Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Begnagrad Begnagrad album cover
3.78 | 38 ratings | 9 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pjan ska (3:11)
2. Romanticna (4:32)
3. Bo ze (Ce bo) (4:13)
4. Cosa Nostra (Waltz) (7:12)
5. Narodna - kmetska (5:54)
6. Coc 'n' Rolla (Ljubljana ponoci) (5:33)
7. Zvizgovska Urska (5:02)
8. Jo di di jo (0:27)*
9. Tazadnatanova (8:26)*
10. Zvizgovska Urska (4:47)*
11. Tazadnatanova (8:26)*
12. Cosa Nostra/Narodna/To Be Or Not To Be/Stoned-That's Not the Question (22:30)*

Total Time: 80:13
* bonus tracks on CD re-issues

Line-up / Musicians

- Bratko Bibič / accordion, melodica, Faninger Klavier, voice
- Bogo Pečnikar / clarinet, sogra, ocarina, whistling, voice
- Nino de Gleria / electric bass, double bass, mandolin, whistling, screaming
- Ales Rendla / drums, violin, conga
- Boris Romih / percussion, tiny instruments, guitar, whistling, voice, double bassuitar, whistling, voice, double bass

Releases information

LP RTV Ljubljana LD 0811 (1982 Yugoslavia)
CD AYAA CDT 1190 (1990 France) (as "Konzert For A Broken Dance" with different cover sleeve and bonus tracks 8-9 in the track listing*)
CD MIO Records MIO-006 (2003 Israel) (remaster with bonus tracks 8-12 in the track listing*)

Thanks to seyo for the addition
and to Seyo for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy BEGNAGRAD Begnagrad Music

More places to buy BEGNAGRAD music online

BEGNAGRAD Begnagrad ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BEGNAGRAD Begnagrad reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After a brief period of inactivity in late 1970s, BEGNAGRAD re-formed in 1981. Two founding members, accordionist Bratko Bibic and clarinetist Bogo Pecnikar, invited three younger musicians to join, so the end-result, their eponymous debut album, sounded with more rock energy while retaining their Slovenian avant-folk and RIO roots. "We hear a relationship to the music of other earlier RIO bands - Stormy Six, Samla Mammas Manna, and others ­ that were also informed by the European folk music."* This is a totally wild and unpredictable album with freaky experimental music featuring odd traditional instruments (accordion, clarinet, double bass, violin, strange percussion, whistling), that were played with avant-garde or jazz attitude. There are no lyrics but the vocals are used as instruments in some instances, and often sounding quite humorous and funny. "Bratko's accordion, Bogo's clarinet, the rhythmic and melodic structure of the tunes are underscored by more electric instrumentation and a firm rhythmic structure borrowing from rock music that lends the recording a curious mixture of chaotic atmosphere, surprise, melancholy, and central, south and eastern European folk musical traditions. The music has strong melodies, contrasts of harmonic and discordant structures and dramatic changes in rhythms and time structures."* It is hard to single out some tracks because the whole album is a pretty cohesive effort with excellent production throughout, but my favourites would be "Cosa Nostra/Waltz" and "Coc'n'Rolla (Ljubljana ponoci)", two of the craziest moments on the album. The freaks responsible for creating this jolly and amazing patchwork of Slovenian RIO were: Bratko Bibic/ accordions, melodica, Faninger Klavier, voice, Bogo Pecnikar/ clarinet, sogra, baritone sax, ocarina, whistling, voice, Nino de Gleria/ electric bass, double bass, mandolin, whistling, screaming, Ales Rendla/ drums, violin, conga and Boris Romih/ percussion, tiny instruments, guitar, whistling, voice, double bass. "Begnagrad" was originally released by "Zalozba kaset in plosc RTV Ljubljana", September 1982 (RTV LD 0811) with this white cover sleeve. In 1990, AYAA label reissued the album on CD (cdt 1180) with a different cover sleeve, titled "Konzert for a Broken Dance" - two tracks were reordered, and a bonus track included. Finally, 2nd CD reissue of "Begnagrad", under original title and cover, was done by MIO Records (Israel), MIO 006, November 2003 with extra live audio + 20' video bonus tracks from 1983). This album is highly recommended to listen and if you are a RIO enthusiast, then it is a must for your collection.


Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most powerful Slovenian bands ever. It's somewhere between works of AREA and DUN (and that's really something) + strongly emphasized aspect of East European folk music. It's dominated by woodwind and accordion with occasional, weird guitar moments.

