Stories

Dora Stratou
(November 5, 1903 - January 15, 1988)


This is the start of a story about Dora Stratou. It will be extended in next updates of the site. We start with a discography and the first audio tracks which you can find here. The story is written and compiled in collaboration with Hugo Strötbaum Hugo's website.


Introduction

Dora Stratou

Within the group of women who played an important role in the preservation of intangible cultural heritage (music and dance) in Greece (Dora Stratou, Domna Samiou and Melpo Merlier), Dora Stratou is the least known outside Greece. Given the quality of the music and dance she deserves more attention for the work she did during the nearly thirty years she led the group.

Discography

The American recordings by Esoteric Records and licensed reissues

Jerry Newman was the owner and recording engineer of Esoteric Records. The recordings took place in the first months of 1954 during the America tour of the group. The quality of the recordings are very good. Newman used an Ampex tape recorder and two Telefunken U 47 microphones (these microphones are still produced these days). He published two records in 1954. Later on he changed the name of the company in Counterpoint Records. It is unclear if the contacts with Vogue/Counterpoint played a role in his decision. It is a fact that he was in Europe (France) for a longer time and he had contact with Vogue, that also ran the label Counterpoint. In 1963 Esoteric/Counterpoint was sold to Everest Records. These two essential records were reissued by other companies, in most cases after the company was acquired by Everest. Most reissues were officially licensed, but sometimes simply "stolen". More details can be found below. There were different names used: "Royal Greek Festival Company", "Dora Stratou Greek Dance Company", "Panegyris". The latter was not the name of the group, but the name of the program.

The notes on the back side of the record sleeves were written by the renowned Greek ethnomusicologist Fivos Anoyanakis. Sometimes these notes were used on reissues.

This is the first Esoteric record ES 527. The original, with title Volume I "Greek Folk Songs and Dances". Issued in 1954. There was also a French version of Volume I, Counterpoint.
This is the second Esoteric record ES 531. The original, with title Volume II "Island and Mountain Songs". Issued in 1954. There was also a French version of Volume II, Counterpoint MC 20.092.

This is the first reissue of Esoteric record ES 527 after Newman changed the name from Esoteric in Counterpoint in 1957. The label name and catalogue number became Counterpoint CPT 527. A stereo version was also issued as Counterpoint CPST-5527; the date of this reissue is unknown.

This is the first reissue of Esoteric record ES 531 after Newman changed the name from Esoteric to Counterpoint in 1957. The label name and catalogue number became Counterpoint CPT 531. As far as known a stereo version was not issued.

Reissue by Concert Hall/Musical Masterpiece Society in 1961. This was not issued in the United States, but only in Germany, France and Israel. From each medley one item was removed, perhaps for commercial reasons.

Reissue of the first volume, this time licensed from Everest Records in the sixties, by Mode Disques,a sub label of Vogue as Mode Disques MDEVR 9326.

Reissue of the second volume, this time licensed from Everest Records in the sixties, by Mode Disques, a sub label of Vogue as Mode Disques MDEVR 9329.

This is a 7 inch 45 rpm record with six tracks from Volume 1, issued in 1958, by Vogue. It was issued when there existed a Vogue Counterpoint label.

This is a 7 inch 45 rpm record with six tracks from Volume II, Date of issue unknown (somewhere in the sixties) by Disques Pop – SPO 17074, a sub label of Vogue.

A reissue by Everest Records (SDBR 3368/3) in a three record box set. Volume I, Volume II and a third volume with tracks played by Greek immigrants from the US. The last record does not contain very interesting tracks.

Reissue by Olympic (not to be confused with the US label Olympic) CPTG 50000. Issued after 1967 when the business of RCA Victor Greece was taken over by Philips.

A reissue by Vedette Records (VRMS 350) of Volume I in Italy. Date is unknown.

Reissue of Volume I by Olympic Records (USA) OL-6106 in 1974. Olympic Records was distributed by Everest Records.

Reissue of Volume II by Olympic Records (USA) OL-6140 in 1974.

Reissue by Legacy International CD 318 in 1994. Contains the B-side of Volume I and the complete Volume II. This was the first reissue on CD. The issue date is unknown.

Reissue of Volume II on a CD of the Tradition label, which Rykodisc acquired from Everest Records. The liner notes are from the original Esoteric record, without mentioning the author of the notes.

Reissue by Priceless Collections COL-CD-0866 in 2007. They licensed the content from Everest Records. The content is the same as the Legacy International CD, the B-side of Volume I and the complete Volume II.

