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private 9 001 private 9 002I think this is a fabulous record, even though I have not played it yet!

Philips Records issued this record “Misa Criolla” or in English ” the Creole Mass” in 1965. Primarily known at first for their excellent recordings of classical music, this record appeared in their Connoisseur Series, according to the gold foil stamp on the cover. The Mass is based on the rhythm and traditions of Hispanic America. The music and the mass were written by the Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez born in Santa Fe, in 1921. The songs are sung by the group Los Fronterizos, a nationally known group founded in Salta in 1953. The Argentine poet Felix Luna elaborated  the lyrics. The entire Mass is based on popular Argentine folklore and rhythm taken  from the Chacarera Trunca, popular in Santiago del Estero. The composer Ramirez obtained the support of Padre Segade, founder of the Choir of the Basilica del Socorro in Buenos Aires.

private 9 004The album has a heavy card stock cover with a multi-page insert pasted in, that is apparently one of the characteristics of this particular series. The art in the insert is superbly done by A. Kleinhof, about whom I know absolutely nothing. Who was he or she? How many other record covers with inserts were illustrated by this person?

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To my surprise, the album included a rare piece of advertising, listing records already issued in this series and apparently the Connoisseur Series does not only contain Classical Music but varies from French Chansons to African Religious music. I did not buy this record for the music alone, but primarily for the art in the album, everything else is a wonderful bonus.

private 9 011private 9 010These type of records are a significant contribution to the social history of religion as a whole, media and the spread of graphic design on records pioneered by Steinweiss for Columbia Records, as well as, an important contribution to our knowledge of Latin American music, and its influence and expression and Hispanic Culture in general. An under appreciated resource in many museum exhibitions, probably considered too much popular culture and too low brow by the many curators sucking on Picassos and German Expressionists.

img938img940img939img941For music lovers who want to known more about Philips and Mercury Records, in particular, go to this wonderful Japanese website (in English) and you will find superb exacting details on Jazz music on the Mercury (Philips label) done by a Japanese expert on Jazz!

Perhaps there is an aficionado out there among my blog readers who can enlighten me, and tell me more about the Philips Connoisseur label. How about it? Email us at twicemodern@aol.com include in the subject heading Philips Connoisseur label.