“Breaths of Voices” – Watch full concert!

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«So long as men can breathe or eyes can see»
(William Shakespeare)

The ΕRΤ3  TV Channel in collaboration with the Music Ensembles ERT  present the premiere of the choral concert Breaths of Voices, on Thursday 6 January 2022, 19.45 (greek time zone).

The concert was recorded live on September 21, 2021 at the Rotonda monument in Thessaloniki with the kind support of the Ephorate of Antiquities of the City of Thessaloniki.

Through choral works of Greek and foreign composers from the Renaissance until now, based on poems of W. Shakespeare, P.Bourget, N.Hikmet, G.F.Daumer, O.Paz and F.G. Lorca, the breaths of the voices unite and small luminous thoughts are created.

There are times, like the ones we live in, that make us wonder again about the real things, for those things that have real value in life and we seek refuge in beauty. In the beauty of two eyes, of a smile, of a melody, of a flower that opens in the morning sun, of the birds chirping, of a beautiful afternoon, of a serene night, of a walk in the city. At the same time we re-evaluate values, such as freedom, love, love for life itself. Through the songs we open the door to beauty and the little things that invite us, letting them speak for themselves… “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see “…

Program of the concert:

Le chant des oiseaux – Clément Janequin (1485-1558)

Clément Janequin was a prominent French composer of the Renaissance, and one of the most famous composers of polyphonic chanson. His long songs usually cleverly mimicked natural or artificial sounds. The song of the birds imitates the chirping of various birds.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day – Nils Lindberg (1933-)

Swedish pianist and jazz composer Niels Lindberg has developed a unique musical idiom combining elements of folk music and jazz with the building blocks of classical music. Through his composition, for a cappella mixed choir, on the famous Sonnet N. 18 by William Shakespeare, one listens to the love of the poet, who compares his love with a summer day.

6 Moravian Songs – Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)

N.2 Slavíkovský polečko malý

N.5 Šipek

They both belong to a series of songs based on Moravian folk poetry composed by Antonin Dvořak between 1875- 1881. The Greek Radio Choir ERT performs two of them, praising the power of love and the beauty of nature.

Beau Soir – Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Claude Debussy, one of the most famous French composers, wrote the melody of the song Beau Soir, when he was still a teenager, based on a poem by Paul Bourget, urging people to taste the gift of life.

Omorfi Poli – Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)

Omorfi Poli (beautiful city) was born from the lyrics of Yiannis Theodorakis and the music of his brother, Mikis Theodorakis, while in the first recordings it is recorded with the title “You will become mine”. It is included in the song cycle “Lipotaktes” (1952-54) and its success exceeded the Greek borders.

26 September 1945 – Christos Samaras (1956-)

Christos Samaras composed this specific work based on the collection “The poems of 9-10 pm” which Nazim Hikmet wrote about his wife in 1945, when he was imprisoned in Bursa. The work has a strong lyricism, giving great importance to the expressiveness of the text.

O schöne Nacht – Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

This is the first of the 4 Quartets, Op. 92 by Johannes Brahms in poetry by Georg Friedrich Daumer. In this work, Brahms praises the night, nature and love, through a musical dialogue between the voices and the piano, thus transporting the listener to the beauty of that night.

Cloudburst – Eric Whitacre  (1970-)

Grammy Award-winning American Eric Whitaker is one of the most famous living choir composers. In Cloudburst, which he composed when he was 21, he used Octavio Pas’s poetry as a starting point to impressively sound a storm, as a cry for help for the thirsty Earth.

Romancero Gitano, Op. 152 – Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco (1895-1968)

N.1 Balladilla de los tres rios

N.2 La guitarra

N.5 Memento

N.7 Crótalo

Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo Tentesco composed Romanthero Hitano, Op. 152, a work for choir and guitar, in poetry by Federico García Lorca (Poema del Cante Jondo Collection), setting to music seven poems that glorify the beauty of Andalusia, its people and nature. In the work there are clearly elements of flamenco and his singing style, through which strong human emotions and experiences are expressed.

Greek Radio Choir ERT

Conductor Angeliki Ploka  

Guitar soloist Yiannis Giagourtas

Piano accompanist Alexandros Makris

Percussionists Alexandros Ioannou, Bruno Semanjaku, Anastasia Sofia Anastasopoulou

Presentation Dimitris Nikoloudis

Sound recording Michalis Sigletos, Vassilis Chaniotis

Music advisor Christina Siorou

Production Department (choir) Sotiria Svoli

Director Tilemachos Koemtzopoulos

Production Department ΕΡΤ3 Thodoris Tsepos 

Photography Production Panagiotis Boukouvalas

Yiannis Giagourtas