Mikis Theodorakis – Bouzouki Musik (1976)

FrontCover1Michael “Mikis” Theodorakis (born 29 July 1925) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the “Mauthausen Trilogy” also known as “The Ballad of Mauthausen”, which has been described as the “most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust” and possibly his best work. He is viewed as Greece’s best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Politically, he is associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the KKE from 1981 to 1990. Nevertheless, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party, in order for the country to emerge from the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou,[9] and helped establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the 1967–1974 Greek junta, which imprisoned him.

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In 1960, Theodorakis returned to Greece and his roots in genuine Greek music: With his song cycle Epitaphios he started the third period of his composing and contributed to a cultural revolution in his country. His most significant and influential works are based on Greek and world poetry – Epiphania (Giorgos Seferis), Little Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Axion Esti (Odysseas Elytis), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), and Romancero Gitano (Federico García Lorca) – he attempted to give back to Greek music a dignity which in his perception it had lost. He developed his concept of “metasymphonic music” (symphonic compositions that go beyond the “classical” status and mix symphonic elements with popular songs, Western symphonic orchestra and Greek popular instruments).

He founded the Little Orchestra of Athens and the Musical Society of Piraeus, gave many, many concerts all around Greece and abroad… and he naturally became involved in the politics of his home country. After the assassination of Gregoris Lambrakis in May 1963 he founded the Lambrakis Democratic Youth (“Lambrakidès”) and was elected its president. theodorakis01Under Theodorakis’s impetus, it started a vast cultural renaissance movement and became the greatest political organisation in Greece with more than 50.000 members. Following the 1964 elections, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament, associated with the left-wing party EDA. Because of his political ideas, the composer was black-listed by the cultural establishment; at the time of his biggest artistic glory, a large number of his songs were censored-before-studio or were not allowed on the radio stations.

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During 1964, he wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance’; inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.
On 21 April 1967 a right wing junta (the Regime of the Colonels) took power in a putsch. Theodorakis went underground and founded the “Patriotic Front” (PAM). On 1 June, the Colonels published “Army decree No 13”, which banned playing, and even listening to his music. Theodorakis himself was arrested on 21 August, and jailed for five months. Following his release end of January 1968, he was banished in August to Zatouna with his wife Myrto and their two children, Margarita and Yorgos. Later he was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos. An international solidarity movement, headed by such personalities as Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, and Harry Belafonte demanded to get Theodorakis freed. On request of the French politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Theodorakis was allowed to go into exile to Paris on 13 April 1970. Theodorakis’s flight left very secretly from an Onassis owned private airport outside Athens. Theodorakis arrived at Le Bourget Airport where he met Costa Gavras, Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin. Theodorakis was immediately hospitalized because he suffered from lung tuberculosis. Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis’s wife and two children joined him a week later in France. They arrived from Greece to France via Italy on a boat.(by wikipedia)

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Mikis Theodorakis with Fidel Castro

Here´s an album from his beautiful music during the Sixties … This album was in Grece in 1976 … unfortunatley I know nothing about the wonderful musicians of this record.
But … what a great sound, what a great music !

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Personnel:
Unknown bouzouki ensemble

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Tracklist:
01. O Choros Tou Zorba 3.42
02. O Kaymos 4.14
03. I Balanta Tou Antrikou 3.49
04. To Feggari Kani Volta 3.18
05. Vrechi Sti Ftochogitonia 4.09
06. Mana Mou Ke Panagia 3.16
07. Strose To Stroma Sou 3.43
08. Vracho-Vracho 2.43
09. O Metanastis 3.58
10. Mirei 3.22
11. Echo Mia Agapi 3.22
12. To Savatovrado 5.10

Music written by Mikis Theodorakis

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Orchestra MikisTheodorakis – The Music Of Mikis Theodorakis (1967)

frontcover1Michael “Mikis” Theodorakis (born 29 July 1925) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the “Mauthausen Trilogy” also known as “The Ballad of Mauthausen”, which has been described as the “most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust” and possibly his best work. He is viewed as Greece’s best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Politically, he is associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the KKE from 1981 to 1990. Nevertheless, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party, in order for the country to emerge from the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou,[9] and helped establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the 1967–1974 Greek junta, which imprisoned him.

