CULTURE

Best-selling ‘Gioconda’s Smile’ back on the charts in CD form

One of the most popular and beloved works of Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis, «Gioconda’s Smile,» is about to be re-released. This time – and for the first time – the memorable work will go on sale in CD format and stereophonic sound. Forty years after it was composed, news of its fresh release was tied to the release of a special edition of vinyl records. The 220-gram records were produced in one of the last record-manufacturing factories in Europe. It took EMI Classics two years but the effort was worth it. Giorgos Hadjidakis, the late composer’s son, said recently that the final outcome was one of «high quality,» going as far as referring to it as the «definitive restoration.» More than 3 million records of Hadjidakis’s work have been sold around the world since 1965. According to calculations by Vassilis Constantoulakis, Minos-EMI’s marketing manager, given today’s figures, «Gioconda’s Smile» would have reached platinum status innumerable times. The album remains a standard favorite in this country too, as one look at the charts of the local branch of the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) can attest. According to the composer himself, the work’s 10 songs are a blend of despair and memories. «The subject is a woman, isolated in the big city,» Hadjidakis wrote. «Each song is a monologue and all together they make up her story.» The elegant and well-researched 37-page booklet accompanying the release is a big plus and includes notes written by the composer – a memorable one features his thoughts on a march in New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The album also features rich photographic material while the sound elaboration by Christos Hadzistamos adds tremendously to the end result. The recent unveiling of the exciting new CD was also linked to Margarita Matsa taking the helm at EMI.