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Issue 10

(Spring 2007)






George Vlastos: Decoding Antigone: Cocteau, Honegger and the avant-garde of the early 20th century


Cocteau’s and Honegger’s Antigone is considered as a work not fully recognized, due to its particular position in the history of 20th century opera. The translation of the ancient Greek tragedy of Sophocles by Cocteau is taken as a starting point in order to re-examine this work in connection with the conception of Greek antiquity formed in that era, as well as with the contemporary explorations of the avant-garde. In this context, correspondences and aesthetic approaches between Cocteau’s vision and the principles of the artistic movement of futurism are being evaluated. Honegger’s Antigone is also examined with regard to the new elements, as the singular declamatory technique, used in the setting of a Greek tragedy into music. Cocteau’s adaptation is pointed out as the main factor that played an important role in the formation of the various compositional techniques. Thus the decoding of the work is based on the examination of these techniques in order to trace aesthetic affinities with Cocteau’s views of the ancient Greek world. Finally, via this approach Antigone is being placed anew in the history of 20th century opera.



Ioannis Fulias: Sonata forms and their theoretical evolution: 18th-century theorists (III)


The third part of this extensive survey of the theoretical evolution of sonata forms from 18th to 20th centuries presents three other contributions from the late 18th-century. The most important among them comes undoubtedly from the Italian Francesco Galeazzi, whose description of sonata form is in fact very similar to Koch’s one, but with a significant difference: Galeazzi emphasizes the thematic (melodic) aspects of form, which offer us the possibility to understand the sonata form of this period in a deeper, more accurately and more holistic way, through a cross-examination of these two major writings on this topic. Another contemporary theorist, Johann Friedrich Daube, gives a precious evidence of the ternary (and not binary) partition of the prevailing late 18th-century sonata type, while August Kollmann’s account of a rather binary sonata form looks highly unsophisticated and insufficient for that matter.



Chrysi Parpara: The attack on Manolis Kalomiris’ work in the periodical Mousika Chronika (1925, 1928-33); issues of Greek music history


The periodical Mïusika Chronika was published by a number of musicians who strongly opposed against the composer Manolis Kalomiris, whom they blamed for their pushing aside. This article presents the accusations against Kalomiris expressed in direct and indirect ways. They refer to his compositions, to his involvement in musical education and in musical criticism and to his relations to politicians. Through these accusations broader issues of Greek music history are revealed, some of them currently existing in our time.



Myrto Economidou: An unpublished extract from the memoirs of Manolis Kalomiris


The prominent composer and founder of the Greek National Music School, Manolis Kalomiris (1883-1962), started his memoirs in 1939, almost a year before the outbreak of World War II in Greece. He stopped writing during 1942, after sketching only a very small amount of his narrative and leaving time-gaps between the three incomplete chapters (1883-1911 and 1919). The last edition of these, in one volume, in 1988, included all the relevant data known up to that point. Nevertheless, in January 2002 an additional document containing 31 typed pages of memoirs was discovered at the house of his granddaughter, Hara Kalomiri. The contents of the extract cover a span of one year of the composer’s life – from the summer of 1908 to the summer of 1909 – and were written in 1942.

After finishing his music studies at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Conservatory in Vienna in 1906, M. Kalomiris settled in Kharkov, where he had the chance to hear and study the Russian composers while just beginning his own career as a composer. The narrative begins with recounting the events after his first concert in Athens, in July 11th 1908, commemorates his new acquaintances and goes on to describe his journey to Smyrna and, following that, his life in Russia and the works that he started to compose there.

Preceding the extract is an article with information on Kalomiris’ memoirs in general, their dates of publication, the most recent findings and the various problems that were encountered during the research.



Alexandros Charkiolakis: An unknown testimony by Alekos Xenos about Manolis Kalomiris


During the Second World War and the occupation of Greece by the Axis powers, partisan squads organized heavy resistance. EAM (National Liberation Front), with its military branch, ELAS (Hellenic Popular Liberation Army), was the widest of all partisan squads, with important connections to the Greek Communist Party (KKE). After the liberation of Greece, political complications led to a civil war, during which many atrocities and misconducts have been committed.

Manolis Kalomiris, an emblematic figure of music in Greece and famous about his admiration to the German spirit, which he believed as the perfect basis for a truly national music, has been accused as a collaborationist to the occupying Axis forces. Belonis, with two articles on this subject, has shed some light upon certain incidents that occurred during those years. In this article, I present what I believe is a new finding that came up after reading the unpublished Memoirs of Alekos Xenos, a Greek composer and a member of EAM – ELAS and the KKE.



Efi Petropoulou: Claude Debussy through his articles and interviews


From 1901 till 1914 Claude Debussy collaborated, for different periods, with magazines and newspapers as a music critic. Through his articles, as well as the interviews he gave, he expressed his views about music.

In this text, Debussy’s thoughts mainly on three subjects are presented. The first has to do with the art of Richard Wagner. The second is occupied with contemporary French music that, according to Debussy, had been influenced by the German school resulting in the loss of her particular characteristics. The third mentions the composer’s thoughts about form and the need for search of new ways of expression.



George Kitsios: Pafsilypon: A German “Temple of the Muses” in the Ottoman Ioannina of 1873


The satirical journal Karavida (Ioannina 1874) is a valuable source of information concerning the everyday life of the Epirus capital during the late 19th century. Of special interest hereby is the lengthy presentation of the “Pafsilypon” café chantant, where a group of German female artists performed. There are quite a few references concerning the “floorshow” music, as well as the audience’s social synthesis. Moreover, the journal narrative outlines the critical role the artists played, as far as the diffusion of “European dances” in urban entertainment is concerned. The “Pafsilypon” opening could be characterized as a historical milestone regarding the emergence of an early era of the industrialization of leisure in Ioannina through the last preceding the liberation decades, a drift grown in full intense right after 1913.



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