Sonntag, 26. September 2021

VA - Let Freedom Sing - This Land Is Your Land, Vol. 2

While everyone doesn't agree on what patriotism means, even left-leaning folksingers celebrate the promises of America. Promises, however, sometimes fall short. So if singers like Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and Cisco Houston point out America's shortcomings in protest songs, they don't consider themselves unpatriotic: they're only reminding Americans of their original principals. 

"Let Freedom Sing" travels back to the early-to-mid '60s, the golden age of the protest song, for the majority of its material. Since Vanguard signed so many top folk acts during the time, the major voices from the era are represented here. There's a live take of Dylan singing "Playboys and Playgirls" with Pete Seeger and a live, acapella version of Baez singing "Oh Freedom." Patrick Sky and Buffy Sainte-Marie weigh in on Native-American rights on the "Ballad of Ira Hayes" and "Now That the Buffalo's Gone" respectively. 

While most of this collection is rather somber, Mimi & Richard Farina's "House Un-American Blues Activity Dream" and the Chad Mitchell Trio's "The John Birch Society" offer a slight reprieve. Two Woody Guthrie classics get overhauled by Houston ("Deportee") and Ramblin' Jack Elliott ("1913 Massacre"), while the Weavers sing the rousing "Which Side Are You On?" 

This is an excellent collection that entertains while reminding Americans that there are many types of patriotism. - allmusic.com, Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.


Tracklist:

1 –Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marchin' Anymore
2 –Phil Ochs  - There But For Fortune
3 –Bob Dylan & Pete Seeger  - Playboys and Playgirls
4 –Bob Dylan - Blowing In The Wind
5 –Joan Baez - Oh Freedom
6 –Joan Baez - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
7 –The Weavers - Which Side Are You On?
8 –The Weavers - Miner's Life
9 –Patrick Sky  - Ballad of Ira Hayes
10 –Eric Andersen - Thirsty Boots
11 –Judy Collins - Carry It On
12 –Mimi & Richard Farina - House Un-American Blues Activity Dream
13 –Tom Paxton  -The Death Of Stephen Biko
14 –The Chad Mitchell Trio - The John Birch Society
15 –Buffy Sainte-Marie - Now That the Buffalo's Gone
16 –Ramblin' Jack Elliott - 1913 Massacre
17 –Cisco Houston - Deportee
18 –Odetta - No More Auction Block For Me

VA - Let Freedom Sing - This Land Is Your Land, Vol. 2
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 25. September 2021

Mimi & Richard Farina - Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)

Richard Fariña was a noted counterculture author and folksinger in the early '60s. Married for a time to folksinger Carolyn Hester, he was an early intimate of Bob Dylan, and in fact recorded a collectable album with Dylan (playing under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt) and Ric Von Schmidt in 1963. After marrying Joan Baez's sister, Mimi, he formed a folk-rock duo who released two acclaimed albums in the mid-'60s. Unlike folk-rock figureheads like the Byrds, the Fariñas were far more firmly rooted in folk than rock.
Their recordings effectively flavored their material (mostly written by Fariña) with jangling electric guitars and a rhythm section, ably assisted by such session players as guitarist Bruce Langhorne (who also played on Dylan's first electric recordings), bassist Felix Pappalardi, and harmonica player John Hammond. The Fariñas themselves also played guitar, autoharp, and dulcimer. Least successful with blues, they recorded some effective Appalachian-flavored material, and several excellent bona fide mid-tempo folk-rockers and ballads. Their best songs effectively balanced world-wise, sardonic observations with good-natured, melodic optimism.
The Fariñas' promising career ended prematurely with the death of Richard Fariña in a motorcycle accident on his birthday in 1966. His novel of the same year, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like up to Me", became a cult favorite. Since Richard Fariña's death, Mimi Fariña has sporadically recorded and performed as a solo act.

Richard & Mimi Fariña's debut effectively laid out their approach: Appalachian-like instrumentals that put the dulcimer to the fore alternate with strong contemporary folk compositions, which are by turns mournful and high-spirited. The world-weary "Reno Nevada" (a part of Fairport Convention's repertoire in their early days) is the duo's best song.

A note on the song "Michael, Andrew and James":
Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were members of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). On June 21, 1964, they traveled to Longdale, Mississippi to visit a church that had been bombed by the Ku Klux Klan. On their way back they were arrested by the sherrif, then released, and then shot by a mob and buried in a shallow grave. Their bodies were not discovered until two weeks later, on August 4th. Michael Schwerner had been a Cornell student (class of '61), which probably gave the tragic events an extra poignancy for Fariña. His song is a sequel of sorts to "Birmingham Sunday," which likewise commemorated the victims of a racist attack. In both songs Fariña called upon the folk trope of naming each victim to preserve them in our collective memory, a tradition older than the Homeric epics. Tom Paxton also wrote a song for them, called "Goodman, Schwerner And Chaney," on his album Ain't That News and Carolyn Hester wrote one called "Three Young Men" on At Town Hall, vol. 1.


SIDE ONE:

1. DANDELION RIVER RUN 1:42
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer
2. PACK UP YOUR SORROWS 2:58
Vocal--with guitar & dulcimer
(by Pauline Marden and Richard Fariña)
3. TOMMY MAKEM FANTASY 1:29
Instr.--autoharp & dulcimer
4. MICHAEL, ANDREW AND JAMES 5:07
Vocal--with dulcimer and guitar
5. DOG BLUE 1:42 (arr. by Mimi Fariña)
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer
6. V.
Instr.--dulcimer & tambourine (Bruce Langhorne)
7. ONE-WAY TICKET 3:24
Vocal--with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)

SIDE TWO:

8. HAMISH 1:47
Instr.--autoharp & dulcimer
9. ANOTHER COUNTRY 4:00
Vocal--with guitar & electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne)
10. TUILERIES 1:45
Instr.--dulcimer
11. THE FALCON 3:38
Vocal--with guitar
12. RENO NEVADA 3:07
Vocal--with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)
13. CELEBRATION FOR A GREY DAY 3:47
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer

Mimi & Richard Farina - Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Joan Baez - Carry It On (1971)

"Carry It On" is a 1971 album by Joan Baez, a soundtrack album to the documentary film of the same name. The film is a documentary on the powerful emotional and political currents of the late 60's as seen through the eyes of folksinger Joan Baez and her then husband David Harris, a student organizer and leader of the draft resistance movement. Its title is taken from one of its songs, "Carry It On", which was written by Gil Turner.

