2500 Years of Hellenic Music / Various
Summary '2500 Years of Greek Music ' (From Homer to the Present) Lakis Chalkias Lakis Chalkias is a Greek singer, a descendant of a long line of musicians called the Halkiades of Epirus. He first began singing as a child along with his father and solo, and later with his brothers. It immediately became evident that he had inherited the talent that characterized a long family tradition. Like his father, Lakis has a profound love for demotic music, the traditional Greek folk songs that have been handed down through the centuries. At the same time, he has a strong passion for genuine Byzantine music clearly expressed for over a thousand years through religious worship in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Lakis Chalkias underlines that the demotic songs, the traditional Greek folk music of the modern Greeks are the direct descendants of ancient Greek music, beginning with the epic. Furthermore, Byzantine ecclesiastic music, deliberately selected by the Fathers of the Church from solemn hieratic ancient Greek music, took on it's own ethos and structure, evolving into high art. Thus, while modern Greek folk songs stemmed from the ancient Greek Muse, Byzantine music, even though founded on the mechanisms of ancient Greek tradition, was nevertheless a creation of the Christian world of the East. A learned and artistic creation susceptible to development. It was a divine genre of art, which reached it's zenith when the Byzantine Empire was at it's peak. Thus, Byzantine music falls within a certain time of prosperity along with it's extensions. The era of Romanos Melodos (6th century) and John Damascene (mid-7th to mid-8th century) up to the Fall of Constantinople (1453) was the period during which Byzantine music flourished. The period before Romanos and the so-called post-Byzantine period after the Fall constitute it's extensions. It is evident that the boundaries are clearly conventional since both ancient Greek music and the demotic songs, as well as Byzantine ecclesiastic music, belong to the same familiar horizon or tradition of Greek national music. This irresistible love and passion for Greek music drove Lakis Chalkias to attempt a musical composition of such scope. It was a complex and intricate repertoire which required not only extensive knowledge and great patience, but also the ability to mobilize the necessary human resources. Chalkias, himself became the interpreter and performer of this work, which he presented in 1995 at the Athens Concert Hall, and is presenting again today, in the two CDs and the special publication you now have in your hand. It was not only passionate enthusiasm for Greek music that drove him, nor impulse or inspiration. The musical work was a result of hard labor. It required ten years of study and research to reach the stage of composition. Apart from the musicians and other artists who contributed to the on stage presentation of the work, support was also provided by a highly specialized team of experts and academic scholars. Lakis Chalkias expresses his appreciation and pays tribute to them all. Their names have been carefully recorded in the credits listed in this special edition with the most painstaking attention. The purpose of this significant effort is to teach and guide the young generations of Greeks, those living in Greece as well as those of the 'Diaspora'-- Greeks of overseas, those living abroad. The work '2500 years of Greek Music: From Homer to the Present' is divided into five parts. Part One (1st CD) Refers to ancient Greek music. It begins with the blare of a conch shell and with a recitation of six verses from the First Rhapsody of the Iliad, repeated by the chorus in metered recitation. It is then chanted by Lakis Chalkias in non-rhyming 15-syllable verses. This is followed by an excerpt from the First Stasimon of Euripides' Orestes, Mesomedes' Hymns to the Sun, the Muse and Nemesis, Seikilos' Epitaph and the first Delphic Hymn to Apollo The chorus and orchestra continue. Ancient musical instruments are heard, such as the Apollonian kithara, pandura, lyre, aulos, barbitos, double tambourine, and other percussion instruments, accompanying the pieces that are being recited or sung. Singers: Lakis Chalkias, Nena Venetsanou, Chorus. Part Two (1st CD) Introduces us to the Byzantine era with the Hymn to the Holy Trinity from the 3rd or 4th century AD. This part consists of the Ypermacho, the Carols of Spring from Macedonia, the Communion hymn Aineite ton Kyrion (Praise the Lord) by Ioannis Koukouzelis written in the plagal first mode (12th century) and the Allelueia in the same mode by Simon Karas. They are followed by the songs: Agie mou Giorgi (a Byzantine song from Constantinople), O Diogenis Psychomachei (Rizitiko from Crete), recitation of a Thracian folk song by Nikita Tsakiroglou and Nailoi Emas, Na Vai Emas (Pontus). Singers: Lakis Chalkias, Byzantine and the Children's Choir. Orchestra of Byzantine instruments: oud, kanonaki, flute, tambouras, Byzantine lute, Cretan lyre, Pontic lyre, daouli and tambourine. Part Three (1st and 2nd CD) Is devoted to the