Abstracts of issue 3/1985 (3)
Book Review

Andreas Yakoumakatos

Dimitris Mitropoulos: a Monograph

Review of the book Dimitris Mitropoulos by Apostolos Kostios (Cultural Institute of National Bank, Athens 1985).

Apostolos Kostios, Dimitris MitropoulosDimitris Mitropoulos (Athens 1896 Milano 1960) has its own special place in the history of musical interpretation of the twentieth century. He was a natural talent with unlimited passion who lived and created with an exclusive devotion to a missionary conception about constructing musical performance. Mitropoulos chose the way of monastic isolation so painful, but also so unbidden in order to accomplish what he felt the reason of existence is. Mitropoulos relation to music has been total and exclusive. It has been a relation of self-sacrifice that leads to the most extreme consequences for a man who raised the emergence of musical substance to a purpose of life as well as of death.

Apostolos Kostios book which I think represents the first attempt for a methodological approach to the work of a Greek musician is a very important one. The author himself states in the introduction that he has the sense of duty to contribute as a Greek musicologist to the writing of Greek music history. This is a necessity that during the last years becomes more and more urgent and not only in the field of music. Other fields, such as plastic arts and architecture, have been lately approached by scholars in a way that does not seek to draw attention upon some kind of ethnic superiority or to praise the renowned identity, but on the contrary it seeks to avoid generalizing arbitrary speculation in order to reveal the real dimensions of modern Greek culture and the extend of its contribution to the dynamics of contemporary ideas.
This is the frame within which this book is placed. The authors intention is to determine the components of Dimitris Mitropoulos composer and conductor activity and contribution. Nevertheless, the author himself admits that he does not intend to reach a definitive evaluation of Mitropoulos personality.
The first part of the book is historical and descriptive. The second, third and fourth parts are a theoretical and critical approach to the work of D. Mitropoulos.
The book analyses certain specific subjects that are of a special significance.