The film chronicles the events taking place in the months immediately before the incarceration of Joan's husband at the time, David Harris, in 1969.

This soundtrack intersperses acoustic live performances with politically oriented dialog, much of which is spoken by her then-husband, draft resister David Harris. If not for the commentary by her then husband, David Harris, throughout the recording, one could easily forget this is actually a soundtrack for a documentary being filmed of the events leading up to Harris being locked away in prison for draft resistance.

In spite of their impending separation, the mood of the entire album is upbeat and encouraging. From the gospel "Oh, Happy Day" to the audience-accompanied "We Shall Overcome", listeners should be impressed by the social conscience typified by Harris's comments and Baez' singing.

"Carry It On" is also a tribute to Joan's eclectic tastes; the selections range from traditional "We Shall Overcome", "Joe Hill" to contemporary composers such as Gram Parsons ("Hickory Wind") and two songs written by Bob Dylan, one of which, "Love is Just a Four Letter Word", Dylan never recorded.

In 1971, when "Carry It On" was released, Joan still had the magnificent five octave range which is vividly clear on each of the 10 songs.

Tracklist:

"Oh Happy Day" (Edwin Hawkins) – 3:43
"Carry It On" (Gil Turner) – 3:48
"In Forty Days" ("Joan & David") – 3:22
"Hickory Wind" (Gram Parsons, Bob Buchanan) – 3:16
"The Last Thing on My Mind" (Tom Paxton) – 3:29
"Life Is Sacred" (David) – 2:02
"Joe Hill" (Robinson, Hayes) – 3:53
"I Shall Be Released" (Dylan) – 3:33
"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (assisted by Jeffrey Shurtleff) (Dan Penn, Chips Moman) – 4:21
"Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word" (Bob Dylan) – 4:05
"Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen) – 4:54
"Idols and Heroes" (David) – 2:30
"We Shall Overcome" (Horton, Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan, Pete Seeger) – 4:45

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt - Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt (1963)

This obscure album, recorded in January 1963 at Dobell's record shop in London, is known primarily for a very famous session musician playing under a pseudonym. Blind Boy Grunt, aka Bob Dylan, contributed harmonica and backup vocals to half a dozen of the tracks (using that pseudonym, most likely, as he was under contract to a different label at the time).

Farina and Von Schmidt, already noted performers in the American coffeehouse folk scene, are the principal figures on this pretty typical '60s folk revival LP. The material and delivery are rooted in traditional folk forms, including jug band, blues, and Appalachian music, and are neither too dry nor too exciting. Certainly Farina, the more talented of the front line pair, shows few flashes of the first-rate songwriting and arrangements that would flower on the albums he did in the mid-'60s with his wife Mimi Farina.

The one vivid flash of that brilliance is on the instrumental "Old Joe's Dulcimer," in which he unveils his considerable talents on the instrument. With its almost Indian-like drones, it could just about fit as one of the instrumentals on the Richard & Mimi Farina albums, although the absence of Mimi Farina's guitar accompaniment creates (if only in retrospect) a sonic gap. "Wobble Bird" (derived from the standard "Cuckoo") and "Wildwood Flower" (a vocal number which has some dulcimer) aren't bad, but really this is just another folk album of its time, notable primarily as a collector's item.

If you're picking this up just for Dylan's contributions, be advised that those are pretty low-key; he doesn't contribute any songwriting or lead vocals. Also lending a hand on these sessions is Ethan Signer of the Original Charles River Valley Boys.      - www.allmusic.com          


Tracklist:

Side One:
1.) JOHNNY CUCKOO (4:27) adaption of a children's game song learned from Bessie Jones, a negro woman from St. Simon's Island, Georgia
2.) JUMPING JUDY (3:55) an ax song, sometimes called "Drive it On," from the unaccompanied singing of convicts, Cummins State Farm, Arkansas, 1934. Played in an open G-tuning.
3.) GLORY, GLORY (2:34) traditional negro hymn, the tune relating closely to the Southern white hymn, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"
4.) OLD JOE'S DULCIMER (2:55) a medley of dance tunes including "Old Joe Clark," "Swing and Turn," "Darlin' Corey," etc.
5.) WOBBLE BIRD (2:44) a variation on "The Cuckoo," in 3/4 time.
6.) WILDWOOD FLOWER (1:56) instrumental on the well known Carter song.
7.) OVERSEAS STOMP (2:43) in the spirit of the 1927 Memphis Jug Band.

  Side Two:
1.) LONZO N'HOWARD (3:30) learned from Tom Shoemaker of Harlan, Kentucky, who heard it there from a mountain fiddler called Blind Jim. This is probably its first recording.
2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL (3:00) a tune based on Furry Lewis' "Dry Land Blues," with additional verses.
3.) XMAS ISLAND (3:18) a twelve-bar written by Fariña.
4.) STICK WITH ME BABY (3:32) played in an open G-tuning, adapted from the 1928 Lewis, "I Will Turn Your Money Green."
5.) RIDDLE SONG (1:10) traditional, with new answers to fit the old questions.
6.) COCAINE (4:03) learned from Rev. Gary Davis at Indian Neck, 1960.
7.) LONDON WALTZ (3:10) a blues in 3/4 time, music by Fariña, words spontaneous.

Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt - Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 24. September 2021

Tom Robinson - Last Tango (Line, 1989)

Tom Robinson wasn’t the first openly gay recording artist, but the Tom Robinson Band was the first group led by a proudly uncloseted rocker to really make an impact on mainstream Anglo/American pop fans. 

Robinson’s saga began in Finchton Manor, a home for “maladjusted” boys, where he came out and met future lead guitarist Danny Kustow. Robinson’s first group, Cafe Society, was signed to the Kinks’ Konk label and released one forgettable album. After a long legal and personal battle with Ray Davies, the singing bassist was released from his contract and set about forming the Tom Robinson Band. Kustow resurfaced, and after recruiting young keyboard wizard Mark Ambler and drummer Brian “Dolphin” Taylor, they were ready to go. 

