CULTURE

Edition presents 200 years of music

A major gap on the shelves of Greek music is soon to be filled – with an anthology of serious Greek music of the past 200 years. The edition is the first to make available in the market selections from the historical oeuvre of Greek composers as a united whole. The 12-CD compendium, «Antis gia Oneiro (Instead of a Dream), accompanied by a booklet of 250 pages, is a digest of the work of Greek composers, both living and dead. «Antis gia Oneiro» – which materialized thanks to an initiative by the Greek Composers’ Union and financial support from the Cultural Olympiad – contains 88 works, among which there are 23 symphonic compositions, 14 chamber music works, an entire opera, 21 choral works and 29 songs for voice and piano. In some cases, these are landmark pieces, in others, they are appealing, yet unknown, works by great Greek composers, from Nikolaos Mandjaros, Aristotelis Kountourov and Andreas Nezeritis to Giorgos Labelet, from Ianis Xenakis and Dimitris Dragatakis to Nikos Skalkottas, Constantinos Kydoniatis and Marios Varvoglis. Besides major Greek composers, this edition also demonstrates the dynamism of contemporary music in this country. A plethora of contemporary recordings were made for the CDs, performed by top-ranking conductors, soloists and orchestras. A sample list includes Leonidas Kavakos, Giorgos Demertzis, the New Hellenic Quartet, the Patras Quartet, the Orchestra of Colors, the Volos Orchestra and the ERT Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Byron Fidetzis, Miltos Logiadis, Alkis Baltas and Semyon Kogan. The compilation is accompanied by a booklet which is the fruit of academic collaboration between 12 Greek musicologists. The publication begins with a general historical introduction by the dean of Ionian University, Haris Xanthoudakis, and ends in 12 treatises on serious Greek music, analyses of works as well as biographies of composers. The result is an academically documented panorama, with visual and photographic material drawn from research over a number of years. During Monday’s presentation of the edition to the press, the president of the Cultural Olympiad, Stamatis Mavros, noted that an English-language edition would shortly be available, which would help project Greek music abroad. Contributors to this praiseworthy effort – the music critic Yiannis Svolos, who was part of the three-member committee that chose the compositions, the president of the Composers’ Union Theodore Antoniou, Haris Xanthoudakis, music producer Alexander Mouzas, musicologist Giorgos Leotsakos and artistic director of the Orchestra of Colors Giorgos Kouroupos – declared themselves proud of the enterprise, saying that «without a record of music past, there can be no future for Greek composers.»