It's great. The catchy aspect of the band is utilized with gorgeous Balkan/Gypsy melodies, the same ones that are providing a great base for rhythmical experimental experiments, and that are easy to mutilate into cacophony just after a few bars. Harmonies are unbelievable, bold, unusual but very logical. The cacophonic parts - shouts, noises, structure-less parts are working fine within the whole story, they're just a bit too much for my taste, hence not the five star rating. But it might grow on me even more. Surely, this album is very rewarding: for the RIO fans, for world music fans, jazz fans and fans of clever, elaborated music in general. It's out of time and space, not inclining towards any trends, and it's certainly not progressive music for the sake of it. It's one of those records that came out of nowhere and re-invented music. If you are serious music lover, get it if you can find it.

Four and a half far.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This record was recommended to me by a friend who knows my penchant for unusual folk music. I had misgivings since this is really considered an RIO band, but those were abandoned pretty quickly the first time I listened to the CD.

Begnagrad were a Slovenian band who start off with ethnic instrumentation and a world-music vibe, but within a few seconds on the first track it’s apparent the band had an awful lot of musical influences. The liner note listings of accordion, clarinet and mandolin might fool you into thinking this is a series of polkas and waltzes (“Cosa Nostra” for example, which sort of is a waltz). And I suppose there might be something in some of the arrangements that fit that description. But there’s also jazz here (albeit pretty free-form and neurotic), but also Balkan folk and occasionally the makings of some ethnic punk. Samla Mammas Manna comes immediately to mind, but I have to admit that’s partly because I don’t know too many other RIO bands.

One thing that’s surprising for someone like me who isn’t into avant-garde, experimental music like this is how approachable it actually is. There is a ton of discord in the music, but also plenty of melodic moments that sort of bind each disjointed track into something that makes a little bit of sense, even to the uninitiated.

Other than “Cosa Nostra” the tracks are pretty short, but considering the high-intensity tempo I suppose the band members couldn’t keep things going too long without losing their audience, so regular breaks between tracks seems like a good idea.

For a folk and world-music fan the wealth of instrumentation is fascinating. Besides the ones mentioned above there are a number of string basses employed, plus the stilting keys of a clavier, the Star Trek phaser-looking ocarina, and more percussion and wind toys then you can shake a stick at.

Like I said, this thing is high intensity, with driving melodies accentuated almost non-stop by the various ethnic instruments. There are no vocals, but some of the music comes from shouts, whistles and other mouthed sounds. Check out just the opening “Pjan ska” for a full menu of the dozens of sounds employed here. The slower numbers (well, just “Romantična” really) sound more like county-fair folk but played by guys who are trying to amuse themselves instead of the audience. This is bawdy and fun music that defies detailed description, unless perhaps if you are a musician from that part of the world who has some insight into how and why the stuff was made.

Me, I’m a folk music fan and not a musician. But I know what I like, and this is one fun hour of music. Four stars and an uninformed but hearty recommendation.


Review by Sean Trane
3 stars A mainly acoustic Slovenian quintet that released three albums during the 80's and early 90's, and I'm about to review the first in its French AYAA label reissue with different sequencing of tracks and two bonus (let's one biggie and an intro) and vastly different artwork (borrowing more to their third and last release) that was released in 92. Keyboardist & accordionist and leader Bibic writes the majority of the group's music, a gentle jazz-Manouche with Klezmer touches, while guitarist Romih writes the rest, but in a similar vein. Other instruments are violin, congas, ocarina, melodica, both acoustic & electric guitars & bass, whistling and happy vocals that distil some humour throughout the album. Musically speaking we are hovering between Von Zamla and a happy Univers Zero and Begnagrad precedes many other groups that will indulge into this kind of soundscapes. Thankfully for me, the accordion is not as present as I first feared when I rented this album from the library as the clarinet seems to be main lead instrument. The more bizarre track must be Zvisgovska (Whistling Ursulla) where the music Most (if not all) of the members are multi- instrumentalist, which allows for a good variety and avoid too much repetition in a genre that has since been over-flogged to death. Listening to the whole album in one shot might prove a bit too much for some, but if you're into a bit of burlesque humour (ala Von Zappa) into a sometimes improvised eastern folk/jazz (the great bonus track, unfortunately finishing in a jig) that allows for some fine interplay between the five.

