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Medea
     

Medea

by Eleni Karaindrou
 
Since her debut with ECM in 1991, composer Eleni Karaindrou has consistently delivered recordings of unquestionable beauty and quality. All noteworthy are her scores for Theo Angelopoulos' films, 2005's grand-scale retrospective Elegy of the Uprooting, and 2010's Concert in Athens, and especially the remarkable Trojan

Overview

Since her debut with ECM in 1991, composer Eleni Karaindrou has consistently delivered recordings of unquestionable beauty and quality. All noteworthy are her scores for Theo Angelopoulos' films, 2005's grand-scale retrospective Elegy of the Uprooting, and 2010's Concert in Athens, and especially the remarkable Trojan Women, from 2002, a score to accompany Euripides' play in collaboration with stage director Antonis Antypas. Medea, another of the classical Greek dramatist's works, marks their second recorded collaboration for ECM. Karaindrou's music is delivered by a small group: instrumentation includes Constantinople lute and lyra, clarinets, violincello, ney, bendir, and santour. They accompany soloists and/or a 15-voice female choir. The first four pieces here are all instrumental, spare, spatial, warm, and foreboding. "Ceremonial Procession," with bendir, three clarinets, and santour, foreshadows the ensuing tragedy. "On the Way to Exile" brings lute, lyra, santour, bendir, and cello mournfully together; they evoke the sadness that follows betrayal, yet there is something quietly sinister in it, too. Karaindrou's is the first voice we hear in "Medea's Lament 1." Accompanied by the ensemble, she allows Giorgos Cheimonas' modern adaptation of Euripides' words to come from her belly, moving slowly through the stages of human grief -- before giving way to rage. The episodic instrumental music of "Woman in Mourning" introduces her second lament. It gives way to "Loss," before the choir makes their entrance in "Backwards to Their Sources," which announces Medea's return to divine form in order to deliver Jason a physical manifestation of cosmic payback. They act as narrators for the vocal music that remains. Though there is tension in Karaindrou's music, it never erupts; it unfolds. "Love's Great Malevolence" is funereal in tempo as it melds folk sources, classical traditions, and a melody that straddles modernity and antiquity. Violence is swollen into an emotional warning as the choir, accompanied by the added weight of the bendir, opens the way for the voice of soloist Penelope Sergounioti to offer "Do Not Kill Your Children" in vain. Early on, its melody recalls a 20th century rembetika. In "All Hope Is Lost," the choir narrates seemingly from the divine spaces between heaven, earth, and hell, before soloist Sotiria Rouvoli delivers Medea's taunt of Jason and the commencement of her own horrific act. In "Silence," the closer, the band delivers a dirge that undergirds the choir's final lament -- not a moral so much as a statement of sorrow and confusion. Karaindrou's Medea is poetic and fierce, utterly gripping, and beautiful in its earthiness and deliberate lack of dramatic grandeur. The Mediterranean folk traditions employed in her music offer a striking evocation of historical and contemporary terms. Her interpretation serves not only the play, but is ultimately a taut and timeless metaphor for the unanswerable questions and bewilderment with which we react to unspeakable tragedy.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/28/2014
Label:
Ecm Records
UPC:
0602537628162
catalogNumber:
1987702
Rank:
76233

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eleni Karaindrou   Primary Artist
Andreas Papas   Bendir
Nikos Guinos   Clarinet
Harris Lambrakis   Ney
Julie Tasioula   Choir, Chorus
Socratis Sinopoulos   Lute,Lyra
Alexandros Arkadopoulos   Clarinet
Marie-Cécile Boulard   Clarinet
Andreas Katsigiannis   Santouri
Anastasia Molyvda   Choir, Chorus
Penelope Sergounioti   Choir, Chorus,Soloist
Marina Symeou   Choir, Chorus
Maria Komi Papagiannaki   Choir, Chorus
Maria Kallimani   Leader,Choir, Chorus
Lambrini Aggelidou   Choir, Chorus
Eugenia Zekeri   Choir, Chorus
Erini Fanarioti   Choir, Chorus
Chrisanthi Avloniti   Choir, Chorus
Vicky Hatzopoulou   Choir, Chorus
Vassiliki Troufakou   Choir, Chorus
Tina Alexopoulou   Choir, Chorus
Syrmo Keke   Choir, Chorus
Sotiria Rouvoli   Choir, Chorus,Soloist

Technical Credits

Eleni Karaindrou   Composer,Liner Notes
Manfred Eicher   Producer
Antonis Antypas   Director,Liner Notes
Giorgos Karyotis   Engineer
Giorgos Cheimonas   Composer,Lyricist,Adaptation
Harina Deligianni-Easty   translation
Alexandros Filippidis   Cover Photo

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