In 1943, I studied music theory with Filoktitis Ikonomidis at the Athens conservatory (Odeon).
Theodorakis at Icaria
I had started practicing on the harmonium the previous year in Tripolis. At that time, my desire to become a composer was getting stronger and stronger. For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to hear a symphony orchestra play live - it was the orchestra of the Athens conservatory -, and I was overwhelmed.
In a chamber music seminar, I began studying sonatas for trio and quartet.
Frequently, my friends and I organized musical soirees in private homes. Those were our most interesting "leisure-time activities" during the time of the German occupation.
Since I had to find work in order to save my family from starvation with whatever little money I earned, and since I was also engaged in the national resistance movement, I lived a frantic life during my student years at the conservatory. Nevertheless, I passed the examinations in harmony, counterpoint and technique of the fugue.
During the time of the liberation of Athens from the German occupiers in 1944, there now appeared in Greece new scores and records of works by such outstanding composers as Claude Debussy, for example. My fellow-students encouraged me to compose works for chamber music.
We locked ourselves in a hall in order to play and hear my most recent work at the moment. The direct contact to the musicians was very important to me; it gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the possibilities and techniques of the instruments.
I don't remember ever having presented any of my works to my teachers who were very critical. Only Kostas Kidoniatis who was the youngest and very close to us received the honor.
The Trio was composed in 1947 and premiered in 1951.
As early as 1946, I was a member of the resistance movement.
In 1947, I was arrested and sent into exile to Ikaria. While writing the Trio, I also composed the Preludes for piano.
I think that I chose the right direction at that time. But as I mentioned, I was arrested and deported.
In exile on the island of Ikaria, I received a message from the maestro and teacher at the conservatory Georgios Likoudis who asked me to arrange the Trio for wind band. Under the extremely hard conditions of exile, it was very difficult to send the manuscript to Myrto who was a student of medicine in Athens and later became my wife. She transcribed the pencilled score in ink. It is a mystery to me, but in the end Likoudis was not allowed to perform the piece with the state orchestra.
In the book "Oi dromoi tou archangelou" (The Ways of the Archangel, published 1986/1987), I described my life at that time and my development as a composer during all those political events occurring in my country.
The Trio fell into oblivion, at any rate, buried by other papers and waiting to see light of the world again after 40 years.
I cannot express in words how glad I am about this.
© Mikis Theodorakis, 2001
TRIO FOR VIOLIN, CELLO AND PIANO, AST 41
Composed: 12.1. -23.2.1947 in Athens
2. Allegro vivace
3. Andante mosso
4. Allegro vivace
Creation: 8.4.1952 in Athens
Viron Kolasis, violin, Kostas Kydoniatis, cello, Aris Garoufalis, piano