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In 1960, Theodorakis returned to Greece and his roots in genuine Greek music: With his song cycle Epitaphios he started the third period of his composing and contributed to a cultural revolution in his country. His most significant and influential works are based on Greek and world poetry – Epiphania (Giorgos Seferis), Little Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Axion Esti (Odysseas Elytis), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), and Romancero Gitano (Federico García Lorca) – he attempted to give back to Greek music a dignity which in his perception it had lost. He developed his concept of “metasymphonic music” (symphonic compositions that go beyond the “classical” status and mix symphonic elements with popular songs, Western symphonic orchestra and Greek popular instruments).

He founded the Little Orchestra of Athens and the Musical Society of Piraeus, gave many, many concerts all around Greece and abroad… and he naturally became involved in the politics of his home country. After the assassination of Gregoris Lambrakis in May 1963 he founded the Lambrakis Democratic Youth (“Lambrakidès”) and was elected its president. theodorakis01Under Theodorakis’s impetus, it started a vast cultural renaissance movement and became the greatest political organisation in Greece with more than 50.000 members. Following the 1964 elections, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament, associated with the left-wing party EDA. Because of his political ideas, the composer was black-listed by the cultural establishment; at the time of his biggest artistic glory, a large number of his songs were censored-before-studio or were not allowed on the radio stations.

During 1964, he wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance’; inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.

On 21 April 1967 a right wing junta (the Regime of the Colonels) took power in a putsch. Theodorakis went underground and founded the “Patriotic Front” (PAM). On 1 June, the Colonels published “Army decree No 13”, which banned playing, and even listening to his music. Theodorakis himself was arrested on 21 August, and jailed for five months. Following his release end of January 1968, he was banished in August to Zatouna with his wife Myrto and their two children, Margarita and Yorgos. Later he was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos. An international solidarity movement, headed by such personalities as Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, and Harry Belafonte demanded to get Theodorakis freed. On request of the French politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Theodorakis was allowed to go into exile to Paris on 13 April 1970. Theodorakis’s flight left very secretly from an Onassis owned private airport outside Athens. Theodorakis arrived at Le Bourget Airport where he met Costa Gavras, Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin. Theodorakis was immediately hospitalized because he suffered from lung tuberculosis. Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis’s wife and two children joined him a week later in France. They arrived from Greece to France via Italy on a boat.(by wikipedia)

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Mikis Theodorakis with Fidel Castro

Here´s an album from his beautiful music during the Sixties … This album was released in Germany, so the liner notes are in German …

Mikis Theodorakis in his own words:

“The basis of music is the songs.  The basis of music is the dance, the rhythm, the harmony.  This is the base.  The composition must be based in this base.  Me, I prefer all the composers of this century, the biggest ones, because they make songs.  I prefer our own Greeks composers, popular composers.  They write songs for the people.  This is the music.   If it is possible to construct in this music with orchestra, with symphony, etcetera, good.  But the basis must be the inspiration, must be the songs, popular songs.  The songs are the basis.  I think that Vivaldi, Verdi, Beethoven, all start for the popular, the German popular songs, Italian popular songs, the Spanish popular songs, French, and step by step construct this symphony.  For me, a new composer must start from the songs, or start by dialogue from the others, supposing to compose a piece only for five persons, for one hundred persons, for a concert.  The critics write articles, etcetera, philology, etcetera, and for me all this is death.  It’s not the life.  The life is the phenomenon.  Music is called the phenomenon of life.  We have the genesis.  The genesis for music is the melody.  If you say today, à la Bach, à la Mozart, à la Beethoven, à la Verdi, à la Stravinsky, we think a kind of melody.  This is the genesis; this is the life.  The other is construction.  This is my poor philosophy. “

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Alternate frontcovers from Italy, Germany, Norway and Spain

Personnel:
Yannis Didikis (piano)
Maria Fandouri (vocals)
Georg Kapernaros (vocals)
Lakis Karnezis (bouzouki)
Eyandros Papadopoulos (drums)
Kostas Papadopoulos (bouzouki)
Papangelidis (bass)

Orchestra conducted by Mikis Theodorakis

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Tracklist:
01. To Perigiali (The Beach) (Seferis/Theodorakis) 3.59
02. Doxa To Theo (Glory To God) (Theodorakis/Kampanelis) 2.35
03. Mana Mou Ke Panayia (The Most Holy One) (Theodorakis/Livaditis) 4.56
04. Aprilis (Fragment From The Series “The Dead Brother”) (Theodorakis) 2.29
05. Rodostamo (Rose-Water) (Theodorakis/Gatsos) 4.21
06. Marina (Theodorakis/Elitis) 3.20
07. Tou Mikrou Voria (The Northern Breeze) (Theodorakis/Elitis) 2.23
08. Soritis Petroulias (Theodorakis) 4.41
09. Margarita, Margaro (Theodorakis) 3.13
10. Vracho Vracho (Rock-Rock) (Theodorakis/Christodoulou) 2.65
11. Varka Sto Yalo (Boat On The Beach) (Theodorakis) 2.35
12. Vradiazi (Evening Approaches) (Theodorakis/Christodoulou) 3.54

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Mikis Theodorakis + Maria Farandouri – The Ballads Of Mauthausen + Six Songs (1966)

FrontCover1Michael “Mikis” Theodorakis was born July 29, 1925 and is a Greek songwriter and famous composer. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He is viewed as Greece’s best-known living composer.

