Thursday 14th July 19:00
National Archaeological Museum, Athens


Concert Programme

 

 

Raphael Staubli (1959) Marsyas and Apollon (2016)
soprano, overtone singers, lyre

 
Nikos Xanthoulis (1962) Two choral odes from Euripides’ Helen (2008/10)
mezzo soprano, lyre, flute

 
François-Bernard Mâche (1935) Sopiana (1980)
flute, piano, tape

 
Giorgos Zervos (1948) Δέδυκε μὲν  Σελάννα (2012)
mezzo soprano, flute, violoncello, piano

 
Minas Alexiadis (1960) To Peace (2008)
mezzo soprano, oboe, viola, piano

 
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Anna Pangalou mezzo soprano
Nuria Richner soprano
Marcello Wick overtonesinger
Brenda Jane Kirkpatrick overtonesinger
Ana Chifu flutes
Kostas Giovanis oboe
Nikos Xanthoulis lyre
Raphael Staubli lyre
Patrick Evans viola
Alexandros Botinis violoncello
Christos Sakellaridis piano

 

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Biographical notes of composers and programme notes on the pieces

 

 

Alexiadis, Minas I.

Musicologist and composer. Has gained a Diploma in composition under Guenther Becker at the Robert Schumann University, Duesseldorf. A Law School graduate. A PhD holder in Musicology from the University of Athens. Many of his works have won prizes and have been performed and broadcast worldwide. Many have been recorded and released in 24 LPs and CDs in Greece, Italy, Germany, England and Japan. Operas of his have been performed in Frankfurt and Athens, such as Viva la Vida-Frida Kahlo (1994/1996). Other works involve symphonic, chamber and electronic music, music for the ballet, film and theatre. Member of the Board and Vice President of the Greek Composers’ Union (1989-2013) and member of the Board as well as Secretary General of the Greek National Opera (2002-2006). He is Associate Professor (Opera, Music Theater and Stage Music) at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Athens.

 

 

To Peace (2008) (mezzo soprano, oboe, viola, piano)

Paean-Ode to Apollo / Engkomion to Peace, by Bakchylides: the text (sung here in ancient Greek) praises, in a lyrical and sentimental way, the (personal and social) benefits for all people during peacetime. This is my third musical setting (2008) on the poem (the former two being commissions by the National Broadcasting Corporation / ERT and the National Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1991 and 2002 respectively). In this ‘chamber musical’ reworking of the piece, attention is given to space, form, timing, musical registers and the interaction between the mezzo-soprano voice and the instruments (oboe, viola, piano).

 

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Mâche, François-Bernard

François-Bernard Mâche, born in a family of musicians, studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, from where he received a degree in Hellenic Archaeology (1957), the teaching certificate “Agrégation de lettres classiques” in Classical Philology (1958), and a doctorate in Musicology (1980). As a musician, he was amongst the few founders of the “Groupe de Recherches Musicales” under the supervision of Pierre Schaeffer (1958). He studied music with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur, Paris, where he was granted a prize in the Philosophy of Music (1960). He is the author of six books and of about one hundred and seventy articles on music, and one of the first translators of the poetry of Odysseas Elytis into French (1975, 1977). He put forth his own method-and-theory of composition, based on the notions of models and archetypes, and was pioneer in applying linguistic data to music analysis and synthesis. For many years he was director of the Music Department of the University of Strasbourg (1983-1993). He has composed over one hundred and ten works, in which are often combined speakers and acoustic instruments. They have been performed in the most prestigious halls and festivals. Over the years he has been invited to give seminars in over twenty countries. Amongst the honourary titles he has received are the “Grand Prix du Disque” (1971), the “Prix Italia” (1977), the “Grand Prix National de la Musique” (1988), and the “Grand Prix de la Musique Symphonique de la Sacem” (2002); he has also been named a “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” (1990). He is a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts since 2002, and occupies the chair of the late Iannis Xenakis. He is also Honourary Doctor of the University of Athens (Department of Music Studies, 2011). Two of his books are directly connected to the theme of the present conference: (1983) Musique, mythe, nature, ou Les dauphins d’Arion. Paris: Méridiens Klinksieck (Reprinted by Aedam Musicae, 2015); (1992) Music, myth and nature, or The dolphins of Arion (translated by Susan Delaney, Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers); (2007) De la musique, des languages, et des oiseaux: entretien (avec Bruno Serrou). Paris: Éditions Michel de Maule.