EMI, fresh from their debacle with the Sex Pistols, signed the band, whose leader’s avowed homosexuality and uncompromising left-wing political stance made him an extremely controversial figure. Luckily, a brilliant (and surprisingly non-topical) first single, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” became a Top 5 hit in Britain and a riveting debut album made the band internationally successful. That afforded the singing bassist the opportunity to be an activist — spearheading Rock Against Racism — rather than merely a complainer. But a myopic outlook and limited musical range drew Robinson into a morass of sloganeering and overbearing self-righteousness that forced a major career rethink after only two LPs.

"Last Tango" is a live album that's surfaced both as 'Last Tango' and 'Midnight At The Fringe' over the years. Original 1983 recordings from the Edinburgh Fringe have been restored and recompiled, with high quality recordings of the three best-known hits included for good measure



Tracklist:

Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio
Tango An Der Wand
Surabaya Johnny
War Baby
2-4-6-8 Motorway
Back In The Old Country
The Night Tide
I Wanna Be Your Cabin Boy
Old Friend
Glad To Be Gay '87


Tom Robinson - Last Tango (Line, 1989)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Richard & Mimi Fariña ‎– Reflections In A Crystal Wind (1965)

The Farinas' mix of unusual instrumentations and Dick's gift for words made them a formidable duo in the mid-sixties, his writing alternating and mixing the political, satirical, and poetic . This album showcased both's songwriting and singing talents, and backed by most of Dylan's off-duty session players, the music sounds as fresh today as then.

Richard Farina was a great poet in the great tradition of the troubador. His life ended too early as the result of a motorcycle accident. Nonetheless, he and his partner/wife Mimi Baez (sister of Joan Baez) created one of the great albums of the "beat" and new folk movement, "Reflections In A Crystal Wind". Songs on it such as "Children of Darkness" and "Raven Girl" metaphorically describe the sense of personal torment and social destruction experiemced by a whole generation during the Vietnam Era


Tracklist:                                                     
A1Reflections In A Crystal Wind3:30
A2Bold Marauder4:24
A3Dopico3:58
A4A Swallow Song2:51
A5Chrysanthemum (Instr.)2:27
A6Sell-Out Agitation Waltz2:50
A7Hard-Loving Loser4:32
B1Mainline Prosperity Blues6:25
B2Allen's Interlude2:50
B3House Un-American Blues Activity Dream3:10
B4Raven Girl5:07
B5Miles (Instr.)2:53
B6Children Of Darkness4:00


Richard & Mimi Fariña ‎– Reflections In A Crystal Wind (1965)
(256 kbps, cover art included)
        

Judy Collins - Live At Newport 1959 - 1966

A 13-song compilation of material recorded at the 1959, 1963, 1964, and 1966 Newport Folk Festival; it would have been nice if they'd been able to document what year each song was recorded. In any case, "Live at Newport, 1959-1966" does reflect Judy Collins' artistic growth during this period, from an interpreter of strictly traditional fare to more contemporary material by Bob Dylan, Richard Farina, and others.

Highlights include her versions of "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Hey, Nelly Nelly," "Get Together," "Hard Lovin' Loser," and "The Great Silkie," which has the same melody the Byrds used for "I Come and Stand at Every Door" on their "Fifth Dimension" album.

All of the songs are previously unreleased, except "The Greenland Whale Fisheries," a duet with Theodore Bikel; on some tracks, Collins is accompanied on upright bass by Bill Lee, and on second guitar by Steve Mandell or Eric Weissberg. With good sound, a nice if not essential addition to the Collins catalog.     

Tracklist
1Introduction0:24
2The Greenland Whale Fisheries3:56
3Anathea4:22
4The Bonny Ship The Diamond2:44
5Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is A Season)4:07
6Blowin' In The Wind4:28
7Hey, Nelly Nelly3:16
8The Great Silkie5:34
9Carry It On3:02
10Hard Lovin' Loser3:07
11The Coming Of The Roads4:11
12Silver Dagger3:56
13Get Together2:58
14Bullgine Run3:02

Judy Collins - Live At Newport 1959 - 1966  
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Mimi & Richard Farina - Memories (1968)

A posthumous collection of odds and ends, this actually holds considerable appeal for anyone who likes their pair of fully realized albums. The 12 songs include a few studio outtakes, a few solo turns by Mimi on compositions written by Richard but incompletely recorded at the time of his death, a couple performances from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, and a couple of Joan Baez tracks from sessions for an aborted album Richard was producing with her. These leftovers are generally up to the standard of the two "real" albums, especially "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" (covered by Fairport Convention) and "Morgan the Pirate" (a farewell to Bob Dylan, according to the sketchy liner notes). The two cuts by Baez (which Richard wrote or co-wrote), especially the compellingly melancholy "All The World Has Gone By," are excellent, leading one to wonder if the projected album they came from would have been one of Baez's best if it had been completed. These may be leftovers, but it's a worthwhile collection nonetheless.                

This album is one of those very few works that truly points towards what might have been had tragedy not struck. Richard and Mimi Fariña had defined a very particular place for themselves by the middle of the sixties: they had released two critically acclaimed and highly influential albums in “Celebrations For A Grey Day” and “Reflections In A Crystal Wind” (both 1965) and Richard's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me had just been published in 1966. However Richard was to die in a motorcycle accident right after the launch party for this novel, never knowing how it would quickly become a cult success and remain in print for decades afterwards.

It is the musical legacy that we are concerned with here, and there can be no doubt that Richard and Mimi were trail-blazers as they were in the absolute vanguard of what became known as folk-rock, and we talk here not of the pop version of the Turtles, Grass Roots and PF Sloan, but of the highly intelligent re-invention of traditional folk music into new forms that would eventually lead to far better-known albums like Fairport Convention's “Liege And Lief”. Indeed Richard and Mimi's albums were amongst a select few in play rotation at Fairport (the house) in the early months of 1967.

After the first two albums, this one was a posthumous release in 1968, and culled tracks from some differing sources. There are some session out-takes, and some that could be called works-in-progress, and there are two live tracks taken from the pair's successful appearance at the 1965 Newport folk Festival. There are also two Richard Fariña productions of Joan Baez (Mimi's big sister) taking lead vocal on ‘A Swallow Song’ and ‘All The World Has Gone By’. The album begins with Mimi's achingly beautiful rendition of ‘The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’, associated later by many with Sandy Denny, and these Fairport family connections continue with the inclusion of the a capella ‘Blood Red Roses’ and ‘House Un-American Blues Activity Dream’ which were both reworked later by Ian Matthews. But such links should not take away from the beauty of the original works, as this was an album that proved how exciting their direction could have been with most of the songs written by Richard. Even with an instrumental, ‘Lemonade Lady’, that Richard plays on the dulcimer in an attacking and radical style far removed from the instrument's usual delicacy, there is music here that caught many ears in the sixties and continues to do so in the new century. One song that thrusts forward even more that the others is ‘Morgan The Pirate’, which is apparently Richard's 'farewell to Dylan'. Its structure and attacking framework is arguably the most interesting new direction that the pair could have followed, and could have certainly led them towards further and heavier electrification. With every track here fascinating, it is a release that can lead new listeners to more investigation of their small but incredibly rich catalogue.

