STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION
364 Syggrou Avenue, Kallithea
+30 213 0885700
With the GNO Orchestra
Starts at: 20.00 |
The video will remain available online until 26/11
The Festival is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach
21st century, 1st part / Athens International Airport “El. Venizelos”
Two works of important modern Greek composers, Minas I. Alexiadis’s Doric Concerto for string orchestra and Joseph Papadatos’s composition Phoenix for string orchestra, are performed by musicians of the Greek National Opera Orchestra under the baton of Miltos Logiadis, at the venues of the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”.
THE MUSIC: Minas I. Alexiadis’s Doric Concerto was written for the Armonia Atenea and first premiered in 1997 at the Athens Concert Hall, under the baton of Theodore Antoniou. The composer notes about the work: « In its initial phase the compositional process, was a study in diatonic modality, structured in detail (canons, imitations, augmentations - diminutions, heterophonic ramifications, and other techniques of polyphony). Later on, a Dorian mode: solely and throughout, where I simply took care to bring the melodies to “singing”. The strongly contrapunctual first movement (Μοderato fluente), leads to the pandiatonic slow second movement (Adagio religioso). In the third movement (Vivo), the principal melodic theme of the work prevails, organized through all these compositional techniques and functioning also as a Greek dance (ballos) in 3+3+2=8/8 time signature».
The composition Phoenix (Sketches for an allegory) for string orchestra, Joseph Papadatos’s opus 110, was written in 2018. It was commissioned by conductor Nikos Tsouchlos for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Summer Nostos Festival. According to Herodotus, the crimson mythological bird Phoenix is reborn from his ashes. Phoenix is a sacred and omnipotent symbol and can be found in many ancient civilizations across the globe. It is associated with the Sun and the element of fire. It symbolizes the eternal rebirth through purification (flames). Both the title and the subtitle are suggestive of the work’s extra-musical origin, without however being limited to a descriptive disposition. The work consists of three parts, each separated by a pause.
THE ARCHITECTURE: The Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” started operating on 28 March 2001, replacing the International Airport of Elliniko that served Athens for sixty years. It was named after the Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos, who as a prime minister founded the Ministry of Aviation and made systematic efforts to organize civil aviation.
Ministry of Culture and Sports
2nd Greek National Opera Online Festival
A “consonance” of Greek art music with public architecture
27 September – 31 October 2020
The Greek National Opera presents its 2nd Online Festival titled “Counterpoints”*. The festival is curated by Giorgos Koumendakis and sheds light upon the relationship between Greek art music and architecture. The Festival’s videos will be streamed online from 27 September to 31 October 2020 and will remain available to the public for 30 days after their premiere. The videos will be streamed online at nationalopera.gr/en, on GNO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as on the website of the Ministry of Culture and Sports digitalculture.gov.gr.
Architecture and music are two arts that share a lot in common: the primacy of structure, the importance of shapes, contrasts and textures, and the deep and immediate communication with the viewer. Through the dialogue of these primordial arts, emblematic buildings of Athens converse with great works from the historical repository of Greek art music. Reaching from the Cretan Renaissance to the present day, works of architecture and music of a respective historical period and style complete each other, offering a fruitful experience to the audience. The Festival’s ultimate goal is to bring out our country’s musical and architectural legacy through the harmonious and equitable pairing of the images of the buildings with the sounds of the works, while communicating to the audience the Greek music and architectural creation.
The Festival was shot at some of the greatest buildings of Athens, such as the Church of the Holy Apostles at the Ancient Agora, the Gennadius Library, the French Institute, the Little Stock Exchange, the Athens Conservatoire, and the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”. In these places, celebrated Greek artists perform works of Londariti, Konstantinidis, Kalomiris, Ravel, Kounadis, Adamis, Dragatakis, Xenakis, Hatzis, Papadatos, Alexiadis, etc. The Festival is curated by Greek National Opera’s Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis.
Giorgos Koumendakis notes: “When last March, in the midst of the pandemic, we began planning a new online artistic programme, we could not imagine how successful our 1st Online Festival (May-June 2020) would be. Each of its video performances attracted tens of thousands of viewers and many positive comments from across the globe.
After a lot of demanding shooting in the summer, the time has now come for the Greek National Opera’s 2nd Online Festival, titled Counterpoints, which shall engage Greek art music into a creative dialogue with public architecture. Our wish is to celebrate Greek musical creation, from the Cretan Renaissance to this day, bringing to the foreground some of the most remarkable compositions of great Greek composers, such as Londariti, Konstantinidis, Kalomiris, Kounadis, Adamis, Dragatakis, Xenakis, Hatzis, Papadatos, Alexiadis. We asked distinguished artists of the GNO and beyond, to study and interpret these emblematic art music works in prestigious buildings that form part of the historical legacy of Athens. From 27/9 to 31/10, we invite you to travel with us –through the screen of your computer, tablet or mobile phone– using our music and architectural legacy as a vehicle, and making stopovers at the Cretan Renaissance, the Interwar period, the encounter of our folk music with art music, modernism, Xenakis’s universe and the 21st century.”
* Counterpoint is the way that many melodies are harmonically interconnected – the simultaneous consonance of many different melodies resulting in a harmonious composition.
The Greek National Opera would like to thank the Management of the National Bank of Greece, the French Institute of Athens, the Gennadius Library, the Athens Conservatoire, the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, as well as the Ephorate of Antiquities of the City of Athens for providing permit for the shooting of the videos and for their exceptional collaboration.
The Greek National Opera would like to thank all the artists and artistic ensembles, who have given their permission for the free broadcast of these video-performances to the public, in this difficult time.