Elegy of the Uprooting

Eleni Karaindrou, Maria Farantouri, Alexandros Myrat, Camerata Orchestra, ERT Choir

Featured Artists Recorded

March 2005, Megaron (Hall of the friends of music), Athens

Original Release Date

15.09.2006

  • CD 1
  • 1Prayer (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    03:59
  • 2Refugee's Theme (The Suspended Step of the Stork)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:42
  • 3The Weeping Meadow (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    03:28
  • 4Dance (Ulysses' Gaze)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    03:30
  • 5An ode of tears (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    04:07
  • 6For the Phrygian land vast mourning (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:08
  • 7By the Sea (Eternity and a Day)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:25
  • 8Depart and Eternity Theme (Eternity and a Day)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    06:21
  • 9Rosa's Aria (Rosa)
    (Christoforos Christofis, Eleni Karaindrou)
    03:52
  • 10Memories (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:43
  • 11Hecuba's Lament / Hecuba's Theme II (Trojan Woman)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:39
  • 12Telamon, you came to conquer our town (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:41
  • 13The city that gave birth to you was consumed by fire (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:02
  • 14An ode of tears (Trojan Woman)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    00:36
  • 15Theme of the Uprooting I (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    00:42
  • 16The Weeping Meadow II (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:08
  • 17Voyage (Voyage to Cythera)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:57
  • 18Voyage to Cythera (Voyage to Cythera)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:17
  • 19On the Road (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    03:10
  • CD 2
  • 1Parade (Happy Homecoming, Comrade)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:56
  • 2Return (Happy Homecoming, Comrade)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:25
  • 3Andromache's Theme (Trojan Woman)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    00:53
  • 4The land I call home (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:46
  • 5Home of my forefathers (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:46
  • 6I wish I'm given there (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:21
  • 7Refugee's Theme (The Suspended Step of the Stork)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:01
  • 8The Seagull (The Seagull)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:26
  • 9Song of the Lake (The Seagull)
    (Arleta Tsapra, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:26
  • 10Adagio - Father's Theme (Landscape in the Mist)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:56
  • 11In vain the sacrifices (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:13
  • 12My beloved, your soul is wandering (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:58
  • 13Decision (The Price of Love)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:40
  • 14Farewell Theme (The Beekeeper)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    04:25
  • 15Theme of the Lake (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:32
  • 16Hecuba's Theme II (Trojan Woman)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    01:03
  • 17Lament for Astyanax (Trojan Woman)
    (K. X. Myris, Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:11
  • 18Exodos (Trojan Woman)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:48
  • 19The Weeping Meadow (The Weeping Meadow)
    (Eleni Karaindrou)
    02:53
Fono Forum, Empfehlungen des Monats
 
In her first concert recording for ECM, Greek composer and pianist Eleni Karaindrou seamlessly weaves samples of her sad but beautiful film and stage music from 13 scores spanning 22 years, producing a stunning career retrospective that transcends genre. The result is a wholly new body of work that she calls Elegy of the Uprooting. It is a remarkable, almost otherworldly, showcase for her intensely moving songs of love and loss.
Greg Cahil, The Absolute Sound
 
If some of the films that Eleni Karaindrou has written scores for had been more internationally popular, this great Greek composer would now be a global celebrity. She’d the Greek answer to Nino Rota or Ennio Morricone.. Her unique gift, which has found its finest flowering in films like The Beekeeper and The Weeping Meadow, is that she manages to capture a sense of ancient and timeless sadness like no one else. … This concert of her work was recorded at the Megaron in Athens with the Camerata Orchestra and the ERT Choir but it is always Karaindrou’s delicate and precise piano playing and Farantouri’s extraordinary vocal power and emotional force that makes this recording so deeply moving.
Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald
 
Durch die einheitlich elegische Stimmung gelingt es Karaindrou, mit sparsamen kompositorischen Mitteln ein meditatives Kontinuum aufzubauen, das den Hörer mit unwiderstehlichem Sog in seinen Bann zieht. Schwebende Klänge von Chor und Streichorchester, sehnsüchtige Bläserkantilenen und intime Klaviersoli verbinden sich mit den Farben traditioneller Instrumente ... zu einem Klangfresko von eigentümlichen Reiz, das der Assoziation mit Filmbildern keineswegs bedarf.
Alexandros Myrat leitet das Ensemble in dieser Live-Aufzeichung aus dem Megaron Athen mit großer Einfühlung. Herausragend sind die Beiträge von Maria Faratouri, deren Stimme nach wie vor unter die Haut geht und der Aufführung eine besondere Dimension der Eindringlichkeit verleiht.
Peter T. Köster, Fono Forum
 
Lustig ist das nicht, aber schön. Unendlich schön. Für ihre „Elegie der Entwurzelung“ hat die griechische Komponistin Eleni Karaindrou ihre besten Filmmusikthemen mit der Euripides-Adaption „Trojan Women“ und einer Arie an Rosa Luxemburg zu einem Konzert kombiniert. ... Ein episches Trauerspiel, das beim Hören zutiefst glücklich macht.
Ralf Dorschel, Hamburger Morgenpost
 
Diese Musik ist ein sinnliches, fragil-festliches Suchtmittel von höchster Emotionalität, eine wie in Jahresringen gewachsene Hymne, die auch und gerade in solch opulenter Zusammenschau besteht, indem sie ihr Episodisches, auf zeitlose Sequenzen setzendes Prinzip zu großen Gesängen zusammenführt, die ineinander übergehen. Und sie ist ein nachhaltiger Beweis, wie weit ans Cineastische gebundene Kompositionen über den konkreten Anlass hinaus wachsen können.
Ulrich Steinmetzger, Leipziger Volkszeitung
 
