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Issue 25

(Fall 2014)






Markos Skoulios: Eastern Makams and the “Right” Mode Rast


The majority of old music idioms found in the area of Greece maintains a deep affinity with the musical traditions of the East. The most important dimension of this affinity is probably the multi-modality of melodies. This paper begins with a brief overview of the history of eastern modality, which reveals the evolution from the closed-ended symmetrical and hierarchical early modal systems to the open-ended non-symmetrical modern ones. This overview is followed by a concise presentation of the Ottoman-Turkish Makam system, which is the most appropriate for the analysis of melodic modality phenomena found in Greek music idioms. This presentation is based on information found in old sources such as the writings of Dimitrie Cantemir, Hızır Ağa, Tanburi Harutin, Abdülbaki Nasır Dede, Panayiotis Halatzoglou, Kyrillos Marmarinos and Panayiotis Kiltzanidis, as well as contemporary ones such as Ekrem Karadeniz, Ismail Hakki Özkan, Fıkret Kutluğ and Murat Aydemir. The theoretical tools presented, combined with those of Byzantine theory, are applied in the analysis of Makam Rast. Rast is perhaps the most important modal entity, functioning as the skeleton of the Makam modal complex, as well as the starting point for each analytical attempt and for each educational procedure, in a long run of many centuries. The theoretical analysis of the aforementioned mode is enriched with performing details drawn from the oral tradition of the so-called “melodic attractions”.



Konstantinos Mavrogenis: The Mass super Aller mi faut la verdure of Franghiskos Leondaritis – A “Parody Mass” on two Polyphonic Models


The current article discusses the Mass Super Aller mi faut la verdure of the Cretan composer Franghiskos Leondaritis and the borrowing of its musical material from two polyphonic compositions of the homonymous chanson. Firstly, basic information is cited about the genre of the Missa ad imitationem, the so-called “Parody Mass”, which dominates the polyphonic composition of the “Ordinarium missae” during the sixteenth century; the Mass Super Aller mi faut la verdure also belongs to this genre. In addition, there is a description of the manuscript in which the above Mass is included, followed by an analysis of the parody procedure with the aid of musical examples and a table, in which all the parts of the Mass are correlated with their borrowed material. Finally, there is an evaluation of Leondaritis’s compositional techniques in this particular Mass, and also an attempt to evaluate the Mass in relation to its period. In order to facilitate the understanding of the above analysis, the transcribed Mass and the two chansons are cited at the end of the article.



Konstantinos G. Sampanis: The Opera Performances in Patras during the Era of King Otto (1850-1862)


The first and wooden theatre of the Greek city-port of Patras was established late in 1849, and the first organised and complete season of opera performances was held in the spring of 1850 under the supervision of the capable Italian maestri Francesco Zecchini and Angelo Lambertini from Bologna. The first two productions were I due Foscari and Ernani of Giuseppe Verdi – in fact, the Patras theatre was the first one in the then “Kingdom of Greece” in which an opera of the famous composer was staged. Isabella d’Aspeno of Paolo Carrer was staged on 23.5.1860, being the first opera of a Greek composer to be performed in a theatre of the then “Kingdom of Greece”, while the first world performance of Marco Bozzari of the same composer was staged at the Patras theatre on 12.5.1861. On the whole, from 1850 until the end of the era of King Otto (1862) 5 organised seasons of opera performances took place, and a total of 27 (or 28) opera productions of 25 (or 26) different operas were held, mainly works by Verdi, Donizetti and Bellini. The Italian opera troops that performed at the Patras theatre were mainly of medium quality. In that theatre the subsequently world famous Antonietta Brignoli-Ortolani made her first appearance as prima donna soprano assoluta in 1851, at the age of only 20 years.


Nikos A. Dontas: Verdi at the Greek National Opera during the Period from 1939 to 2010


Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most popular opera composers worldwide. His works hold a central position in the repertory of the Greek National Opera (GNO) since it was founded in 1939. During the first seven decades of its life, the GNO, the only state-funded opera company in Greece, presented most of Verdi’s works – not only the popular titles but also a number of less well-known works.

The present article reviews the totality of the productions of Verdi’s operas that have been presented by the Greek National Opera, from 1939 until 2010. It observes, in chronological order, the way works were added to the company’s repertory. Furthermore, it attempts to define some of the factors that determined the presence of each title in the repertory, such as the reasons for the regular or sparse appearance of a title or the reasons underlying the production of a work in one specific venue but not in another. Regarding the formation of the company’s repertory, the importance of a particular venue or the availabilities of specialized singers are highlighted through concrete examples.

The picture drawn and the suggested explanations allow for conclusions regarding the company’s character in various periods of the first 70 years of its life. They also shed light on the priorities of the company’s administration, at least to the extent that these are reflected in choices of repertory. Questions regarding stereotype perceptions about the popularity of specific works arise naturally, and thus pose further questions on matters of cultural management, regardless of whether this was exercised intentionally or intuitively.


Solon Raptakis: The Piano Sonata in Early Romanticism: A Comparative Study of First Movements from Piano Sonatas of the 1820s


In the present study we attempt an analysis and subsequently a comparison of four first movements from selected piano sonatas which were composed in the early Romantic period and more specifically in the 1820s. The study focuses on the search for common characteristics in piano works by Carl Maria von Weber (Piano Sonata No. 4, in E minor, op. 70), Johann Nepomuk Hummel (Piano Sonata in D major, op. 106), Franz Schubert (Piano Sonata in D major, D 850) and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Piano Sonata in E major, op. 6). Its ultimate goal is the extraction of general conclusions concerning the treatment, by the first generation of Romantic composers, of the conventions of the sonata form that had been established at that time, and namely their dealing with the great legacy that classicism, and especially the piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven, had left in this field of composition. The methodological tools that are drawn upon are mainly textbooks of the second half of the twentieth century – and more recent ones – on sonata form (W. Caplin, J. Hepokoski & W. Darcy, Ch. Rosen), along with other theoretical texts and handbooks of composition that appeared prior to, contemporarily with, or slightly after the sonatas that we examine. The article’s structure follows that of the formal parts of sonata form, i.e. exposition, development and recapitulation (with the optional addition of a coda), which are isolated from all the works and examined separately in succession, with the aim of achieving greater analytic clarity and immediacy, before we proceed to the final comparative study of the repertory.


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