Abstracts of issue 1/1986 (4)

Oly Psychopedis-Frangou

Four Early Songs by Mikis Theodorakis. The Cycle Eros and Death

Mikis Theodorakis (born 1925) composed the songs of this cycle in the years 1945 and 1948. This youthful work reveals the lyric aspect of a very sensible and elegant natures personal style. The work contents the songs Words of Love and If you want the joy of sun (poetry by Theodorakis) and Eros and Death (also, the title of the entire cycle) and Oblivion by the main Greek poet of sonnets Lorenzo Mavilis (1860-1912). In spite of similarities to European movements (like symbolism, impressionism, late romanticism), this art of song composition can be classified in the Greek National School. This specific work of Theodorakis is characterized by the use of a modern language, which uses Greek traditional symbols and characteristics from the Byzantine and folk musical tradition (like short melodic formulas up to five or six notes, vocal glissandi, frequent change of meter).
The orchestral accompaniment develops the chromatic and expressive possibilities of the strings. Main composers of our National School, like Manolis Kalomiris, Petros Petridis and Antiochos Evangelatos, set in music the poem Oblivion. In the song of Theodorakis, especially in its last part, one can identify the well-known characteristic tone of his often epic, marchlike mature style. These songs, dedicated to his wife, were composed during particularly difficult times for the Land and the composer himself (the two last songs are composed in Ikaria, an exile island at that time). The article aims besides interpreting the work to hint on problems of Greek musical works analysis and interpretation.