When First I Ever Saw You

When First I Ever Saw You
Martin Best et al.
Sonet Records (Sweden) SLP 2663


  1. Sweet Nightingale (trad. arr. Martin Best)
  2. When First I Ever Saw You (Birger Sjöberg, arr. Martin Best)
  3. A Summer Evening (trad. arr. Martin Best)
  4. Nocturne (Evert Taube, arr. Martin Best)
  5. Frida Laments the Summer (Birger Sjöberg, arr. Martin Best)
  6. Midsummer Song (Hakan Norlen, arr. Martin Best)

  7. ---
  8. A Ballad of the French King's Minstrels (Per Martin Hamberg, arr. Martin Best)
  9. Longing for Italy (Birger Sjöberg, arr. Martin Best)
  10. Lord Randal (trad. arr. Martin Best)
  11. Death's Hour (Birger Sjöberg, arr. Martin Best)
  12. Lord of the Dance (Sydney Carter)

Performers: Martin Best (voice, guitar, lute), Jeremy Barlow (flute and recorder), Alistair McLachlan (violin and viola), Julian Byzantine (guitar), Colin Bilham (contrabass), Marilyn Sansom (cello), David Corkhill (percussion).

Release date: 1979

Out of print; not (to my knowledge) reissued on CD.

This recording reassembles most of the ensemble which made the wonderful `To Carl Michael with Love', with persuasive results. It also reprises that LP's mix of Swedish and English ballads and songs. The bittersweet atmosphere generated by Martin's recordings with these players, and of this material, is deeply affecting and really has no equivalent in the work of any other recording artist at any time. Future generations will rediscover this music and wonder why it was so little understood and appreciated in its own age.

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Rob Smyth