Bootlegs are circulating OF the Esoteric Records with fancy labels like this one. Amazon used this label picture in the past to sell mp3 tracks from the Dora Stratou Dance Company.

Other recordings of Dora Stratou from the sixties and seventies

During this period more companies issued records with new recordings.

10 inch record, recorded by Philips (N 00745 R). Later licensed to Columbia (see next item) which was issued as a 12 inch LP record, it must have been issued before 1958.
Issued by Columbia Records (CBS) (WL 123) in 1958. Licensed from Philips, see previous item.RCA Victor issued two volumes in 1966 with recordings of the Dora Stratou Dance Company in two versions. A Greek and an international version. This is the Greek version with catalogue number LPMG 9 (see sleeve picture). The international version has number FPM 133. There was also an Olympic Greece version with number SBL 1038. When RCA Victor left the Greek market in 1967, Philips Greece took over the portfolio and reissued the record in 1996 on CD on their sub label Fidelity 532 834.
RCA Victor issued two volumes in 1966 with recordings of the Dora Stratou Dance Company in two versions. A Greek and an international version. This is the international version with catalogue number FSP 161 (this sleeve picture). It is unknown if there was a Greek version. There was an Olympic Greece version with number BL 1057. When RCA Victor left the Greek market in 1967, Philips Greece took over the portfolio and reissued the record in 1996 on CD on their sub label Fidelity 532 835.
Volume 1 of a set of four Philips LP's (catalogue number 6460407) issued in 1975 with music from the Peloponessos and Roumeli. Reissued as CD in 1994.Volume 2 of a set of four Philips LP's (catalogue number 6460408) issued in 1975 with music from Macedonia and Epirus. Reissued as CD in 1994.
Volume 3 from a set of four Philips LP's (catalogue number 6460409) issued in 1975 with music from Thrace and Pontus. Reissued as CD in 1994.Volume 4 from a set of four Philips LP's (catalogue number 6460410) issued in 1975 with music from Crete, Kithnos and Naxos. Reissued as CD in 1994.

Selection from the four previous Philips LP's by Polygram Greece (catalog number 257) for the Greek newspaper Adesmeftos Typos in 1995.

Records on which Dora Stratou Dance Company participated

A number of tracks are published on a number of records or cd's that are not dedicated to the group.

Seven tracks on a Japanese LP record Seven Seas (catalogue number GT-5024) issued in 1974.

Reissue of the previous record by King (catalogue number King K30Y 5114) in 1987.

Four tracks on a LP record Melophone (catalogue number SMEL 46) in 1975.

Four tracks on a CD Fidelity (catalogue number 526534) in 1994.

Records and CD's issued by the Dora Stratou Dance Company

Dora Stratou Dance Company issued from 1976 to 1983 36 LP records with catalogue numbers DS 101 till DS 136. This set of records covered the following regions:

  • Greece: DS 101, DS 102, DS 103, DS 107, DS 122
  • Mainland Greece DS 104, DS 105, DS 124
  • A sandouri improvisation DS 106 A and Smyrna DS 106 B
  • Agean Islands DS 108, DS 109
  • Pontus DS 110 A and Agean Islands DS 110 B
  • Eastern Macedonia (Serres) DS 111
  • Sarakatsanitsa (ethnic group from Central Greece) DS 112
  • Eastern Macedonia (Pangaio) DS 113, DS 114
  • Roumeli DS 115, DS 120, DS 127
  • Macedonia DS 116, DS 130
  • Thrace DS 117, DS 132
  • Pontus DS 118, DS 123, DS 134
  • Thessaly (Argithea) DS 119, DS 131
  • Epirus DS 121, DS 128, DS 133
  • Central Greece DS 125 A and a santouri improvisation DS 125 B
  • Rhytms DS 126
  • Kithira DS 129
  • Thessaly (Drimos) DS 135
  • Crete DS 136

The record sleeves have identical covers and on the back side the description of a couple LP's from the series. Each LP is identified with a sticker with the number on the front cover.


In the nineties the company issued four CD's, and a double CD with a selection from these thirty-six LP's. There were also issued four CD's by other record companies, containing tracks from the series.

CD DS 152 with a selection of dances.CD DS 154 with a selection of dances from MacedoniaCD DS 155 with a selection of Pontic dances.

Double CD DS 158 with songs from Macedonia, sung by Vangelis Daskaloudis.

CD DS 159 with songs and dances from Crete.

CD DS 160, sungs by Gyota Pantazi, tracks that were not earlier published.

CD issued by the Japanese King label (catalogue number KICC 5176) in 1994. The tracks on this CD are a selection from the 36 records.