demotic, or traditional Greek folk song and the dirge. It features: The Moirologi tis Xenitias by Tassos Chalkias, a narration by Nikita Tsakiroglou, the War Song (Thourios) Os Pote Palikaria of Rigas Velestinlis, the polyphonic song from Epirus Ti Kako Ekama o Kaimenos, another Epirot polyphonic song Dropolitissa, the Aegean island song Aigaio Mou Galinepse, and Pote tha Kami Xasteria. In the same part (on the 2nd CD) are: the historical song O Halasmos tis Niaoustas, the Kalamatianos wedding dance Milo Mou Kokkino, the historic Pedia tis Samarinas, and the more recent Thracian Strato Mazevei I Ellas. Singers: Lakis Chalkias, Nena Venetsanou, Nadia Karagianni. Narration: Nikitas Tsakiroglou. The choir participates and is accompanied by an orchestra of traditional folk instruments: clarino, violin, kanonaki, oud, Cretan lyre, tambouras, flute, lute, daouli, tambourine and trambouka. Part Four (2nd CD) Includes songs from Asia Minor, Constantinople and Rebetiko, including: a) From Constantinople: Emena me to Eipane (Hasapikos dance), M'Eheis Berdemeno M'eheis (traditional song) and Ehe Geia Panagia (Hasapikos dance). B) Rebetiko: Imouna Mangas Mia Fora (Aptalikos dance by Markos Vamvakaris), Vangelio Den Eisai Entaxi (Hasapikos dance by Apostolos Hatzichristos), Pame Sto Phalero (Syrtos dance also by Hatzichristos). Participating is the chorus and orchestra composed of the instruments: clarino, violin, oud, kanonaki, Byzantine lute, lute, kithara, trambouka-koutalia and daires-zilia. The second half of the same Part (2nd CD), contains rebetiko songs accompanied by rebetika instruments such as: bouzouki, tzourobouzouko, tzouras, baglamas, 6-string and 12-string guitar and trambouka. Singers: Lakis Chalkias, Nadia Karayanni, Sophia Nikolaidou. And finally, in Part Five (2nd CD) We come to the popular and contemporary folk songs. A) The popular songs are: Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki (Zebekikos by Vas. Tsitsanis), I Xeniteia (Zeibekikos by Apostolos Kaldaras), Then se Thelo Pia (fast Hasapiko by Giannis Papaioannou), I Fabrikes (Zebekikos by Vas. Tsitsanis). Accompanied by an orchestra of popular musical instruments: bouzouki, tzouras, baglamas, accordion, 6-string and 12-string guitars, classical bass and percussion. B) The second half of the same Part includes the folk songs: Sto Periyali to Kryfo (Mikis Theodorakis, George Seferis), Mera Magiou mou misepses (Mikis Theodorakis, Yannis Ritsos), O Sideras (Manos Chatzidakis, Iakovos Kampanellis), Ena to Helidoni (Mikis Theodorakis, Odysseus Elytis), T'akordeon (Manos Loizos, Yannis Negrepontis) and Ti Romiosyni mi tin Kleis (Mikis Theodorakis, Yannis Ritsos). A polyphonic choir participates, accompanied by a folk orchestra: bouzoukia, tzouras, accordion, trumpet, piano, cello, bass, guitar, drums, tympani and percussion. Singers: Lakis Chalkias, Nena Venetsanou, Nadia Karagianni, Sophia Nikolaidou and Mania Chalkia. A number of books and papers by experts and academic scholars have been included in the Greek publication, providing a source of knowledge and insight into the theoretical aspects of this repertoire, as well as related subjects. These sources include: P. Piriovolis (A Brief History of Greek Music), Ch. Spyridis (Ancient Greek Music), K. Georgousopoulos (Song and Dance in Ancient Drama), G. Stathis (Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Music or the Art of Greek Chant), T. Fotopoulos (The Greek System of Musical Notation), G. Papachronis (A Little about Byzantine Music), Y. Probonas (The Unbroken Continuity of Greek Folk Poetry from Mycenean Times up to the Present), P. Piriovolis (The Dirge: The Divine and Human Passions through the Fate of the Greeks), T. Halkias (Memories and Notes), M. Dragoumis (Introduction to the Songs of Asia Minor), Th. Provatakis (Greek Local Traditional Dances and Folk Musical Instruments through the Miniatures, Wall Paintings and Engravings of Greek Popular Artists), A. Zeakis-Glynias (Guide to the Art of Music), G. Farandos (Dialogue with the Waterfalls of the Greek World of Music), M. Doulyerakis (Cretan Music Today), G. Kakoulidis (The Spirit of a People and Song), D. Iatropoulos (Popular Inspiration for Evolution and Creation), Manos Katrakis (On the 125 years of the Chalkias Family), Des. Mazaraki (The Folk Clarino in Greece and the Halkias Family). This section is closed by the Rector of the University of Ioannina, Christos Massalas with his Epimetro. The Greek edition includes a section with messages from scholars, intellectuals and people of the arts such as Simon Karas, Panos Piriovolis, George Seferis, Odysseus Elytis, Yannis Ritsos, Manos Chatzidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Markos Vamvakaris, Vassilis Tsitsanis and Yannis Papaioannou. This section upgrades our repertoire, approaches it and contributes to the awareness and vigilance required of us all for the protection of our musical heritage, for the protection of Greek Music. Music as an Art is a significant means for the awakening of a people, as well as a means of sound and virtuous guidance for future generations. 'The Center of Hellenic Music ---CHALKIAS.