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20945940
20945940
20945940

Songs For Guitar

By Mikis Theodorakis

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Composed by Mikis Theodorakis (1925-). Recording mediums. CD. Duration 62' 27''. MDS (Music Distribution Services) #INT 33552. Published by MDS (Music Distribution Services) (M7.INT-33552).

Item Number: M7.INT-33552

Mikis Theordorakis is regarded as one of the most important composers of Greece and can be counted among the most renowned composers of contemporary music. He became famous through the music of the film Zorba The Greek based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis which became world-famous with Anthony Quinn playing the eponymous hero in the epic film of the same name, and was later hugely successful in different versions, e.g. as a ballet, as well.Songs For Guitar is a collection of songs and vocal works by Theodorakis which have been arranged for guitar by Rainer Rohloff. Mikis Theodorakis has written only a few works for this instrument. The main focus of his comprehensive ouvre has been oratorios, song cycles, Film and ballet music. The only exceptions are Lorca for alto voice, solo guitar and large orchestra, and his Rhapsody for Guitar and Orchestra, both being based on thematic material of the song cycle Romancero Gitan by Federico Garcia Lorca. However, numerous guitarists of note, from John Williams to Elena Papandreou, have examined his songs and created their own transcriptions.What mattered to Rainer Rohloff most in the project Songs For Guitar was to make some of the central musical works of Theodorakis accessible as literature for concert guitar. Rainer Rohloff, an internationally renowned guitarist from Saxonia, has given concerts with Mikis Theodorakis in Europe and Asia for far more than ten years and has taken part in many recordings. The long intense collaboration between Rohloff and Theodorakis finds its personal expression in this solo project. The central technical challenge was to take account of and at the same time overcome the limits of the instrument. Especially with arrangements from the large-scale oratorio Canto General (1971-1981) released by Intuition Classics (INT 31142), or with the songs To Gelasto Paidi and 18 November based on the play The Hostage (1961) by the Irish playwright Brendan Behan (1923-1964), originally composed for solo voice and symphony orchestra, he succeeded in skilfully transferring the tonal world without affecting the musical statement. With the collection Songs for Guitar containing such well-known songs as Afti ou th'arthoun, Dioti from the song cycle O Ilios ke o chronos, and To Gelasto Paidi and 18 November which the composer himself sang on the album Theodorakis Sings Theodorakis (INT 30592), Rainer Rohloff shows that his melodies are 'songs' in the best sense of the word. His arrangements combine traditional Greek and Spanish influences, after the example of Mikis Theodorakis' own guitar works, and modern stylistic means. Rainer Rohloff's performance is always transparent and of an easily remembered cantabile style, even where the virtuoso performance reaches the limits of the instrument, such as in La United Fruit Company. Rohloff's own preludes and intermezzos, which are unpretentious introductions to the works, such as in Asma Asmaton from the song cycle Mauthausen (1966) are proof of Rohloff's intensive examination of Theodorakis' ouvre. Special praise is to be given to Rainer Rohloff's subtle and sensitive compilation of melodies from the song cycles Arcadia II and III based on texts by Manos eleftheriou.Mikis Theodorakis himself says about Songs For Guitar: Rohloff fully respects what is written as well as the spirit of the compositions, his translation is made with seriousness and in a creative form so that the independence of both the guitar and the music remains unchanged.' Songs for Guitar is a collection of arrangements which are going to awaken the interest of many guitarists and fill lovers of Greek music with enthusiasm. One 'will have the pleasure of seeing the well-known compositions in a new shining musical dress that will certainly give a new wind to the pieces... (Mikis Theodorakis, Athens 21.12.2001).

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