Abstracts of issue 7-8 (1989)

George Leotsakos

Manolis Kalomiris on Greek 78 r.p.m. Records (An Opportunity for Research on the Dark Years of the Composers Life)

While making an extensive research on the composer Spiro Samaras (1861-1917), the author of this article discovered in May 1985, and then in September 1988, additional acquisitions in the invaluable private collection of 78 r.p.m. records of Mr. Stathis Arfanis (Athens): three records of this kind with works of Kalomiris, as well as evidence of the existence of at least six more recordings. These nine (9) recordings, hitherto completely unknown, cover a time-span of nine years, i.e. 1922 – March 1931, which roughly coincides with the unhappiest decade in the composers life.
It was a period that obviously Kalomiris felt no inclination to discuss. The author attempts to assemble together written information concerning these years and gives publicity to a series of precious testimonies (by order of appearance in the text): of conductor Totis Karalivanos on some early Greek recordings; of the composers granddaughter, Mrs. Hara Kalomiri, describing conditions of poverty in the family; of ethnomusicologist Fivos Anoyanakis, close friend and confident of the composer, on an extremely significant discussion between prime minister Elefthérios Venizélos and Kalomiris; and, finally, of viola player Aristoxenos S. Vardakis on the equally unknown activity of Kalomiris as conductor of orchestral ensembles in open-air cafés and in silent movies.

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