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29.07.05: "First Songs" published





First Songs
Mikis Theodorakis celebrates his 80th birthday on July, 29, 2005.

Throughout his long life he has produced a large number of musical works that have varied vastly in their form and magnitude. His compositions range from simple folksongs, in which the voice is accompanied simply by a bouzouki or guitar, to such large-scale symphonies, operas, cantatas, masses and oratorios as the unique “Canto General” to texts by Pablo Neruda. His most famous work is certainly the often copied music to the classic film “Zorba, the Greek”, starring Anthony Quinn in the lead roll.

Accompanying all of the eulogies, retrospectives and critical reports that will be presented for this occasion throughout the international media, Intuition is releasing “First Songs” an impressive set of recordings. These are songs from the youthful Theodorakis, for the most part unreleased compositions which have been recently recorded in this form. These songs, recorded in Berlin in a sometimes jazzy septet formation in 1999, prove once again what a powerfully emotional composer Theodorakis is.

These in part previously unreleased songs are some of Theodorakis’ earlist compositions. Of these 1937’s “The Little Ship” is the first traditional. Many followed in the next few years: between 1937, his twelfth, and 1945, his twentieth year some 120 songs, 20 violin pieces, 30 piano pieces, 25 ecclesiastical cantats, 10 larger choral works, a symphony, numerous pieces of chamber music, as well as a number of pieces for string orchestra. What is amazing is that his “serious” compositions were all written in rural Greece where symphonic music was as good as unknown. Young Theodorakis lived an isolated life, which is perhaps the reason being this astounding productivity. Another reason could have been his decidedly pessimistic – existentialistic view of the world, which was fed by his father’s library. Young Theodorakis imbibed in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Plato, Knut Hamsun; he didn’t just read Goethe’s “Werther”, he fell in love with it. “Music” and “Love” were the two poles that arose from a conscious loneliness and which articulated itself as a feeling called “melancholy” in most of these songs.

It seemed to me to be a necessity to let the almost 80 year old Theodorakis sing and interpret himself, closing the circle of his passion and repossessing his previously forgone “melancholy”.

Excerpt from the liner notes by Asteris Kutulas

Table of contents:

1. Ti Thelo (What I Want)
2. Pio Poli Ki Apo Ta Matia (More Than The Exchange Of Glances)
3. Ftinoporo (Autumn)
4. Sti Vitrina (In The Store Window)
5. Irini (Peace)
6. To Karavaki (The Little Ship)
7. Ise San To Louloudaki (You Are Like A Flower)
8. Poson Isiha Kimate (How Calmly They Sleep)
9. Margarita
10. Esperinos (Evening Mass)
11. Nanourisma (Lullaby)
12. Den Ine Monaha T'Aidonia (It Is Not Just The Nightingales)
13. Kalinihta (Good Night)
14. Perivoli Mou Orgomeno (In The Tilled Earth Of My Garden)
15. Agrambeli (The Vine Tendril)
16. Ftinoporo (Autumn)

Singers:

Mikis Theodorakis, vocals
Maria Farantouri, vocals (3, 12, 15)
Jocelyn B. Smith, vocals (8)
Thanassis Zotos, bakcing vocals (1, 3, 12, 16)
Children Choir Dimitris Tipaldos Athina (2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13)

Musicians:

Henning Schmiedt, piano
Volker Schlott, saxophones, flute, alto flute
Falk Breitkopf, tenor saxophone
Rainer BRennecke, trumpet, flügelhorn, Bach trumpet
Natascha Zickerick, tuba
Martin Lillich, double bass,
Topo Gioja & Ulli Moritz, percussion
Jens Naumilkat, cello (13)
Jannis Zotos, bouzouki, guitar (14)

INTUITION RECORDS INT3377 2
Playtimer: 51' 46''
Price 14,99 €

see also at INTUITION RECORDS





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