A l’image du cinéma d’Angelopoulos, la musique de Karaindrou est d’une beauté brûlante et d’une sobriété aride. Elle se développe à son rythme, c’est-à-dire lentement, déroulant ses couleurs lumineuses dans des atmosphères de pénombre. On ne s’étonnera pas de la trouver aussi un brin complaisante dans l’abandon. La tragédie – grecque, naturellement – plane sur chaque note. Les passages les plus gais sont de longues cantilènes aux teintes pastel. Ce sont un hautbois, un violoncelle ou un chœur implorant, ou bien la voix de Maria Farantouri. Une voix exceptionnelle, étonnante et envoûtante, grave et profonde.
Jérémie Szpirglas, Le Monde de la Musique
 
 
 
“Elegy of the Uprooting”, a two-disc set, is Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou’s first concert recording for ECM. A production marshalling powerful instrumental and vocal forces – 110 musicians in total – orchestra, choir, traditional instruments ensemble, soloists, the composer herself on piano, plus legendary singer Maria Farantouri –, all performing to a capacity hometown audience at the Megaron, Athens. An important chapter to Eleni’s already distinguished discography, “Elegy of the Uprooting” is more than a “live album”. It is a comprehensive resetting of Karaindrou’s musical history, integrated into what she has called “a scenic cantata.”

The frame for the performance is supplied by music from “The Weeping Meadow” (originally written for Theo Angelopoulos’ film of 2003), and “Trojan Women”, music for K.X. Myris’ adaptation of the classic play by Euripides. These pieces – all receiving Greek concert premieres – provide a shaping context within which Eleni’s compositions of the last three decades can be reintegrated and, at times, transformed. Musical material, then, is drawn from pieces written for the films “The Weeping Meadow”, “Eternity and a Day”, “Ulysses’ Gaze”, “The Suspended Step of the Stork”, “The Beekeeper”, “Landscape in the Mist” and “Voyage to Cythera” (all by Angelopoulos), “Happy Homecoming, Comrade” (by Lefteris Xanthopoulos), and “Rosa” (by Christoforos Christofis ), as well as music from “The Price of Love” by Tonia Marketaki and from Jules Dassin’s production of Chekhov’s “The Seagull”. (Neither the Marketaki nor the Chekhov pieces have previously been featured on ECM discs).

Original programme notes for the three evenings at the Athens Concert Hall in March 2005 – an event that drew an audience of more than 6,000 – spoke of “a journey in colours, sounds and rhythms, all shedding a penetrating light on Eleni Karaindrou’s relationship with uprooting in her work.” The composer herself describes the music as “a new entity” with “every composition taking its place as if it had always been there, part of a larger work, the ‘Elegy of the Uprooting.’” It is remarkable how congruent and homogeneous the music as a whole seems, and how effortless the transitions.

Sound is exceptionally full-blooded for a concert recording and musical performances are all committed. Some of the players – including oboist Vangelis Christopoulos, french horn player Vangelis Skouras, clarinettist Nikos Guinos, trumpeter Socratis Anthis – have collaborated with Eleni for more than twenty years now, and the Camerata Orchestra and the Traditional Instruments Ensemble have become almost like an extended family. For the players Karaindrou’s themes – like Angelopoulos’ images – are part of a shared language now; Eleni has spoken about “secret communication codes” between them.
Time Magazine has said that Karaindrou’s music sings of “love and loss” and its themes of exile, exodus, uprooting, and homecoming are perhaps quintessentially “Greek”. Her music for “Trojan Women”, as critic Giorgos Charonitis has noted, adapts itself well to the music for “The Weeping Meadow” – not least because Euripides and Angelopoulos are essentially addressing comparable human tragedy, in the same geographical region. Eleni: “While I was doing the ‘Trojan Women’, Theo (Angelopoulos) asked me to work on ‘The Weeping Meadow’, and I was shocked because it’s exactly the same story of expatriation – 2500 years later.” The title of the current project is in fact inspired by a line from Euripides: “I am driven out of my homeland.” “Partings, expatriation, these are themes I know about in my own life...”

Eleni’s “Trojan Women” score was composed for the Euripides adaptation by K. X. Myris –who had written lyrics for Karaindrou’s first major work “The Great Vigilance”, composed in Paris back in 1971. The singer on that early project was Maria Farantouri, the great voice of resistance and hope in the era of the military junta, and Theodorakis’ important ally.
Karaindrou and Farantouri had known each other as students in Athens in the 1960s and even played very briefly in a folk band together. They met again in France, Farantouri staying at Karaindrou’s apartment: “Maria really encouraged me to work on composing songs,” Eleni recalls.

Of the “Elegy of the Uprooting”, Eleni Karaindrou says: “I created a new musical journey where new and old wayfarers join in. The highly distinctive oboe of Vangelis Christopoulos (which has been one of the ‘signature’ voices of Eleni’s writing since “Voyage to Cythera”) now “merges with the Contantinople lyra in ‘Ulysses’ Gaze’, and ‘Trojan Women’ bring the pain of exile back to life through Maria’s voice and the voices of the women’s choir of the ‘Ode of Tears’.” Farantouri, who joins the chorus at several points, also sings a very touching “Rosa”, reinterpreting the song Eleni wrote for Christofis’ film about dreams and revolution, as well as “Song of the Lake” from the aforementioned Dassin/Chekhov production of 1985.