Tracklist
The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood4:16
Joy 'Round My Brain3:45
Lemonade Lady2:00
Downtown (Instrumental)1:34
Almond Joy2:11
Blood Red Roses2:29
Morgan The Pirate5:45
Dopico (Instrumental)6:34
House Un-American Blues Activity Dream3:50
A Swallow Song2:45
All The World Has Gone By3:40
Pack Up Your Sorrows3:00

Mimi & Richard Farina - Memories (1968)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 18. September 2021

Klaus Renft Combo - RENFT (Amiga, 1974)

Dubbed "the bad boy of East German rock & roll," Klaus Renft epitomized youth rebellion in the Communist-controlled German Democratic Republic. Born Klaus Jentzsch on June 30, 1942, in Jena, Germany, he assembled the Klaus Renft Combo at age 16, assuming his mother's maiden name as his stage alias. Within months the group ran afoul of GDR authorities for its raw, frenetic rock, and in 1964 its leader dissolved the lineup, immediately forming a new group, the British Invasion-inspired Butlers. In response, the East German secret police, the Stasi, opened a file on Renft code-named "Wanderer," and in 1965 banned the Butlers from performing. Renft spent the next two years woodshedding, writing songs and honing covers of favorites including the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. 

When the GDR lifted its ban in 1967, Renft returned to the stage with longer hair and even more contempt for Stasi authority than before. Songs like "Autostop," "Wer die Rose ehrt" (He Who Honors the Rose), and "Der Apfeltraum" (The Apple Dream) were scrutinized by government censors and fans with equal fervor, and the intensity only grew when lyricist Gerulf Pannach joined the lineup in 1969, steering the Klaus Renft Combo in a more explicitly sociopolitical direction than ever before. 

Finally, on September 22, 1975, GDR authorities summoned Renft and his bandmates and informed them the group would officially cease to exist from that moment forward. A splinter group, Karussel, soon formed, but the Combo's back catalog deleted and its gigs canceled, Renft finally fled to West Germany, working at radio station Rias. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he relaunched his career, and in 1997 published an autobiography, Zwischen Liebe und Zorn (Between Love and Anger). Renft died in Löhma, Germany, on October 9, 2006.

This album offers intelligent and well-crafted pop rock, clearly one of the best releases from the GDR in the early 70s.


Tracklist:

Ich Bau Euch Ein Lied (I)
Nach Der Schlacht
Wiegenlied Für Susann'
Mama
Als Ich Wie Ein Vogel War
Gelbe Straßenbahnballade
Weggefährten
Ermutigung
Ich Und Der Rock
Irgendwann Werd' Ich Mal...
Ich Bau Euch Ein Lied (II)
Was Noch Zu Sagen Wär


Klaus Renft Combo - RENFT (Amiga, 1974)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Les Chœurs De L'Armée Soviétique (The Red Army Choir) - Les Choeurs De L' Armée Rouge A Paris (1961)

The Alexandrov Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army is Russia’s biggest military artistic team. October 12, 1928 is considered as the day of establishment of the Ensemble. On this day the team’s first performance took place within the premises of the Central House of the Red Army. At that time it included 12 persons. But by the middle of the 30-s the staff has increased up to 300 persons already and its fame has transcended the boundaries of the country.

During World War II, the ensemble gave over 1500 performances at both Soviet fronts, entertaining troops about to go into battle, at gun emplacements, airfields, and in hospitals.

The ensemble services are marked with the highest Russian awards, and the Diploma of the International exhibit in Paris “Grand-Prix” (1937), the rewards for the record edition of the gramophone recordings – “The Golden Discs” of the French company “Chan du Monde” (1964), the Dutch “N.O.S.” (1974) and the “Grand Prix de Disque” (1961) for the best disc of the year according to the French Academy of the gramophone recordings.

This album was the winner of the Grand Prix de Disque in the year 1961.           

Tracklist
A1La Chanson Du Bouleau3:30
A2Les Partisans3:25
A3Battu Par Les Vagues Froides4:40
A4Poème À L'Ukraine5:35
A5En Route3:57
A6Chœurs Des Soldats De Faust "Gloire Immortelle De Nos Aïeux"3:00
B1Le Chant Du Départ3:00
B2Plaine Ma Plaine3:00
B3Le Coucou Gris3:30
B4Chant Du Voyageur2:15
B5La Voisine2:14
B6Le Long De La Perterskaïa3:10
B7Chant De La Libération3:55



Les Chœurs De L'Armée Soviétique (The Red Army Choir) - Les Choeurs De L' Armée Rouge A Paris (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Christof Schlingensief - Three Radio Plays (Rocky Dutschke `68, Freakstars 3000 & Lager ohne Grenzen)

Christoph Schlingensief (born October 24, 1960 in Oberhausen, died August 21, 2010) was a German film director, theatre director, actor, author, artist, and talkshow host.

In the beginning he organized culture-events in the cellar of his parents house. Artists like Helge Schneider or Theo Jörgensmann performned at this place.
He created controversial and provocative theatre pieces as well as motion pictures. One of his main works, the so-called "Germany-Trilogy" consisting of the movies "Hundert Jahre Adolf Hitler"("A Hundred Years Of Adolf Hitler"), "Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker"("The German Chainsaw-Massacre) and "Terror 2000" which handle three markpoints in German history of the 20th century. While "Hundert Jahre Adolf Hitler" is about the last hours of Adolf Hitler, "Das deutsche Kettensägen-Massaker" heads the German reunion of 1989 and shows a few East-German people who cross the border to visit West-Germany and get slaughtered by a psychopathic family with non-running chainsaws. "Terror 2000" is about the 1970´s Red Army Faction terror in Germany.

