση
The Akathistos Hymn and the Veneration of the Cross
Live recordings 1983, in the vicinity of the Constantinople Patriarchate
Published by the Hellenic Cultural Centre in London and printed by:
EMI Greece S.A. - OCP 106 - 7, (2LP) - P. 1984






Here is a very special recording brought to my attention by my friend Costis. He made the rip and all the photos and served me this on a plate to share with you. I have been listening since I got it and I find it thoroughly mind cleansing. Settling down, floating with the singing, I begin to travel in my mind and what can be better when it lasts for almost two full hours.

So what is the Akathistos Hymn and the Veneration of the Cross?




The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary. It is one of the most beloved services in the Orthodox Church. It was composed in the imperial city of Constantinople, "the city of the Virgin," by St. Romanos the Melodist, who reposed in the year 556. The Akathist Hymn has proven so popular in the liturgical life of the Church that many other hymns have been written following its format. These include Akathists to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Cross, and to many Saints.
read more here


The Veneration of the Cross is counted as one of the great feasts of the Lord. On the Third Sunday of Great and Holy Lent, the Orthodox Church commemorates the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Services include a special veneration of the Cross, which prepares the faithful for the commemoration of the Crucifixion during Holy Week.
read more here


The full text in Greek and English is included in the 20 page folder that accompanies the two records!



About the Recording.

To record the third part of the Salutations in the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae on the morning of Friday, 8 April 1983, and the Veneration of the Cross on Sunday 10 April, in the Patriarchal Church, we set up a mobile Studio with two Revox A77 tape recorders and five and
seven microphones respectively, on BASF Professional tapes. Technical direction was by Studio Marsandiz of Constantinople; recording was by Efendi Esad Kiral, and control and direction of the recording by Grigoris Stathis.

Following a tradition which we have mentioned, for the third part of the Salutations at Blachernae the Patriarch attended with Protopresbyter Panayiotis Tsinaras, the great archdeacon Kyrillos, deacon Meliton and the Patriarchal choirs.

Choir I: Protopsaltes Vasileios Nikolaidis, First Domestikos Ioannis Chariatidis, Georgios Georgiadis and three boys.

Choir 2: Lampadarios Vasileios Emmanuilidis, Michael Soungalis, Georgios Tyrovolis and one boy.

The main assistant singers in the Patriarchal Church on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross were: Georgios Georgiadis, P. Dafnoudelis, K. Aivatoglou, I. lordanoglou, and the boys Ioakim Pouliaris and Stylianos Flikos; - N. Sevsevmes, P. Diniakos, and the boys Michael Karanikolas and K. Stamatelis.

Clergy: The Veneration of the Cross is counted as one of the great feasts of the Lord, and according to the patriarchal Typikon it should be celebrated by the Secretary-in-Chief. The celebrant was the secretary-in-Chief of the Holy Synod, Archimandrite Philippos Kapetanakis; the deacons were the under-secretary lakovos Sophroniadis and the officiating deacon Meliton. The Patriarch officiated, with the bishops of the Throne.

In accordance with the Typikon, the service of the Salutations was joined to the Liturgy of the Presanctified, since it took place in the morning. It should be noted that all the melodies were chanted in a simple reading of the oikoi by the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios. The melodic
elaboration and variations in scale used by most priests in Greece lead to excesses, and stray far from the sober reading of the oikoi. Even in the melismatic form, chiefly the masterly setting of the whole Akathistos by Ioannis Kladas (c. 1400), we find only modes IV and II plagal. The version of 'To thee our leader' is a shortened form of the 'ancient' melody of the
fifteenth and seventeenth centuries; only the line 'set me free from every peril' uses the full ancient melody. As for the asmatic Trisagion, the 'Holy God' at the Veneration of the Cross, we have to say that this is a new composition which scarcely even echoes the majestic, imposing and slow composition of Manuel Chrysaphis (c. 1453). We should note, however, that no contemporary psaltes sing this old melody unaltered.

The patriarchal choirs were not large, but thanks to the care of the Photospaltes and Lampadarios they proved adequate, particularly in keeping the ison. On this recording, the melody is sung by the Protopsaltes Vasileios Nikolaidis and the Lampadarios Vasileios Emmanuilidis.

Hope you also find comfort in these precious recordings.

Thank you Costis!


It is important to mention that these are among the few remaining recordings of the late Vassilios Nikolaidis (1915 - 1985), the last one in a series of great chanters of the Patriarchate of constantinople (present day Istanbul) which was the undisputed centre of Greek church chanting for centuries and centuries. Vassilios Emmanouilidis, the left (secondary) chanter, also resigned soon after these recordings took place.


Thank you again Costis, for the clarification on the chanters!















Monday, March 28, 2011

Religious Music from the Holy Land - rec. by Deben Bhattacharya




Religious Music from the Holy Land - The World of Music series
recordings by Deben Bhattacharya
Expo Norr - RIKS LPX 3 - 1968


Pre- World War II map

City view of Jerusalem

City view of Betlehem



Side A

A1 Bells from the Coptic Church 0'25
A2 Qudass, Sunday morning celebration 3'00
A3 Kyrie eleison 0'55
A4 Reading of the text 3'00
A5 Ite, Missa est and response 3'00
A6 Verses and response
A7 A hymn sung by massed choirs 4'05


Side B

B1 Simandre 1'10
B2 A hymn for the afternoon service 1'40
B3 Shir Hashrim 1'00
B4 Mizmor Shir Leyoum Shebat 3'25
B5 Bereshit 2'35
B6 Mizmor Shir Channehat Beit 1'12
B7 Addhan 2'30
B8 Waddoha 1'55
B9 Kurbani prayer 5'00







Dominic's church Jerusalem


Christian Quarter in Jerusalem


Islamic prayer


Sheikh Jumal as-Saadi, the Imam of el Jezzar Mosque at Acre.


The Damascus Gate, Jerusalem




An Orthodox Church


Street in Nazareth

Coptic Church, Nazareth

Shelom Kashi and Salem Yehie sing Psalm of David

Moshe Stern, an Ashkenaz Hazan from Jerusalem


Here are some more results from another of Deben Bhattacharyas' recording trips to Palestine
and another of the earliest and very rare LP's from the most elusive Expo Norr series The World of Music.

It is also a new candidate for the Folkcatalogue discography Again in a most exclusive packaging. Very high quality printing beautiful graphic "educational" layout of the Swedish sixties, and again, like the Rajastani and the Hungarian LP's it comes in a very nice quality cloth binding. Much nicer than todays plastic boxes...


I hope you find something to enjoy from this LP.


Also don't miss the four LP's of Deben Bhattachariyas' recordings in Israel posted here by Gadayas on his blog The World Jukebox!


The entrance to a Synagoge in Safed

Simandre