Πέμπτη, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

AMAZING PRESENTATION OF THE OPERA “OLYMPIC FLAME” BY PANAGIOTIS KAROUSOS AT THE OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE OF GREECE



Vasilis Asimakopoulos, bass

Athens, Wednesday, January 29th. The Hellenic Literary Society with the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece presented successfully the opera "Olympic Flame" of Greek-Canadian composer Panagiotis Karousos in the Old Parliament Building of Greece.
Nathanael Pavlos, president of the Society of Hellenic Literary Society had a speech about the contribution of composer Panagiotis Karousos in the arts and the Society and included the performance to the 80th years celebrations of the Society that will be during 2014.
The lyric tragedy based on "Trachiniae" by Sophocles impressed the audience. The success of the presentation among the creators fine music composition goes also to the excellent direction of bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos that had the leading roles of Hercules and Hyllus. As Hercules, bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos, gave a strong and impersonal as it should be for a hero who is currently away from the trivial common human emotions at the height of his earthly glory.
Irene Konsta, Vanessa Kalkani

In the role of Hyllus Vasilis Asimakopoulos interpreted with spontaneous musicality the aria «Last night in the darkness", and was very theatrical in the last scene of the suicide of Deianeira. Mr. Asimakopoulos understood completely the importance of Hyllus as a tragic figure. Hyllus the son of Hercules and Deianeira was in front of family issues in dark suspense. The mother killed the father with the poisonous dress.
He doesn’t know what to do; this is the same question in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The difference is while Hamlet never gets the answer, Hyllus gets the answer. That makes Sophocles part of Hyllus even more tragic from all other characters inside the play.
The role of Dejanira performed by soprano Irene Konsta expressively with excellent vocal technique training, She interpreted her passion for Hercules, and with great voice alternations showed the draft of the tragic heroine in Tartarus despair which lead to suicide.
Alcmena, Dejanira, Macaria, Hyllus   
Her Suicide as a natural following of a fatal destiny seems deliberated, but the force of the act puts us many questions.
In the role of Alcmena soprano Nancy Papaconstantinou was fine with nice vocal color. 
V. Asimakopoulos, N. Papaconstantinou, I. Konsta, V. Kalkani
The role of Macaria performed by soprano-coloratura Vanessa Kalkani correctly, and interpreted the composer’s score with great vocal range and beautiful voice. In duet Alcmene and Macaria the two sopranos, Vanessa Kalkani and Nancy Papaconstantinou, did a marvelous performance. The two voices beautifully tied into the music. Also Vanessa Kalkani showed her theatrical talent in the murder of Ioli.
The opera "Olympic Flame" takes us into a romantic musical unbridled emotionalism, ecstatic melodies with internal texture. The strange thing is that while he had the emotional coherence result in a passive aesthetic atmosphere instead to immerse us in a dark spooky tale that anything can happen, everything has stopped.
The melodies are the prison that you can not escape, and suicide is perhaps the only way to escape Deianira leaving behind in these haunting melodies all others.
Instead of the Overture, the musicians interpreted the First Part of the Quartet “Virtue” of Panagiotis Karousos. The excellent musicians were Danae Kioupouroglou, flute, Triantafilos Vavatsikos, violin, Dimitris Sideris, oboe and Maria Mazarakis, cello. The pianist Gulnora Tulyaganova with oboist Dimitris Sideris interpreted wonderfully a transcription of the aria "And now alone" from Prometheus.  
At the end of the opera all artists had a standing ovation.

Δευτέρα, 3 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

THE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF ATHENS PRESENTS WORKS BY PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY AND PANAGIOTIS KAROUSOS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CONDUCTOR ELEFTHERIOS KALKANIS



PANAGIOTIS KAROUSOS
Symphony No.4 in C minor,
World Premiere "Symphony of the Earth"

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Piano Concerto No.1 (Menelaos Tsiklidis, piano)
Symphony No.6 "Pathétique"

Symphony Orchestra of Athens
Conductor Eleftherios Kalkanis


MONDAY FEBRUARY 17 20:00, 2014
Artspace City of Athens “Anna & Maria Kalouta”
Timokreontos 6A Neos Kosmos
Free Admission

Panagiotis Karousos: Symphony No.4 in C minor, "Symphony of the Earth"
The Greek Canadian composer Panagiotis Karousos wrote his “Symphony of the Earth” in the spring of 2013 in Athens. The work begins in a mysterious atmosphere. The oboe introduce sequentially with the flute a melody taken from the aria of Christ "Love one another" from the composer 's opera “The Light of Christianity”, which culminates with the violins in an ecstatic crescendo. The horns are changing the atmosphere in a more mysterious suspense. The agony intensified in a seismic forte of the full orchestra. The brass insert the theme of the Earth, while the strings holding the slow mysterious atmosphere. The two themes combined in a tragic finale of dark romanticism. The work brought the symbolic impressionism to the mystical ecstasy.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
It is one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concerti.
The concerto follows the traditional form of three movements:
1) Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito (B flat minor → B flat major)
2) Andantino semplice – Prestissimo (D flat major)
3) Allegro con fuoco (B flat minor → B flat major)
The first movement is initiated with four emphatic B-flat minor chords, which leads to a lyrical and passionate theme in D-flat major. This subsidiary theme never appears again throughout the movement. The main theme of the concerto is a Ukrainian folk theme which is contrasted with a romantic theme. The development section juxtaposes the folk theme with the romantic theme. The primary theme is once again recapitulated in the tonic key and the romantic theme in the tonic major. Surprisingly, the movement does not revert to the tonic minor, but instead leads to a triumphant and optimistic coda. The movement concludes in B-flat major with a drum roll.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, “Pathétique”
The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's final completed symphony, written between February and the end of August 1893. The composer led the first performance in Saint Petersburg on 28 October of that year, nine days before his death. The second performance, conducted by Eduard Nápravník, took place 21 days later, at a memorial concert on 6/18 November. It included some minor corrections that Tchaikovsky had made after the premiere, and was thus the first performance of the work in the exact form in which it is known today. The first performance in Moscow was on 16 December, conducted by Vasily Safonov.
(wiki)
The symphony contains four movements:
1) Adagio – Allegro non troppo
2) Allegro con grazia
3) Presto: Allegro molto vivace
4) Finale: Adagio lamentoso – Andante
Tchaikovsky in his 6th Symphony composed one of his most romantic melodies.