|Areti Giovanou, Georgios Argeratos, Emilia Diakopoulou, Stefanos Koroneos
The program contained neither biographical information nor translations so the comments will be based solely on our own experience and what precious little we gleaned from Wikipedia. Most of the songs on the program were composed by Manos Hatzidakis who is best known as a composer of movie music. He himself is purported to have said that for himself he composes art songs and he composes popular music to survive. "Never on Sunday" is arguably his best known work. We would not wish to put a label on the songs we heard yesterday but they were gloriously melodic and convincingly sung by both tenor and baritone. Our readers know how much we love duets and the one that opened the program was sung in gorgeous harmony by Mr. Argeratos and Mr. Koroneos. We had never imagined that the Greek language was so singable with beautiful vowels. Ms. Giovanou's piano matched the singers with appropriate dramatics or delicacy as called for.
Only one song by N. Hatziapostolou ("Poverty") was on the program and it was performed by Mr. A.; we were surprised by its syncopated rhythm and cheerful mood, rather different from the sadness of the earlier set. We were reminded of the habañera or perhaps a tango. Connection with the material was heard throughout but connection with the audience is also important and, for this song, Mr. A. stepped away from the music stand and formed that connection which we truly appreciated.
A song by N. Lambelet seemed to be in an exotic mode, not major or minor but something we could not quite identify.
The recital closed with some songs by Tosti. His Sette Canzoni Popolari Abruzzesi are a collection of simple unpretentious songs meant to be performed at home; they were delightful. Ms. Diakopoulou joined Mr. Argeratos for "L'Alba separa dala luce l'Ombra". We also enjoyed Mr. K.'s delivery of "L'Ultima Canzone" in which he used considerable rubata to wring every ounce of emotion from the text.
The recital closed with some Christmas carols sung in Greek and in English. It was a delightful afternoon and we consider it an introduction to Greek song, more of which we would like to hear.
© meche kroop