The album “The Ballad Of Mauthausen” is one of the most haunting and beautiful pieces of music I have encountered in recent times. For music which was released in 1974 it is just as striking in present times as  it was then – I do regard it as timeless (although I shudder at the thought of using that adjective). The songs have a common thread: they express in powerful music and lyrics the terror, the agony and torture of the concentration camp and its effects on the minds and bodies of the inmates. Best-known of the 4 songs is “Asma Asmaton” expressing the anguish of a Jewish prisoner on learning that the women he loves has just been sent to the gas chamber. Maria Faranouri delivers a remarkable performance as in the fourth song ”Otan teliosi O Polemos” ( “When the War Ends”) which portrays the life-in-death fantasy of a Jewish internee who dreams of the end of the war, or of life in almost surrealist images.

Tanks of U.S. 11th Armored Division entering the Mauthausen concentration camp; banner in Spanish reads "Antifascist Spaniards greet the forces of liberation". The photo was taken on 6 May 1945

Tanks of U.S. 11th Armored Division entering the Mauthausen concentration camp; banner in Spanish reads “Antifascist Spaniards greet the forces of liberation”. The photo was taken on 6 May 1945

Mikis Theodorakis says himself of the work: “A good friend of mine, the poet Iacovos Kambanellis, was a prisoner in Mauthausen during World War II. At the beginning of the sixties, he wrote his memories of this time under the title of “Mauthausen”. In 1965, he also wrote four poems on the subject and gave me the opportunity to set them to music. I did this with much pleasure, firstly because I liked the poetry of the texts, and secondly because I was myself locked up during the Nazi occupation in Italian and German prisons, but mainly because this composition gives us the chance to remind the younger generation of history, that history must never be forgotten.

First and foremost, of course, the Mauthausen Cantata is addressed to all those who suffered under Fascism and fought against it. We must keep the Nazi crimes continually in our minds, because that is the only guarantee and the only way to assure that they are not repeated. And we can see every day that the ghost of Fascist is far from being laid. It seldom shows its real face, but Fascist cultures and mentalities exist all over the world. For us, who had to live through this time of horror, the most important task is to protect our children against this peril.”

Mikis+MariaThe six songs that make up the rest of the album, four ballads and two lively, up tempo ones, all demonstrate Farandouris’ distinctive dramatic style, which adds an essentially Greek touch of pathos and nostalgia even in the lively gaiety of the two faster songs.

(Thanks to Zero G Sound + dancingplague.blogspot)

Mikis Personnel:
Maria Farandouri (vocals)
+
unknown orchestra conducted by Mikis Theodorakis

BackCover1Tracklist:

Μαουτχάουζεν (The Ballad Of Mauthausen):
01. Άσμα Ασμάτων (Song Of Songs) (Theodorakis) 6.37
02. Ο Αντώνης (Andonis) (Theodorakis) 3.13
03. Ο Δραπέτης (The Fugitive) (Theodorakis) 4.02
04. Όταν Τελειώσει Ο Πόλεμος (When The War Ends) (Theodorakis) 4.55

Έξη Τραγούδια (Six Songs):
05.Κουράστηκα Να Σε Κρατώ (I Am Tired Of Holding Your Hand) (Christodoulou) 3.21
06. Ο Ίσκιος Έπεσε Βαρύς (Deep Shadows) (Stavrou) 3.24
07. Πήρα Τους Δρόμους Τ’ Ουρανού (I Took To The Streets Of Heaven) (Livathitis) 2.56
08. Στου Κόσμου Την Ανηφοριά (The Uphill Road) (Theodorakis) 3.59
09. Το Εκκρεμές (The Pendulum) (Theodorakis) 3.31
10. Τ’ Όνειρο Καπνός (Dreams Go Up In Smoke) (Theodorakis) 3.28

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Soviet POWs standing before a barracks in Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Soviet POWs standing before a barracks in Mauthausen Concentration Camp