 

 

Sopiana (1983) (oboe, tape)

Sopiana, for flute, piano and magnetic tape, was composed for Pierre-Yves Artaud, who first produced it alongside with Rita Sin at the Pecs summer classes in Hungary in 1980. The title is derived from the city’s ancient Roman name. Just like Naluan, from which it takes up part of the recorded elements, this work exemplifies a personal approach from the composer aiming at doing away with the distinction between raw sounds and musical sounds, between nature and culture. Not only the bird sounds are transcribed in minute detail, thus allowing the instrumentalists to synchronize with them, but they are also physically present in the loudspeakers with their virtuosity, their silences, their inexhaustible gush. A Malayan shama performs long, complex soli, taking on melody and punctuation by itself, while the icterine warbler and the marsh warbler juggle with unchanging sound objects, endlessly combining numbers, timbres, registers and tempi. The virtuosity required from the interpreters is a match for that of the models, and in particular makes use of all the modern flute techniques: circular breathing, multisounds, glissandi, etc (Daniel Charles).

 

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Staubli, Raphael

Raphael Staubli is Professor of Classical Music Theory at Musikhochschule Luzern, Switzerland. He studied violin at Musikhochschule Zürich and composition at Musikhochschule Stuttgart under Helmut Lachenmann. He also gives concerts accompanying singers on the fortepiano. After discovering his interest in ancient Greek culture, he followed Stelios Psaroudakēs’ course at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, which was dedicated amongst others to the music theory by Aristoxenos. He published an essay on Bruckner, “Bruckner und der liebe Gott” (Bruckner and the dear God), last year. At the moment he is working on an article on specific questions about the libretto of The magic flute by E. Schikaneder / W.A. Mozart.

 

 

Marsyas and Apollon (2016) (overtone soprano, lyre)

The piece comprises two parts. The first part is related to Marsyas. It features only natural sounds created by two overtone singers on two key notes, c and g. Due to their natural origin they sound very clear and pure. However, it is not possible to create other sounds and intervals apart from those given by nature itself. Thus, we are in a sort of prison or paradise surrounded by beautiful sounds. The second part is linked to Apollon, as the citation of the hymn to the Delphic God (composed by Athenaios in 127 BC) exemplifies. In the melody we have structures, systems, rhythms, and shapes that are created by the human mind. For example, the melody will be sung in Pythagoraen tuning which creates a major third that is different from the natural one. The small difference becomes obvious at the transition from the first to the second part. This is also where the link to the ancient myth is: Apollon did not win the competition thanks to his superior playing skills, but he told Marsyas to turn the instruments around to play them in a way that was unfeasible for Marsyas, who was playing on the aulos.

 

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Xanthoulis, Nikos

Dr Nikos Xanthoulis served as principal trumpet player in the Orchestra of the Greek National Opera for 25 years and as Artistic Director of the Public Broadcasting Orchestras and Choirs (2014-2015). As a soloist and composer he has presented his music in more than 30 countries. He is Assistant Researcher in the Academy of Athens and Tutor at the Greek Open University. His four children’s operas have been presented in many Greek theaters. He has written incidental music for tragedies using reconstructed ancient Greek instruments. The Archaeological Institute of America awarded him the Kress Lectureship for 2012-2013 and 2017-2018 for his research in ancient Greek music.

 

 

Two choral odes from Euripides’ Helen (2008/10) (voice, flute, lyre, tympanon)

The choruses of Helen by Euripides, in translation by Tasos Lertas, were composed in 2010 for the performances of the theater Knossos. The staging continues to be presented after 6 years at the same theatre. The music was also performed during the Athens and Epidauros Festival in 2014 at the Herodeion by the Kalamata Municipal Theatre and toured in 50 Greek cities.

 

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Zervos, Giorgos

Giorgos Zervos studied piano, theory and composition under Yannis Ioannides. At post-graduate level he studied formalized music under Iannis Xenakis as well as musicology and aesthetics of music under Michel Guiomar and Daniel Charles: DEA diploma, University of Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, thesis “Mathematical procedures in Bartok’s and Xenakis’ work” (1982); PhD in Musicology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, thesis “The crisis of theme in the work of the Second Vienna School composers: Schönberg, Berg, Webern” (1995). He has composed chamber  and vocal music, as well as works for orchestra and has published several articles and two books on the music of the 20th century. He is Assistant Professor (teaching Music Analysis and 20th Century Music) in the Department of Music Studies of the University of Athens.

 

 

Δέδυκε μὲν Σελάννα (2012) (mezzo soprano, flute, cello, piano)

The piece was composed on the occasion of a musico-poetic tribute to Sappho organized by the Society of Authors on March 30th 2012 at the Acropolis Museum. The aim was to highlight the text (translated by Panagiotis Lekatsas) of this much discussed poem, by combining aspects of ancient and modern demotic music traditions. 

 

 

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