In 1993 he debuted as a theatre director at the Berliner Volksbühne with “100 Years of the CDU – Games Without Frontiers”. This was followed by various projects outside the theatre, such as the Mission project for drug addicts and the homeless at Hamburg Central Station in 1997, “Passion Impossible – 7 Days Emergency Call for Germany” or, in 2000, the Big Brother game for asylum seekers in Vienna, “Please Love Austria”.

In 1997 he was arrested at documenta X during an art action because he used a sign with the inscription “Kill Helmut Kohl”. In 1998 he founded the party “Chance 2000” ("Opportunity 2000") and took part in the campaign for elections to the Bundestag.

Schlingensief is an extremely provocative artist and his major targets are the German and Austrian identity.

Christof Schlingensief produced a few radio plays, we present four of them in this posting:
"Lager ohne Grenzen" about the Kosovo war, "Freakstars 3000" about the normality of handicapped people and two versions of the mind-blowing radio play "Rocky Dutschke `68".

"Rocky Dutschke `68" was produced in 1997 by the WDR (German radio station) and won the "Prix Futura". It is a remake of a theatre play for the "Volksbühne" in Berlin.
This audio collage simulates a meeting of some student activists of the 1968 generation in a radio studio: Amonst others Wolf Biermann, Marget Kleinert (editor of the "Thoughts without pain"-broadcasting) and Heiner Müller are talking about hobbys, work and Rudi Dutschke. This fake broadcasting "assimilates" German history and present and reflects some phenomenons of our trivial media society. Full of provocation and cynicism it shows the thoughtless dealings with language, music and ideologic ideas.

"One of the best radio-shows I ever experienced," as R3000 wrote about this recording over at http://themoreyouthinkaboutit.blogspot.com/ - thanks a lot for bringing the work of Schlingensief back to my attention!

Maybe you want to read the other posting about Christof Schlingensief.

Christof Schlingensief - Three Radio Plays

Canciones De Las Brigadas Internacionales - Songs Of The International Brigade

The Spanish Civil War has been referred to as the last noble cause, or the last heroic war. It's also been said that if the British and the Americans had bothered with Spain, they could have prevented World War Two. The war lasted from 1936 through 1939 and by the end Fransico Franco had overthrown the democratically elected government.

The election prior to the outbreak of the war had seen a coalition government formed among moderate and socialist parties. The Republican government's goals were to reduce the power of the aristocracy and the Catholic Church and try to redress the economic disparity in the country.

Needless to say that went over like the proverbial ton of bricks with those who were going to have to surrender their power. Calling themselves The Nationalists, they formed an army under the leadership of Francisco Franco to overthrow the Republican government. They were supplied with weapons, air support, tanks, and troops by the governments of Italy and Germany almost immediately.
The Republicans received little or no official help from any government, save some assistance from the Soviet Union that was too little and too late. In some ways the Republican side was a typical venture of the left and centre in those, and even these days, where internal fights over power, took precedence over an enemy out to destroy you all. Soviet aid only became available after a faction acceptable to Moscow controlled a goodly portion of the doomed government.
The Spanish Civil War was also notable for two other reasons. It was where the Nazis first put into effect their practice of targeting strictly civilian targets for the sake of the effect on morale. First Guernica, rendered forever immortal by Picasso, then Madrid suffered through bombings.
The other was the fact that in spite of their own government's refusal to oppose Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco (until Hitler signed his infamous non-aggression pact with Stalin, he was actually seen as a bulwark against the Red hoards by far too many Western pundits) young men and women from around the world came to Spain on their own to fight for the Republican cause.
The International Brigade was composed of German, American, Canadian, and others from across Europe who came to fight the fascists. The American soldiers served in what became known as the Lincoln Brigade and became part of the 15th International Brigade. Since their own governments had refused to aid the Republicans, and in some instances had tried their best to prevent people from doing so, it wasn't very surprising that the returning soldiers at the end of the war were ignored in their own countries.

Some, like the Germans and the Italian, had to become refugees because they couldn't go home. When it became obvious that nothing was going to be done to honour their efforts, and in fact official policy has been to ignore the veterans of Spain almost entirely, Pete Seeger and the Almanac singers recorded seven songs that had been sung by the Lincoln Brigade while marching. In 1943 they were released as part of an album called "Songs Of The Lincoln Brigade".
It has been next to impossible to find this and other music of the Spanish Civil War. But now thanks to a Spanish label, Discmedi, the songs and other music of the war have been released on a great CD called "Canciones De Las Brigadas Internacionales (Songs Of The International Brigade)".
The first seven songs are the aforementioned tracks from "Songs Of The Lincoln Brigade", which have been beautifully digitally remastered so they sound great. The six songs following that were originally released in 1940, but had been recorded during the war. The German actor Ernst Busch, who was already living in exile from Hitler due to his politics, recorded six songs with a chorus of soldiers called "Six Songs For Democracy".
They were recorded in the men's barracks so if you listen closely you can hear background noises of wartime activity. Again the sound is great, and it's really nice not to hear these songs like they're being sung to you via a sewer pipe. The only previous recording I had heard of them was so full of echoes it was almost impossible to hear what was being sung.

Following these 13 tracks, the producers of the disc have gathered together some performances of these and other songs of the period by different performers as bonus tracks. Six of them are by Ernst Busch again and are Spanish versions of some of the songs that had been performed by Pete Seeger and The Almanac Singers on the "Songs Of The Lincoln Brigade" album. Again he has recorded them with soldiers serving during the war, and in fact this recording was interrupted by Franco's bombing of Barcelona. On occasion you can hear where a brown-out is occurring as the sound starts to fade away: life during wartime indeed.
Ernst's voice may not be what a North American audience would expect from a musical theatre actor, but he had been working with Bertolt Brecht in Germany, and they had a different attitude towards what sound they wanted on stage. Brecht wasn't interested in pretty, or in polish; he wanted the audience to listen to the words being sung to them, not to just sit back and enjoy the music.
After Busch, we have a brief visit from Woody Guthrie as he sings his version of "Jarama Valley". What's great about this song, as you will have noticed in The Almanac Singers' version earlier on the disc, is that the tune is "Red Rive Valley". The soldiers who wrote these songs had done what was fairly typical for the day, and just changed the lyrics of songs they were already familiar with to make them suit their needs.
The last four songs on the disc are from what I consider two of the United States' finest treasures; The Weavers and Paul Robeson. Paul Robeson was a star football player, Broadway and Hollywood actor, and amazing singer. He was also Black and left wing, which in the 1940s and 50s meant he was considered a threat to society.
He had his passport revoked by the American government so he could no longer do concert tours in Europe. This pretty much guaranteed the end of his singing career, as very few venues in the States would book anyone who was blacklisted by Joe McCarthy. But here we find him in full beautiful voice singing two of the songs he learned from the soldiers when he went to Spain during the War to lend his support to the cause. His version of "The Peat-Bog Soldiers" has to be one of the best I've ever heard.

