Symphony No. 2: “The Earth’s Song”

The music of a symphony is not for all ears. It depends a little bit on the composer. Beethoven’s symphonies are much more easy listening than Mahler’s symphonies. Symphonies are comparable with books, with more or less heavy literature. This Second Symphony is not the easiest one, and therefore not so popular. Hardly any recording can be found on YouTube, and that becomes understandable when listening. The Symphony No. 2 starts with very disharmonic sounds, like screams, and it needs the really classical music enthusiast, maybe the Strawinsky fan, to continue listening. Those who continue listening, will be surprised on many many moments however, in a very nice way. The piano contributes to that very much. It represents in a way your voice, in a dialogue with all other instruments, even with the dark moods in it. It is a “book” with four chapters, duration in total about an hour, a modern play, a running away, provoking, hiding, seeking and being found. Passion and Peace. Vulcanos and Little Streams. Soundscapes. Very interesting!

The video added here is the only version I could find on YouTube. The “views” number is not that high. Not, compared with a much more popular one, that can reach tens of thousands, even in a year.

Mikis Theodorakis about Symphonies

“The symphony are very, very difficult things.  I start to write symphonies when I discovered European music as I was a student in Athens and in Conservatoire de Paris with Messiaen.  The symphony for me is the last great art after the tragedy, after the poetry.  The symphony comes in the eighteenth century, so it is very modern.  For me, it is the fruit of the German realism.  They do architecture with sounds only.  They construct bridges, big bridges.  They form fugue, they form sonata, they form symphony, they form quartet.  But this is very big, only with sound, and is very difficult, I think, for the common people to take — to see the fantasy vision of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven or the Fifth Symphony of Mahler.  It is very difficult, very difficult.  This is the fruit of the time where there was the big separation between classes, who at this moment had much free time… you know, the princes.  They had all the time hear music; they speak with Beethoven, with Mozart.  Frederick the Great played music with C.P.E. Bach.  This is aristocracy, the aristocracy of music.” (from: Bruce Duffie‘s interview with Mikis Theodorakis)


Performers of  Symphony No. 2 (a recording from 2007)

Piano: Cyprien Katsaris
Choir: Chorale Enfantine “Princesse Marie-Astrid”, Mondercange (Luxembourg)
Orchestra: Orchestre Symphonique de RTL
Conductor: Mikis Theodorakis

Also available on Spotify

Katsaris and Theodorakis


I. Andante – Andante moderato – Andante cantabile -Allegro marcato – Andante
II. Presto – Adagio – Vicace – Adagio – Andante sostenuto
III. Andante – Andante cantabile – Lento
IV. Finale (Presto – Adagio – Dolce)


Sources and additional information


About "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis"

The blog "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis" started in 2010. The not-for-profit activities of the initiator were and are to collect, create and publish information about the MUSIC of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis via YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and this blog. Sources for this information are utterly strictly related with Mikis Theodorakis' Music only. The icon is a bouzouki. It is Greece's national symbol for freedom. During the Regime of the Colonels (Military Junta, 1967-1974) the bouzouki was forbidden. Mikis Theodorakis used this authentic Greek instrument in almost all his compositions, and Greeks were listening to Theodorakis's music in the underground scene, during the Military Junta time.
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