Modern Greek Music

Modern Greek music, name for the music of the Greeks after the liberation from Turkish rule or since the state was founded in 1829 (for ancient Greek music).

According to Youremailverifier, the history of Greek music during foreign rule since the end of the 4th century is summarized under the term Byzantine music (Byzantine culture). Modern Greek music can be divided into three complexes: folk music, post-Byzantine church music and “art music”, which is a synthesis of folk and Byzantine church music.

Before the founding of the Greek state, musical life on the Greek mainland was under Turkish influence, while on the Ionian Islands, which were never part of the Ottoman Empire, Italian, French and German musical traditions were predominant (»Ionian School«).. In accordance with the artistic tendencies in many other European countries, it was also considered an ideal for the modern Greek composers in the 18th century to create a national “art music” by evaluating the folkloric music and various elements of post-Byzantine church music. In the beginning, they were based on the Russian national school as well as on the styles of German and Italian music. Belong to the Italian-influenced clay makers Nikolaos Chalikiopoulos Mantzaros (* 1795, † 1872), who wrote the first Greek opera “Don Crepusculo” in 1815 and on whose “Ode to Freedom” the Greek national anthem goes back, and Dionysios Lavrangas (* 1860, † 1941), who wrote the Greek National Opera and created his own stage works and orchestral music inspired by folk music. In contrast, influences of French impressionism can be found in Mario Varvoglis (* 1885, † 1967), whose narrow oeuvre contains works for all genres, as well as in Emilios Riadis (* 1886, † 1935), who was best known as a song composer.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Komidyllio, the Greek Singspiel variant, developed into its own operetta tradition, the founder of which is Theophrastos Sakellaridis (* 1883, † 1950). Of his around 80 operettas, which include are inspired by jazz, “The Godson” is still very popular today. In addition, most of the stage works of this genre are waiting to be rediscovered. In the 20th century, Petros Petridis (* 1892, † 1978), who a.o. the oratorio St. Paul (1950) created, and especially M. Kalomiris , the operas, songs based on Greek poetry (among others by K. Palamas ) composed programmatic orchestral works and shaped Greek musical life as a teacher and music writer; so he founded the Hellenic School in Athens in 1919 and the National Conservatory in 1926 after the nationwide first conservatory (“Odeion”) had already been opened in 1871.

The composers born in the 20th century made use of all modern techniques and styles without losing their specifically Greek roots, such as D. Terzakis, whose works are inspired by Byzantine music. Yannis Papaioannou (* 1910, † 1989) and the Schönberg student N. Skalkottas worked with the twelve-tone technique, while Dimitris Dragatakis (* 1914, † 2001) and others. experimented with free tonal and minimal music. Most of the younger composers, who often worked abroad, wrote in the atonal idiom. The European avant-garde include v. a. A. Logothetis, who experimented with graphic notation, and A. Kounadis and J. Christou , who followed atonal, serial and aleatoric currents. Yorgo Sicilianos (* 1922, † 2005) began with folk-inspired works and has worked since the 1950s, among others. with twelve-tone and (post) serial techniques such as with electronic sounds. An outstanding figure is I. Xenakis as the initiator of his stochastic music based on probability theory. The versatile experimenter G. Aperghis made a name for himself in his wake. The pioneers of electronic music also include T. Antoniu and Vangelis and Nikos Mamangakis (* 1929, † 2013), who are also active in the pop and rock music scene and as film composers. A studio for new music was founded in 1962 in Athens by G. Becker.

The undoubtedly best-known Greek composer is M. Theodorakis  - like M. Hadjidakis, a pioneer of new music in Greece – who created important oratorios based on the example of the Greek Orthodox liturgy, but to a wide audience mainly through his film scores and others. to “Alexis Sorbas” (1964) is a term. He is also considered a prominent representative of politically active music, whose works show both surrealist and symbolist tendencies.

Athens is the musical center of the country, not least because of its three renowned conservatories. Another important promoter of musical life is the Athens Music Society (emerged in 1896 from the Athens Philharmonic Society and the Society of Friends of Music), which played a key role in the opening of the new MEGARON concert hall in 1991. The building houses the Christos Lambrakis Hall with a large Klais organ, the Dimitri Mitropoulos Hall for chamber concerts and the conference center, which opened in 2004, with two additional halls and a music library. The Athens State Orchestra (founded in 1893 as a conservatory orchestra and, above all, 1927–39 by D. Mitropoulos) are the cultural bearerscoined) and the National Opera. The Athens Festival, founded in 1955, also serves to promote Greek (musical) culture. There are also important institutions in Thessaloniki, each with its own conservatory, opera house and symphony orchestra. In addition, on the Greek islands such as B. in Corfu developed a lively musical life. The world stars of Greek origin include the conductor D. Mitropoulos and the opera singers M. Callas and A. Baltsa .

Modern Greek Music