Difficult to call this a pop/rock album, with its eastern folk/jazz, but the happy feel that pervades through the music would make it pop(ular) in its own right. If you already have a few album in the Gypsy Jazz/Klezmer/Eastern Folk realm, Begnagrad might not be essential or even a must- own?. But if you're just discovering the style of music, this could be a must-have, but that's really up to you.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars BEGNAGRAD was one of the first rock bands to emerge from Slovenia which when their eponymously titled sole album was released, still existed as a part of the greater communist Yugoslavia. While rock music had always been popular in the underground of these former lands segregated from the Western world, success wasn't as easily achieved especially when their ambitions steered towards the crazy, complex progressive rock fortified with imaginative styles of blending their own ethnic folk with the unexpected outbursts of hyperactive avant-prog and experimental noise. This band was initiated by Bratko Bibič who steered the band to create one of the most unique and bizarre mixes of avant-prog and Balkan folk with playful crazy Zappa-esque chaotic folklore laced with crazy time signatures, highly unorthodox compositional styles which often dips into the extremely wild, weird and adventurous.

The music is chock filled with all kinds of competing instrumentation with a caffeinated accordion sound often leading the way from Bibič himself who also tackles the melodica, piano and utters some of the sparse vocals that jump out from time to time. Bogo Pečnikar covers the clarinet, ocarina and the many whistling sections that add an utterly unique aspect to their crazed sense of Rock In Opposition statements. Ale? Rendla not only covers the drums and congas which can be quite energetic at times but also adds his violin playing skills which also adds a touch of chamber rock to the mix. Nino De Gleria plays both electric and acoustic bass as well as mandolin and provides the extra touches in the whistling segments. There's also other sounds like a jew's harp that pop in occasionally.

The music is more or less based on the local Eastern European accordion led folk style but once a melody is established it doesn't take long to veer off into left-field with all kinds of mondo bizarro curve balls thrown in often with the instruments existing in their own private Idaho. The music is quite playful in the tradition of Zappa's most humorous stuff but the music never belies the region from which it came with accordion led waltzes, ethnic themes and cafe styled folk but just as the listener becomes inured to the calm and familiar, the music can take a quick turn into frightening sounds of cacophonous and angry instruments at battle with each other. To say this is quirky would be an understatement where even gargling of water is used as an instrument. Quite a unique and fun little album that showed a band ready for unhinged freedom in their musical expressions. In fact there are some Samla Mammas Manna type moments as well.

While BEGNAGRAD would only put out one album at the time, there would be a couple archival releases to be released in the 90s. Bibič would go on to perform more normal Slovenian folk music in the 90s with Bratko Bibič & The Madleys but also keep his prog itch scratched in the avant-folk Accordion Tribe and the avant-prog Nimal. Nino De Gleria would continue the style of BEGNAGRAD in his next band Quatebriga that would pick up soon after this band's demise. This is highly recommended for those who love traditional ethnic styled folk music totally crazed and unhinged with tons of bizarre unexpected twists and turns and dressed up with progressive rock features such as time signature deviations and Rock In Opposition reverence towards anything "normal." The album was reissued on CD in 1991 under the title "Konzert For A Broken Dance" with different artwork on the cover but reverted back to the original packaging and album title with the 2003 remastered edition with a bonus track.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Begnagrad takes on the world from a now defunkt country. The "Balkan folk" was very popular in the 1980s and my only insight to the music scene in this now defunkt country Jugoslavia. I also believe there was a very vibrant jazz scene there once...... and still is in the countries which once ... (read more)

Report this review (#386925) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Begnagrad: Konzert For a Broken Dance 1982 1. Romanticna, the Romantic One. The music opens with accordion , clarinet and a bass drone, making an elegant slow statement. Dramatic changes of pace reveal this to be programme music, illustrating a story the details of which are suggested through t ... (read more)

Report this review (#240625) | Posted by jerryverrier | Sunday, September 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Nice album for this RIO yougoslavian band. The replete rhythm of improvisations made this work quite unique and with very good quality. The sound of accordion makes environment a little progfolk but bass work, that is very good, made the arrangements with a balanced context in RIO and creates a ... (read more)

Report this review (#231767) | Posted by Joćo Paulo | Saturday, August 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Begnagrad was avant-folk band from Ljubljana led by accordionist Bratko Bibič. We have the greatest pleasure to listen for example alpine, yugoslavian, hungarian, italian folklore in symbiosis with rock, jazz, punk, avantgarde, joke etc. The music in this record is at-full- gallop-rushing ... (read more)

Report this review (#53469) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of BEGNAGRAD "Begnagrad"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.