The last two songs included are by the Weavers. Somehow or other the Weavers were able to play the music of the Spanish Civil War during the 1950's in places like Carnegie Hall without people really twigging to what was going on. Included here are two of those songs; both were recorded in Carnegie Hall but one in the fifties and one in their reunion concert in the eighties.

In Spain today the soldiers who fought in the International Brigade are still considered heroes of the country, in North America, where they came from, they've either been almost completely forgotten, and even worse some were treated like criminals by their own governments. Canciones De Las Brigades Internacionales is wonderful tribute to men who have been ignored for too long.
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(192 kbps)

The Red Army Ensemble - Volume 2 - Recorded Live In London, 1963


The Alexandrov Ensemble was the official army choir of the Russian armed forces. Founded during the Soviet era, the ensemble consists of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance ensemble.

The Alexandrov Ensemble has entertained audiences both in Russia and throughout the world, performing a range of music including folk tunes, hymns, operatic arias, and popular music. The group's repertoire has included The Volga Boatmen's Song, Katyusha, Kalinka, and Ave Maria.

The ensemble is named for its first director, Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov. Its formal name since 1998 is Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army named after A. V. Alexandrov, shortened to Academic Ensemble.

During World War II, the Ensemble gave over 1500 performances at both Soviet fronts, entertaining troops about to go into battle, at gun emplacements, airfields, and in hospitals.

Following the death of Alexander Alexandrov, the Ensemble was taken over by his son, Boris Alexandrovich Alexandrov. Under his leadership, the Ensemble gained fame outside the Soviet Union, making extensive tours worldwide.

Boris Alexandrov was a composer, arranger, conductor, music critic, artist and teacher: an important 20th century figure in Russian military music. He saw to the training and promotion of many fine soloists. After World War II, the ensemble, led by Boris Alexandrov, travelled abroad sixty-eight times and was well received in many countries throughout Europe. He carried on the central idea which drove his father: that the choir was central to the ensemble, and that without the choir there would be no ensemble.

Tracklist:

A1 The Courageous Don Cossacks
A2 Beautiful Moonlit Night (Ukrainian Folk Song)
A3 Kamarinskaya (Russian Folk Song)
A4 Ah! Lovely Night (Russian Folk Song)
A5 You Are Always Beautiful
A6 Kalinka (Russian Folk Song)
B1 A Birch Tree Stood In The Meadow (Russian Folk Song)
B2 Song Of The Plains
B3 Poem Of The Ukraine
B4 Annie Laurie (Scottish Folk Song)
B5 Zaparozhtsi Dance (Soldiers' Dance)
                       
Credits:

Chorus Master, Conductor– Colonel Konstantin Vinogradov
Directed By, Conductor– Major Vladimir Alexandrov
Directed By, Conductor [Principle]– Colonel Boris Alexandrov

The Red Army Ensemble - Volume 2 - Recorded Live In London 1963
(192 kbps, cover art included, vinyl rip)

Freitag, 17. September 2021

Mikis Theodorakis - Requiem

Originally posted in November 2015.

Requiems are masses sung in memory of loved ones who have passed away, eg. sung in a burial ceremony. This album is dramatic, haunting, brilliantly recorded... Theodorakis's use of boys choir against a backdrop of really deep voices is simply stunning. He calls it giving the requiem 'life in the midst of death'.A sombre and sad subject, but this requiem is anything but - it actually manages to be rather uplifting and courageous.

Mikis Theodorakis wrote about his requiem:

"After »Kassiani« (Liturgical Hymn – 1942) and »Holy Mass« (1982), I composed last year the »Requiem« (1984).

The musical language that I used for this work is completely different from the one used for the two previous ones. I believed that the introduction of the female voice – as a soloist – and the sound of the children’s choir were necessary.

The contrast of the young voices, as an aggressive presence of life towards death helps us to pass over the vise of an inevitable phenomenon.

The text belongs to John of Damascus (Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός). It is one of the most important intellectual, philosophical and poetic achievements and helps us to find the real dimensions in the world order of the things.

It invites us to delve into ourselves in order to find »the light that burns« and the real and deep meaning of the human being.

I dedicate this symphony to the dead of the Massacre of Kalavryta."
- Mikis Theodorakis (1985)

Tracklist:
1Evlogitos O Theos12:09
2Evlogitos Ei Kyrie9:27
3Doxa - To Trilampes5:31
4Pia Tou Biou Tryfi3:25
5Oimoi, Oion Agona6:24
6Pou Estin I Tou Kosmou3:19
7Emnisthin Tou Profitou6:29
8Kat' Eikona Sin Kai Omoiosin3:24
9Doxa Patri2:10
10Makarioi6:08
11Exelthomen6:32
12Amin6:51

Mikis Theodorakis - Requiem
(320 kbps, cover art included)


In memory of the victims in Paris.

Donnerstag, 16. September 2021

Zülfü Livaneli & Mikis Theodorakis – Güneş Topla Benim İçin (1985)

From the back cover:

Two internationally renowned musicians, Mikis Theodorakis from Greece and Zülfü Livaneli from Turkey, have – at a time of considerable political tension between their two countries – made a record together. Five compositions by each of the two artists were recorded in Instanbul and in Athens respectively.

For 18 weeks this LP was top of the Turkish charts, and in September 1986, the 'Golden Record' was presented to Mikis Theodorakis personally in Istanbul.
"I am glad that this cooperation with my highly esteemed colleague Livaneli has given me a chance to get in touch with the Turkish people, whom I have always appreciated and loved. I hope that this small, but symbolic Turkish-Greek cooperation should herald – like a first swallow – the spring in the relations between our two peoples!" - Mikis Theodorakis, Athens, 24th January 1986

Above I've used the title of the original Turkish release because it should be known to more readers. This German re-release is quite rare and has his own little history. For the German market the track order has been altered and the title "Together" was chosen, 12 years later it was used again for the 1997 live CD recorded during a concert in Berlin by these 2 artists.

