SAMALTANOS CATHARIOU SIRODEAU
“Intersection: 1955” puts in perspective works by two of the most important Greek composers working in the second half of the 20th century. In 1955, Mikis Theodorakis, as a student at the Paris Conservatory under Eugène Bigot and Olivier Messiaen, composed the music for the ballet “Erofili”, later renamed “Passacailles pour deux pianos”. Passacailles is perhaps the most atypical and enigmatic set of works written by Theodorakis, though it heralded his future development as a composer. The two cycles of extreme beauty on the poems of Paul Eluard written in 1958 are particularly distinguished by their great economy of means in harmonic writing and their use of a kind of Byzantine ison. The Six T. S. Eliot Songs by Jani Christou written in 1955, are the culmination of his period of acoustic compositions, long before he turned to the world of electroacoustic music or constructions which combined three artistic principles, music, dance and theatre, in the same work. Christou’s music perfectly reflects the atmosphere of Eliot’s poetry, and reveals the composer’s immense talent, as well as his ability to move audiences and interpreters alike. The utilization of the voice is very different from one melody to another, though the technical means employed are relatively similar. It offers the composer scope for exploration with regards to expression, musical discourse, the transformation of acoustical energies into music, the notion of praxis and dramatical action. The featured song cycles are performed by the distinguished mezzo-soprano Angelica Cathariou. Pianists Nikolaos Samaltanos and Christophe Sirodeau complete this album with the Prélude and Fugue by Jani Christou. This early work was composed in 1944 in Egypt.