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Issue 21

(Fall 2012)






Konstantinos G. Sampanis: The opera performances in Zante from 1835 until the embodiment of the Ionian Islands to the “Kingdom of Greece” (1864) – I


“Apollo”, initially a wooden theatre in the Ionian Island of Zante (“Zakynthos” in Greek), was built by the Italian Gaetano Mele in 1835, when the first aimed, organised and complete season of opera performances was held. For more than two decades the seasons of operas did not take place on an annual basis, but from the year 1857 until the season of 1863-1864 there was a remarkable stability and regularity concerning the annual occurrence. Totally, from 1835 until the embodiment of Zante to the “ Kingdom of Greece ” (1864), nineteen organised seasons of opera performances took place, as well as a series of performances, which lasted only a few weeks. Furthermore, two more seasons can be considered as questionable and a series as possibly having taken place. It is estimated that during the period 1835-1864 a total of 115-125 opera productions were held, of which up to now the 90 are completely confirmed, while 5 more are strongly believed to have taken place based on documented evidence. Fifty-seven operas of 14 composers were performed, mainly by Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Rossini. The small population of Zante, as well as the fact that this island was a small and peripheral opera “market”, conduced to the appearance of Italian opera troops mainly of medium or law quality, usually consisting on the one hand of young and undistinguished singers, a few of which made a name of themselves during the following years, but also most of which remained undistinguished, and on the other hand of aged singers, which were very close to the end of their career. However, not only a few times even with such troops, the impresarios of “Apollo” were led to bankruptcy. Despite this, the public of Zante had the opportunity to hear significant singers while they were still young and insignificant. The most important lyrical artists that appeared during the above mentioned period on the stage of “Apollo” were the prima donnas Antonietta Galzerani, Serafina Rubini, Enrichetta Zani and Argentina Angelini, the baritone Davide Squarcia, the bass Luigi Dalla Santa and the comic bass Leopoldo Cammarano.



Ioannis Fulias: The music of Ludwig van Beethoven through Heinrich Birnbach’s first essays on musical form (1827-1829)


Although Heinrich Birnbach (1793-1879) is not among the best known music theorists of the first half of the 19th century, he is one of the first who examine from an analytical point of view works by Ludwig van Beethoven, in a series of essays published immediately after the death of the great composer in the periodicals Berliner Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (1827-1828) and Caecilia (1829). In these essays, the author is systematically involved with the harmonic and thematic specifications of sonata forms, mainly, and other structural models (various “rondo” forms, variations and minuets / scherzos), secondarily, through factual observations and analyses of selected works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, as well as other composers from the early 19th century. Therefore, in the present paper a critical review of the morphological data derived from Birnbach’s writings is made, alongside with a modern appreciation not only of his analytical remarks on specific works of Beethoven but also of the overall contribution of Beethovenian creation in the formation of his theoretical viewpoints.



Vesna Sara Peno: The modern Serbian psaltic practice in the light of the post-Byzantine psaltic tradition


The relationship between Serbian and Greek chanters grew deeper during the second half of the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in towns of the Austrian Empire, where they lived close to each other, sharing the orthodox churches for common services. The existence of a developed post-Byzantine chanting tradition gave Serbs the opportunity to learn neume notation and to chant from notated manuscripts. This article deals with existing data which illuminate the Greek influences on recent Serbian liturgical chant. The preserved neumed Greek and bilingual Greek-Slavonic manuscripts, held in Serbian libraries, are presented as well as information on Greek daskaloi (teachers) who took part in the teaching process of Serbian chanters.


Marianna Sideri: A historical survey of Faust’s legend in opera


Faust’s legend became a favorite subject of the musical theatre development during the 19th century, mainly because of the extraordinary personality of a purely romantic hero, winning a prestigious place to the podium of the favorite opera heroes, next to the mythical Orpheus and the legendary Don Juan. In the hands of skilled composers, Faust’s ardent desire to walk on new paths of knowledge and live new experiences became a stimulus for musical experimentations, which in many cases led to the renewal and reform of the opera. This study attempts a historical survey of Faust’s legend in opera, through works that cover almost the whole field of the musical theater.


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