Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Yannis MARKOPOULOS (b.1939)
1. Pyrrichios Dance No. 13, "Nemesis" (2001) [7:20]
2. Shapes in Motion (Piano Concerto) (1999) [21:10]
3. Triptych for Flute, Strings and Harp (1969, 2001-06) [15:25]
4. Concerto-Rhapsody for Lyre and Orchestra (1986) [16:06]
5. Little Fantasy (2005) [4:28]
6. Classical Sketches: No. 2. Lamento (1958) [3:38]
7. Evilia Topia (Sunlit Landscapes) (2007) [5:15]
Marc Grauwels (flute: 1,3,5-7); Dimitri Papatheodorou (piano: 2); Zacharias Spyridakis (Cretan lyre: 4); Dalia Ouziel (piano: 5); Sophie Hallynck (harp: 3,6)
Brussels Virtuosi/Iannis Leonidakis (3,6); Brussels Philharmonic/Michel Tilkin (1); Flanders Opera Symphony Orchestra/Edwig Abrath (2,4)
rec. June 2003, Auditorium of the VRO Orchestra, Leuven, Belgium (1); September 2007, Studio Steurbaut, Ghent, Belgium (2,4,5,7); October 2007, Jardin du Mayeur, Mons, Belgium (3,6)
NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS 8.572237 [73:21]

Experience Classicsonline


Yannis Markopoulos, who just turned 71, was one of the main figures behind the "Return to the Roots" movement in Greek music thirty years ago. The works presented on this album are mostly from the latest years, although some go back as far as half a century. Still, they are unified by the composer's characteristic style. The works are melodic, with a firm bass and rather conservative harmonic progression. Rhythm plays a vital part, and folk elements are abundant. The music is for the most part tonal, at times bordering on minimalistic. Melodies avoid large leaps, usually going up and down the scale, or circling around a note.

The opening Pyrrichios Dance No. 13 gives a good preview of the style. The composer succeeds in making it instantly likeable, but at the same time not tedious. He achieves this by combining the stable with the changing. The music is based on a very solid bass, almost static. The strings repeat their statements without much alteration, whereas the flute's part is ever-changing, fluent like water, varying as in the best variations. The name Nemesis has no macabre connotations here. Nemesis is the Greek goddess of retribution, the bringer of balance, not necessarily vengeance. As the poet Mesomedes put it: "Nemesis, winged balancer of life, dark-faced goddess, daughter of Justice". Here she dances, and soft are her steps. Which gives us another recurrent feature of Markopoulos' works: his music often has gentle, feminine traits. And it is beautiful.

Shapes in Motion, a concerto for piano and orchestra, stylistically stands apart from other works on the album, and requires from the listener more effort to follow the stream of metamorphoses that the motifs undergo. In my humble opinion, there is too much repetition. The music is very intense throughout; there is literally no rest until the cadenza in the last movement. There’s a lot of excitement, for sure. Still, the work looks one-sided.

The Triptych is sunny summer-music. The delicate flute dances and sings. The strings are sensitive and supporting. As in Nemesis, the superimposing of stable and mutable makes the music approachable yet interesting. The three parts are in turn playful, pastoral and contemplative.

There is a lot of folk influence in the Concerto-Rhapsody for Cretan lyre and orchestra. The sound of the instrument is engaging: it could be compared to an oboe, as if a viola were compared to a clarinet. The tiny first movement introduces it in a wide, stately melody. The second movement, with its virile stomps and leaps, has much that is predictable, but does not become boring. The same scheme - stable bass and orchestral tutti, varying solo above - leads to interesting dialogues between instruments. There is a feeling of a group dance and of a certain inevitability. The dance gets faster in the third movement. The music has an almost hypnotic power, turning and swirling the dance motif again and again (and, for me, far too much) - until the orchestra puts a sudden end to proceedings.

I liked the Little Fantasy for flute and piano. It has a beautiful melody, which is developed like a song without words. It stands on the verge of "easy listening" music, but, in my opinion, does not cross it. All is moderate and balanced. Lamento is short but memorable. It has some British feeling around it. The momentum is good, the melody is attractive and suits the flute's voice very well. Finally, Sunlit Landscapes for solo flute could be the Greek Lark Ascending: it "dreams itself along" in a similar way. This is not a buoyant way to end the album, I admit, but still a pleasant one.

All performances are devoted and technically immaculate. I would especially praise the sensitive and expressive flute of Marc Grauwels. The recording quality is excellent. The liner-notes tell you everything one could possibly wish to know about the composer, the works and the performers. However, something tells me I won't return often to this disc. There is too much of the feeling of "almost", and too much predictability. That said, it is good music to listen to for a few times. But don't rush through the disc at once - make breaks.

Oleg Ledeniov 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.