Monday, 21 August 2017

Unbearable Nostalgia, After Theo Angelopoulos

Eleni Karaindrou | Elegy of the Uprooting |Crammed/Dyukyan Meloman, 2006

There are few cultures in which the sadness of the exiled has a history as long as in the Greek one, which dates at least from the time of the Odysseus myth. From the restless spirit of the wanderer to those who feel the anguish of foreigners at home, the music of one of the best contemporary Greek composers, Eleni Karaindrou, probably covers this sadness’s entire spectre in Elegy of the Uprooting.

Text by Margarita Borisova

In Elegy of the Uprooting, Eleni Karaindrou offers a contemplative and introspective walk among her work. Accompanied by 110 musicians – a traditional ensemble, a symphonic orchestra and the legendary singer Maria Farantouri, the massive production, performed over three consecutive days in the Megaron in Athens, was visited by over 6,000 people.

Elegy of the Uprooting is more than a live album, it is the musical confession of Eleni Karaindrou – endlessly sad and seemingly genuine. She herself describes the project as “a scenic cantata.” The framework of the performance is provisionally set by the music to Theo Angelopoulos’s film The Weeping Meadow and by the music to the show based on the Euripides play The Trojan Women.

In this stirring concert performance, there are also included pieces from Eternity and a Day, Ulysses’ Gaze, The Suspended Step of the Stork, The Beekeeper, Landscape in the Mist and Voyage to Cythera – all films by Theo Angelopoulos.

Eleni Karaindrou met the director at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 1982 and that’s when they began to work collaboratively. Even though Karaindrou’s music is intimately linked to the films’ vision, it exists and has its own value independently of them as well.

In addition, Karaindrou includes in this album parts of the music to Lefteris Xanthopoulos’s film Happy Homecoming, Comrade, Hristoforos Hristofis’s Rosa and to Chehov’s play The Seagull. The works sound like a coherent whole and flow into one another as if written specifically for this performance, even though they were produced over a period of 20 years.

Karaidrou has worked with the soloists for a long time - Vangelis Christopoulos (oboe), Nikos Ginos (clarinet) and Sokratis Antis (trumpet), as well as with the Camerata Orchestra for the music to Angelopoulos’s films; this is apparent by the well-established sync in which they play.

The voice of Maria Farantouri, the great singer who had encouraged Eleni Karaindrou in her musical and composer’s searches long ago, rises imposingly and majestically. Farantouri tells different stories of exile. The music recreates many images of the souls forsaken from their homes who long to one day return. Their roaming the world is seemingly endless and their nostalgic longing for home – unbearably strong.

In Bulgaria, you can purchase this CD from
Dyukyan Meloman – the little store in the basement of 7A “6 Septemvri” Street, which has established itself as an institution for local lovers of non-commercial music.




Mount Athos Area KOUZINA 2014

The most famous Greek culinary event!
With the signature of the famous Greek chef Dina Nikolaou

Mount Athos Area Kouzina is a month long annual food festival which takes place from the 15th of May till the 15th of June, attracting foodies from all over the world.
Full Story

Curiosity Chest

Greece and Albania: In the Kingdom of Ali Pasha

While travelling through the Balkans, Morelle Smith gets to know the infamous Ali Pasha, the “Lion of Ioannina.” First through the eyes of nineteenth-century writer Dora d'Istria and then through the impressive architectural heritage he left in Albania and Northern Greece. And she falls for his charms. And how could she not, knowing how fiercely Ali Pasha treated the women who turned him down? Full Story

Useful Reads

In Sfakia: Passing Time in the Wilds of Crete (2008) | By Peter Trudgill

Crete has long been acknowledged as one of the most singular and unique parts of Greece. Its people keep a fierce hold on their traditions, customs and history. Practically a country of its own, this vast island looms over all others in Greece. Nevertheless, as In Sfakia author Peter Trudgill aptly notes in his preface, “some parts of Crete are more special than others, and Sfakia, on the remote south coast, is certainly one of those.” Full Story


Unbearable Nostalgia, After Theo Angelopoulos

Eleni Karaindrou | Elegy of the Uprooting |Crammed/Dyukyan Meloman, 2006
Full Story