Įdainavo Karalienes Aniolu Parapijos Choras – Loja Šunes Ant Kiemo

I think unaccompanied choirs are often ignored in non-classical 78rpm record collecting – they lack solo instrumental virtuosity, they tend not to be “raw,” and instead appear to be, at least on the surface, overly influenced by religion and/or western harmonic concepts. Even the choir records I have from Africa are probably less desirable, simply because they display the formality of a choir. Perhaps they are avoided for the same reason one might avoid records of British folk songs sung by a Folk Song Society.

While all these reasons are valid and make me ruminate far more intensely than I should, I actually enjoy a lot of choir music. It’s still folk music, and I just can’t seem to get rid of it, as I find unaccompanied folk singing to be sort of a wonderful act. Recently, a friend graciously gave me a stack of early Lithuanian records. I ended up discarding nearly all of the 30 or so records – except for the folk song choirs! Which were all recorded poorly on Columbia Records in the 19-teens. Totally unsaleable records! He must have pegged me as an easy mark.

I think of Ian Nagoski’s choice of including a recording of a Handel piece on piano smashed between 78s from Vietnam and Greece on his Black Mirror CD. Such seemingly radical sequencing suits me just fine – I believe there should be more of it, but maybe that’s the academic anti-academic taking hold. However, interconnectivity exists wherever you seek to find it. And maybe you’ll find something, as I did, in this Lithuanian Folk Song, recorded acoustically (and distantly) by Columbia in New York City ca. 1917, and performed by Brooklyn’s own Įdainavo Karalienes Aniolu Parapijos Choras. I had some difficulty translating the title, but I believe it’s something to the effect of “Dogs Barking on the Farm.”

Įdainavo Karalienes Aniolu Parapijos Choras – Loja Šunes Ant Kiemo

And if you enjoyed my December post on son huasteco music, Chimatli has a wonderful, media-filled post on the music. Check it out here!

Technical Notes
Label: Columbia
Issue Number: E3290
Matrix Number: 44619

13 thoughts on “Įdainavo Karalienes Aniolu Parapijos Choras – Loja Šunes Ant Kiemo

  1. what’s not to like!!!! this is beautiful. a room full of simplicity and human awkwardness. i’d rather hear regular folks in a room than bravado or affectation any day. down with collectors who go by the book of cool… long live the democracy of ears and hearts, and all the records we love that are worthless on the collector market! 🙂

  2. Other choral recordings that are worthless on the collector market (to the best of my knowledge):
    -the Maori choir stuff, all of it missionary-taught material on Columbia and plenty sweet.
    -some Swiss yodeling records. I have one on Columbia in beat shape but a killer, performance-wise.
    -a 1934 recording of the Miss pro Defunctis (Mass for the Dead) performed over 10 12″ sides for Victor in upper Manhattan by prepubescant boys. (Incluedes the Dies Irea – “Wrath of God” – which was dopped by the Catholic church from the mass in ’67! practically whispered by boys to you on the recording… wikipedia has a traslation of the medeival poem. ouch!)

    I agree, there’s plenty of good meat outside of the received aesthetic bounds…

  3. ps. lots of Amelita Galli-Curci records, which are virtually worthless but goddamn INTENSE!

  4. I totally agree with you. I have a bunch of the Rotorua Maori Choir recorded ca. 1930 on NZ Columbia, and yes, I will admit in public: they are fine records, I don’t care who ends up shivering with dismay. As long as they are performing their own compositions, which they are, it’s a-ok by me. The choir is still active, I believe.

  5. About translation: “įdainavo” means “sung by”, “Karalienės Aniolu Parapijos Choras” translates as “Queen’s Parish Of Angels Choir”, “Loja Šunes Ant Kiemo” – “The Dogs Are Barking In The Yard”. It would be hard to translate this using dictionary because some of the words used are archaic – partly lithuanian, partly samogitian – foreigners might not know it – but lithuanian language evolved very fast in past – while it’s hard for lithuanian person to understand a book printed in 1900 – a book printed in 1840 is virtually unreadable – most of the words have changed since then – and google translator won’t help you with old lithuanian texts 🙂
    And, by the way, never discard lithuanian records – they are highly valuable in lithuania – especially 78’s by D. Dolskis or A. Sabaniauskas – those records fetch high prices (locally)…

  6. Interestingly, I did end up trading those Lithuanian discs that I “discarded” (meaning – moved to my back room!) to a Lithuanian collector in Sweden – they went to a good home.

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