In March 1996, Mikis Theodorakis came back once more to verses of his younger brother Yannis, putting two of his poems to music.
Mikis and his brother Yannis
They were to be Most Lyrical (Lyricotata), the most recent of the composer's beloved song cycles, completing a trilogy of which the first part were the cycles Lyrical (Ta Lyrica, 1976), on poetry by Tassos Livaditis and More Lyrical (Lyricotera, 1994-95), on poetry by Dionysis Karatzas.
All in all, there are nine works on poems by his brother, including his very first song cycle Deserters, as well as his latest: Lyricota.
The four poems of which he chose two, were examples of Yannis Theodorakis' most recent writing, full of tenderness, lyricism and fortitude - qualities echoed by the music, a Western-style music, without obvious folk references, drawing its strength from the words.
The song cycle Most Lyrical concludes the sixth period of Mikis Theodorakis' songwriting which himself calls 'Lyrical Life' (1986-1996).
If was first performed on 18.11.1996, at the Herod Atticus Theatre, by Vassilis Lekkas, and his brother could still hear them. He died on 7,12,1996 from cancer. His death deeply afflicted his brother Mikis.
The two songs were recorded in Germany in 1998 in an orchestration by Henning Schmidt and sung by Maria Farandouri (CD: "Asmata").
After Yorgos V. Monemvasitis. Programme Athen's Festival 2001
TA LYRICOTATA, AST 304
Poems by Yannis Theodorakis
Composed March 1996 in Athens
1. Tis Nichtas to Oniro - The Dream of the Night
2. Afto to kalokeri - This Summer
First performance: 14.10.1996 at Irodion, Athens
Vassilis Lekkas, Orchestra, Mikis Theodorakis