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Raymond Agoult (Conductor)

Born: July 1, 1911 - Hungary
Died: July 20, 1992 - England

Raymond A. Agoult was a conductor and composer. There is very little written about him. Hungarian born, Agoult lived in London on Fellows Road in the St. John's Wood district. In 1954, the BBC considered him to conduct their new Scottish Variety Orchestra. but in early 1955 the job instead went to Michael Collins. Agoult was instead invited to form a new variety orchestra for the Morning Music and Music While You Work radio programs. This became known as Raymond Agoult and His Players, sixteen members strong. In the 1960’s he conducted the BBC Radio Orchestra, and in the 1970’s he conducted Raymond Agoult and the Master Band for the Brass and Strings' and Friday Night Is Music Night.

Raymond Agoult conducted two albums, both for Decca Records. These albums were coproductions with RCA, utilizing Decca engineers and producers. The recordings were first released by RCA in the USA in the early stereo era, and reissued by Decca (London) later:

“Overture! Overture” (RCA/London; then titled Favorite Overtures, and including some additional overtures recorded by Albert Wolff) was recorded by producer Erik Smith (stereo) and James Walker (mono) and engineer Cyril Windebank (stereo) and Kenneth Wilkinson (mono) at Kingsway Hall on January 9 and February 5, 1957. This album was also released under the title Overtures - in Spades (RCA). Six overtures by four composers were included.
“Clair de Lune” (RCA/London) was recorded by engineer Kenneth Wilkinson and producer Michael Williamson in May 28-31, 1958 at Walthamstow Assembly Hall. Nine light classical pieces are included.
Each of these albums became audiophile standards highly rated for their sound qualities. They were re-released as vinyl records decades later by Classic Records under license from PolyGram Special Markets with their original RCA artwork and liner notes and “shaded dog” record labels intact.

The New Symphony Orchestra of London and the London Proms Symphony Orchestra (recording orchestras) are listed on these recordings. These are apparently the same orchestra since for Clair de Lune, RCA listed the London Proms Symphony Orchestra and the later London reissue listed The New Symphony Orchestra of London.

Compositions and arrangements

Amongst Raymond Agoult’s compositions for band are Bulgarian Bugle Boy (which was recorded by The Scottish C.W.S. Band on Pye). He also composed two additional compositions for band, Culloden and Caramba!. His Caramba! is likely the work heard on the LP “What We Want is Watney's Silver Band” (MFP). Other compositions for light orchestra include Bessie Larkin, La Canniebiere, Honouring the Haggis, Madame Guillotine and Betty Dear, the latter composition being dedicated to his wife. Agoult also made an arrangement of When Johnny Comes Marching Home which can be heard on a recording with the Band of the Grenadier Guards (Entertainment Sales). Other arrangements for band by Agoult include the Coronation March from Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer and the Grand March from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.


Source: Wikipedia Website (June 2010)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2010)

Recordings of Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach’s Works




Raymond Agoult


Bach-Bantock: Chorale Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleeper Awake) (Mvt. 4) from Cantata BWV 140, transcribed for orchestra

Links to other Sites

Raymond Agoult and his Players

Raymond Agoult (Wikipedia)

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