Maria Farantouri sings Mikis Theodorakis

Translation of the article ~Η Μαρία Φαραντούρη ερμηνεύει Μίκη Θεοδωράκη στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής!~ in Musicity on February 23, 2018

Reason for me to translate this article is the first performance in public, ever, of Andalusia, also written as Andalucia, an arrangement/transcription of the composition Romancero Gitano, based on a serial of poems with the same name, by Frederico Gabriel Lorca. This arrangement is from 2009, and if I am well informed: there has not been any other concert with this composition: Andalusia. It seems to be Mikis Theodorakis’ last composition, because on the list of compositions there has not any new composition been added since 2009. Hopefully this concert is recorded. 

I have linked several names in the article, to offer more detailed information.


The article:

Three master pieces composed by Mikis Theodorakis are presented on Friday, February 23, at 20:30 in the Christos Lambrakis Hall:

Ανδαλουσία / Andalusia, for voice and symphony orchestra” (review of “Romancero Gitano”, which the composer rewrote a few years ago, a cantata for mezzo soprano, choir and orchestra, Μυθιστόρημα (poet George Seferis) and Πνευματικό Εμβατήριο / Spiritual Marriage, March of the Spirit (poet Angelos Sikelianos). On stage is Maria Farantouri, a singer with an artistic journey unbreakably tied to the musical work of Theodorakis, who has stamped in her own voice the struggles for democracy and freedom. With her is the bass Tassos Apostolos, a distinct lyric performer.

The rich symphonic sound with the deep lyrical and epic character of the great Greek composer releases the musical power of words in the poetry of Lorca, Elytis, Seferis and Sikelianos. The choir Δεη-Δεδδηε sings in “Πνευματικό Εμβατήριο”. This choir is one of the most prestigious choral ensembles of the country, and has a rich history since 1978 (conductor: Kostis Konstanaras). Performers and choruses are framed by the Athens State Orchestra; the conductor is Ανδρέας Πιλαρινός/ Andreas Pilarinos.


A few words about the works

Ανδαλουσία / “Andalusia
It is the relatively recent return of Mikis Theodorakis to his oldest work, entitled “Romancero Gitano”, which was re-composed for voice and symphony orchestra (2009). In its original form, the play was written in 1967, and included 7 songs based on Poetry by Frederico Garcia Lorca in a free rendition by Odysseas Elytis. Andalusia is the fourth arrangement of the same work’, next to the voice and guitar composition, and the arrangement for voice, guitar, chorus and symphony orchestra, entitled “Guitar Concerto”.

The Cycle of Μυθιστόρημα was written in 1968 when Mikis Theodorakis was detained in Oropos prison. It is based on the homonymous poetic collection of George Seferis which was published earlier (1935) and includes 4 songs. The first recording of the project took place in Paris in 1971 with Maria Farantouri on behalf of Polydor.

Πνευματικό Εμβατήριο / “Spiritual Marriage” / “March of the Spirit”
The March of the Spirit, or Αρκαδία V–Πνευματικό Εμβατήριο, as the full title, was written in Zatouna, Arkadia, in February 1969, where the composer was under house arrest. It is based on the poem of Angelos Sikelianos and belongs to the category of post-symphonic works. The first recording was made of a concert at Albert Hall, London on 28/6/1970 with the voices of Maria Farantouri, Antonis Kalogiannis and Yannis (John) Theocharris, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, the New Opera London Choir and the Gwalia Male Choir from Wales.

Valia Vraka
Musicologist-Responsible Record of Greek Music
Association Friends of Music
Great Music Library “Lilian Voudouri

Maria FarantouriTassos Apostolos

Choir Δεη-Δεδδηε
Choir Direction │Kostis Konstantaras

Athens State Orchestra
Music address │Andrea Pylarinos




Additional information and references

  • Schott music: Andalucía
  • Video with another performance of “Μυθιστόρημα“:

MYTHISTORIMA (adaptation for voice and symphony orchestra)
music Mikis Theodorakis, poetry by George SeferisFrom a concert of ERT’s Music Ensembles Directorate in the Concert Hall in 1994.

Maria Farantouri (Dimitra Galani participates in “Λίγο ακόμα μπιζ “)

  • 0:22 Τώρα που θα φύγεις
  • 4:54 Στο στήθος μου η πληγή
  • 8:28 Ο ύπνος σε τύλιξε
  • 11:42 Λίγο ακόμα μπιζ
  • 14:34 Ο ύπνος σε τύλιξε
  • 17:39 Λίγο ακόμα

(From the archive of Athanasios Sakellarakis.)




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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2 Responses to Maria Farantouri sings Mikis Theodorakis

  1. Huh, I didn’t know about this one. Romancero is far from my favourite works by him, Lorca is my favourite poet and I absolutely adore many Greek interpretation of him and the love that Greeks have towards him but most Lorca-related works by Theodorakis except “Santiago” are just far from both his best and the best Greek interpretations of Lorca, I guess. It’s Federico not Frederico, though.


    • Poetry is art. Composing is art. Composing on poetry is another art form than “just” composing notes. Without knowing words, or without having words in mind. It is a feeling that has to be expressed. The only composition on a poem that fits is the own composition. Theodorakis composed his comment on the poem.

      For me only the sounds matter. Words are not important for me in music. I hear in the notes all what has to be expressed.

      When I read a poem only the words are important, and all around these words disturb my connection with the poem, with the poet. I would never compose music on poetry. I am listening to voices when I listen to Theodorakis’ music. I listen to instruments. I listen to the intention where all are filled with who create a concert.

      If you would like to create music on Lorca: do it. If you cannot then do not blame any other human to have composed something that you do not like.
      Just zap.
      Next poem, next music, next composer.
      So simple it is.


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