CULTURE

Feast of Hadjidakis in twelve parts

Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis hated anniversaries, but who needs an anniversary when the material he left behind can enrich our discography, and add some real quality to our lives at any time? Over the next three months we will be able to enjoy a feast of works by Hadjidakis with important digitally remastered rereleases that contain many new elements, scores never before published, and important works by other composers such as Yiannis Christou. Three large record companies – one being Hadjidakis’s own label, Seirios – and a publishing house, are preparing 12 CDs composed of music from Greek and foreign cinema, theater and dance. These CDs will, among other things, reveal a Hadjidakis who was able to create music for diverse performances ranging from Rallou Manou’s dance-theater to the Wild West sentiment of Blue. Releases all winter The release of the 12-strong series is scheduled to commence in December with Warner’s worldwide rerelease of America, America. This album will include the music and songs from Elia Kazan’s digitally remastered film as well as new material from the leading composer’s archive, including previously unknown writings and photographs. Even though it was released in Greece in 1963 (performed by the Athens Experimental Orchestra), the record quickly disappeared from the market, making this release the first ever on CD. Reflections, which began circulating in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s and performed by New York Rock ‘n’ Roll Ensemble – a superb band which combined rock with the classical tradition – will also be issued. The band’s leader was Michael Kamen, who still pays homage to Hadjidakis to this day (only a few years ago he included a cover version of Mother and Sister for guitar on one of his albums). Reflections has already been released six times in America, Greece and the Netherlands, while its seventh release, which will also be issued abroad, is currently being prepared with additional material. Another company, Universal, is preparing three CDs for Christmas, with historic recordings, samples of the composer’s work with the Theatro Technis theater company (Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Birds for four instruments, in the first of Hadjidakis’s three versions) and Rallou Manou’s Elliniko Horodrama dance theater group (Six Folklore Paintings, The Accused Serpent, and Solitude). The third album will include the works For a Little White Seashell and The CNS Cycle. On all these recordings the piano that is audible on the recording is played by the composer himself, aside from Seashell, which features Yiannis Papadopoulos. Two months later, around February, Minos Records will rerelease, also with new material including texts and photographs, Tonight We Improvise, Caesar and Cleopatra, Mythology and Athanasia. Seirios, Hadjidakis’s own baby, a company that has never followed the rules of the market but of quality, is once again rolling up its sleeves. In collaboration with the music publishers Nakas Papagrigoriou, it has begun to publish the composer’s scores. This is an exceptional project, if one considers that only 5 percent of Hadjidakis’s work has so far been published. Magnus Eroticus for voice and piano has already been published, as have Ionian Suite, Blood Wedding, For a Small White Seashell and Six Folklore Paintings. Next in line are Two Nautical Songs, The CNS Cycle, The Accused Serpent, Kapetan Michalis and Rythmology. Seirios’s other activity relates to the CD release of Blue, as previously circulated in 1967-68 on vinyl. The music for the western that the composer wrote when he was in Hollywood is now a collector’s item and is not available on the market. Blue was the soundtrack to Silvio Narizzano’s film that starred Terence Stamp, Joanna Peter, Karl Malden and Ricardo Montalban. The music was recorded by the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra with Laurido Almeida on guitar. Topkapi, the music from Jules Dassin’s film (1963-64) featuring Melina Mercouri, Peter Ustinov and Maximilian Schell, will also be released on CD. The other issue is the four CDs of Yiannis Christou. These are the composer’s symphonic works, while those for the theater are currently being prepared and will be released later. Of the 14 works, 10 are of the original recordings, most of which were done with Christou’s own supervision, guidance and teaching, as there are other recordings which were not carried out with his approval. The other releases are of Tassos Karakatsanis’s music for the cinema. The music for Yiannis Ioannou’s film And the Train Goes to the Sky will be released at Christmas. Irene Papas, the tenor Lefteris Toumaras, and other voices can also be heard. The Songs of the Lost Poet with music and orchestration by Dimitris Marakopoulos and lyrics by Christos Papadopoulos and Yiannis Tsatsopoulos, sung by Pantelis Theocharis is yet another CD, the title of which Hadjidakis himself came up with when he first heard them in November 1992. On the Net Cyberspace will also be filled with Hadjidakis. The composer’s official website is the most complete that has been produced for a Greek artist, containing historical information, previously unpublished photographs, a detailed account of his work – including material from abroad – and a detailed account of his political activities and beliefs. The composer’s official website is an impressive work with the following categories: biography and autobiography; works (known and unpublished works with rich detail); discography (all the records that have been released, whether available or not, and his 1,000 record productions); documentation (photographs, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, audiovisual); and the political Hadjidakis. The websites of Seirios and the Hadjidakis Music Collection (Mousikou Synolou Hadjidakis) are currently being prepared.