This vinyl record is the only release ever on that label. In fact Ararat Verlag was a little book editor run by a Turkish immigrant serving the Turkish community and those Germans interested in Turkish culture with literature, poetry and children's books in Turkish language, often also including a German translation. Today the book shop has developed into a framing and print shop, and a second one with graphics and postcards for the many tourists, still at the old address.

Tracklist:
01. Zülfü Livaneli & Mikis Theodorakis • O Günler · Τώρα στα ογδόντα έξι · Jene Tage · Those days 02:55
02. Zülfü Livaneli • Güneş Topla Benim İçin · Sammle Sonne ein für mich · Gather the sun for me 04:12
03. Zülfü Livaneli • Yanyana · Seite an Seite · Together 04:19
04. Zülfü Livaneli • Bizim · Unser · Ours 03:01
05. Zülfü Livaneli • Kırlangıç · Eine Schwalbe · The swallow 03:15
06. Zülfü Livaneli • Geceleyin · Nachts · At night 02:59
07. Zülfü Livaneli • Sevgiyle · Mit Liebe · With love 02:48
08. Zülfü Livaneli • Memik Oğlan · Der junge Memik · Young Memik 04:19
09. Sevingül Bahadır • Hep Seni Anar · Erinnerung · Always in thoughts of you 02:19
10. Zülfü Livaneli • Selam Olsun · Der Gruß · Welcome 04:46

Recorded by Fazıl Atuk at Studio Pan, Istanbul, and Yannis Smirneos at Studio Polysound, Athens
© Ararat Verlag, Bergmannstr. 99a, 1000 Berlin 61 Kreuzberg

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Milva - Von Tag zu Tag (Songs of Mikis Theodorakis) (1978)

Singer and actress Milva reigned for decades among the most popular and far-ranging performers in her native Italy. Born Maria Ilva Biolcati in Goro on July 17, 1939, at 20 she beat out more than 7,000 rivals to claim top honors in an influential talent showcase, and in 1960 cut her debut single, a cover of Édith Piaf's "Milord."

In 1961 Milva earned third place at the influential San Remo Music Festival. A year later she came in second and returned to the competition often in the years to follow despite never earning first prize. In 1962 Milva headlined Paris' legendary Olympia Theatre, performing a set of Piaf songs to rapturous reception. Soon after, she befriended actor and director Giorgo Strehler, who nurtured her interest in musical theater and encouraged the expansion of her repertoire, recommending works spanning from the Italian resistance movement to Bertold Brecht. Milva would become the first actress outside of Germany to prove successful in Brecht adaptations, in addition moving into film, appearing in Mario Mattoli's musical comedy Appuntamento in Riviera.

She remained a remarkably eclectic and adventurous performer in the years to follow, collaborating with composers including Luciano Berio, Ennio Morricone, Mikis Theodorakis, and Ástor Piazzolla and performing at venues including Milan's La Scala, Berlin's Deutsche Oper, London's Royal Albert Hall, and even the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.              

"Von Tag zu Tag" is an album with songs of Mikis Theodorakis, released in 1978.

Tracklist:

01. Zu Hause
02. Zusammenleben
03. Ist er den Kummer denn auch wert
04. Sowas hilft
05. Wir fliegen durch die Wolken
06. Vater
07. Die Macht der Gewohnheit
08. Von Tag zu Tag
09. Du bist so klein
10. Ich hab mich spät von dir befreit
11. Freiheit, Gleicheit und so weiter

Milva - Von Tag zu Tag (Songs of Mikis Theodorakis) (1978)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mikis Theodorakis & Maria Farantouri - Poetica

In the '90s, Mikis Theodorakis had a major asset in singer Maria Farantouri, who handles all of the vocals on "Poetica".

Blessed with a gorgeous voice and a fantastic range, Farantouri brings a great deal of charisma and humanity to such Theodorakis melodies as "With Half a Moon," "Color of Love" and "Sobbing Angels."

Theodorakis is a superb composer - one of the true poets of Greek pop, to be sure - and Farantouri has the sensitivity and depth needed for his songs.

Interestingly, "Poetica" wasn't recorded in Greece, but was recorded for the German Peregrina label at a studio in Ludwigsburg, Germany. In fact, the band that Theodorakis leads on this album, is comprised of German musicians. Highly recommended. 

  
Mikis Theodorakis & Maria Farantouri - Poetica   
(256 kbps, small front cover included)

Liaisons Dangereuses - Liaisons Dangereuses (1981)

Despite the number of fitting associations that have been drawn -- from the Normal to Throbbing Gristle to Suicide to D.A.F. to Nitzer Ebb -- Liaisons Dangereuses remains a very odd and unique album. Cobbled together from a series of four ten-minute cassettes that were then compiled and mixed (at Conny Plank's studio) for wider release in 1981, the album had a profound effect on EBM (electronic body music): a rigid, cold, unrelentingly pulsating form of dance music made with electronics. 

Its overriding characteristics also informed early Chicago house music, with its jack-inducing twitch, which also means its effect sent ripples on through Detroit techno. 

40 years after its release, tracks like "Los Niños del Parque" continue to feature in DJ set lists. What often gets overlooked with this record is how it could just as easily be categorized as post-punk or even no wave -- check the loosely tethered sax squonks in the whip-snapping "Etre Assis Ou Danser," or the dissonant scrapes and drones in "Dupont" and "Apértif de la Mort." Co-ed vocals speak, shout, and harangue in a mix of Spanish, German, French, and busted English. "Peut Être... Pas," one of the more adroit dancefloor-friendly tracks, places wavering synth jabs and squiggles over a couple of brittle percussive elements and a bass foundation that's closer to a series of prickly jerks than a line; an emphatic male voice grunts nervously while a female off into the distance randomly pipes in with sudden shrieks and brief phrasings. On "El Macho y la Nena," a violently coiled-up track simmers throughout; here, the male voice is much closer to a constipated, Spanish-speaking version of Suicide's Alan Vega, spitting out gruff, clipped segments, which are answered by girlish squeaks. If one can't get off on the still-thrilling noises on this album, she or he can at least appreciate its bizarreness.

Tracklist:

A1 Mystère Dans Le Brouillard 4:25
A2 Los Niños Del Parque 5:00
A3 Etre Assis Ou Danser 3:25
A4 Aperitif De La Mort 3:40
A5 Kess Kill Fé Show 3:28
B1 Peut Être ... Pas 6:18
B2 Avant-Après Mars 3:48
B3 El Macho Y La Nena 3:58
B4 Dupont 3:50
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 15. September 2021

Element Of Crime - Try To Be Mensch (1987)

Element of Crime is a German rock band that plays melancholic chanson, pop and rock music with guitar, bass guitar, drums, voice and trumpet. The band was found in Berlin in 1985, shortly after a different Berlin-based band to which Sven Regener (vocals, guitar, and trumpet) and Jakob Ilja (guitar) belonged dissolved. 

Not wanting to quit music, however, the duo added bassist Paul Lukas, drummer Uwe Bauer, and saxophonist Jürgen Fabritius, called themselves Element of Crime and started playing around town. The band's name is borrowed from the title of the movie "The Element of Crime" by Lars von Trier. In 1986 their debut full-length, "Basically Sad", was released on indie label ATA TAK, after which Polydor began to take interest in the group. 

Before they could get to work on their next album, however, Bauer and Fabritius both left. Though a drum replacement was found in the form of Richard Pappik, who joined in 1986, the group decided to move forward without a saxophonist, and issued their next record, "Try to Be Mensch", produced by John Cale, in 1987.


Tracklist:
No God Anymore (3:49)
She'll Never Die (2:59)
You Shouldn't Be Lonely (3:12)
As Long As I Love You (2:30)
Don't You Smile (5:19)
Something Was Wrong (3:43)
Beware Of Strangers (3:37)
He's Gone (3:15)
The Last Dance (3:21)
Nervous & Blue (4:31)
He Wakes Up In The Morning (Daddy, Daddy) (2:54)


The album was recorded at Fire House, London. and by John Cale, who also played keyboards on track 4, 5, 7, and 10.

Element Of Crime - Try To Be Mensch (1987)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 13. September 2021

The Almanac Singers ‎– Songs For John Doe (1941)

Songs for John Doe is the 1941 debut album and first released product of the Almanac Singers, an influential early folk music group.

The album was released in May 1941, at a time when World War II was raging but the United States remained neutral. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were still at peace, as provided by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. American Communists and "fellow travelers", including the Almanacs, followed the anti-interventionist stance dictated by the Soviet Union through the Comintern, which accounts for the appearance of anti-war songs on the album.

However, on June 22, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Almanacs changed direction and began agitating for U.S. intervention in Europe. Songs for John Doe was quickly pulled from distribution, and those who had already purchased copies were asked to return them. After the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, in February 1942 the Almanacs went into the studio to record a set of songs supporting the American war effort. The new political line was evident on the group's 1942 album, "Dear Mr. President".


For the album, six masters were recorded in a two- or three-hour session. "'C' For Conscription" and "Washington Breakdown" were recorded as a single take.

Tracklist:

A Strange Death Of John Doe
B Billy Boy
C Ballad Of October 16th
D Plow Under
E1 C For Conscription
E2 Washington Breakdown
F Liza Jane

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Alexandrow Ensemble - Der Chor der Roten Armee - Rodina Moja

The "Alexandrow Ensemble" was formed out of the Frunze Red Army Central House in 1928, after Marshall Voroshilov, Minister of Defence, asked A.V. Alexandrov to create a military choir. There is also a story that Stalin then asked Alexandrov to relocate the choir to Moscow. Under the name Red Army Song Ensemble of the M. V. Frunze Red Army Central House or the “Red Army Choir”, twelve soldier-performers – a vocal octet, a bayan player, 2 dancers, and a reciter – officially performed for the first time on October 12, 1928 under the direction of their conductor, Alexandr Alexandrov, a young music professor at the Moscow Conservatory. The program, entitled The 22nd Krasnodar Division in Song, consisted mainly of short musical scenes of military life, including Songs of the First Cavalry Army, The Special Far-Eastern Army, and Song about Magnitostroi.
In 1929, the ensemble visited the far eastern lands of the Soviet Union, entertaining the troops working on the Far Eastern railway.
With the goal of developing amateur art within the ranks of the army and to encourage soldiers’ interest in good music, the ensemble grew to 300 performers by 1933, comprising three different forces of a male choir, an orchestra, and an ensemble of dancers. The Red Army Choir became known as a propagator of Soviet songs, performing original compositions by composers such as Vasily Solovyov-Sedoy, Anatoli Novikov, Matvey Blanter and Boris Mokrousov.
In 1935, the choir was bestowed the Order of the Red Banner and was renamed the Red Army Red-Bannered Song and Dance Ensemble of the USSR.
Having traveled widely throughout the Soviet Union, from the Arctic north to the sands of Tajikistan, the choir performed at the International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life held in 1937 in Paris, France; it won the Grand Prix, the highest honor bestowed by the jury.
During World War II, the ensemble gave over 1500 performances at both Soviet fronts, entertaining troops about to go into battle, at gun emplacements, airfields, and in hospitals.
Following the death of Alexander Alexandrov, the Ensemble was taken over by his son, Boris Alexandrovich Alexandrov. Under his leadership, the Ensemble gained fame outside the Soviet Union, making extensive tours worldwide. Boris Alexandrov retired in 1987, and was succeeded by People’s Artist of Russia Igor Agafonnikov the same year, with Anatoly Maltsev as the ensemble chief. He retired as the principal conductor in 1994; he died that year and was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery. He was succeeded by Victor Fedorov, the chorus master since 1986.
This album is a compilation with songs originally released in the 1940s and 1950s on shellac.
Tracklist:
  1. Hymne der Sowjetunion
  2. Lied der Sowjetarmee
  3. Mein Heimatland
  4. Lied vom Vaterland
  5. Ruf der Heimat
  6. Der heilige Krieg
  7. Auf dem Wege
  8. Sing, Soldat sing
  9. Unser MG-Karren  
  10. Durchs Gebirge, durch die Steppe  
  11. Jugend
  12. Es wird Zeit sich auf dem Weg zu machen
  13. Ich ging durch die ganze Welt die Liebste zu finden  
  14. Im Walde sang der Kanarienvogel
  15. Feldchen, mein Feld
  16. Anuschka
  17. Volkstanz  
  18. Wiegenlied - Guten Abend, gute Nacht
(256 kbps, cover art included)