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Perasma sta Kythira (Passage to Kythira)

Nikos Oikonomidis
Recording of the musical tradition of Kythera by Nikos Oikonomidis, with Mariza Kokh and Eleni Harou-Koronaiou
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As khamilonan ta vouna
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Papadopanayiotaina
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To kokkino spaleto
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Tragoudia tou gamou
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Stin Paliopoli ekana zevgari
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Epiase pali sto horo
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Palaiki syrti
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Ai Yiorgis
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Poulaki eikha sto klouvi
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Mana mou enas nios
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Karavitikos
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Klidonas
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Potamitikos
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Ta zagarakia
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Patinadha gamou
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Mesaritikos
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Balos
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Eikha ki ego ena peteino
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Ta Rizitika
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Apolytikio tis Myrtidiotissas
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The entire CD (-10%) 7.20 €

Perasma sta Kythira (Passage to Kythira)



"In beautiful Tsirigo was born Aphrodite.
That the mountains lay low, that I could see Tsirigo, where there are beautiful maidens, rosy like apples.
Start singing, mother hen-make up songs to praise all the girls from Tsirigo. "

This recording takes us on a journey to Kythira, to the island located to the south of the Peloponnese, and called Tsirigo by the local inhabitants.

To Kythira, in the island of the celestial Aphrodite, opposite from Tenaro, to the island of many large contrasts. The last island in the Ionian chain. On the island of the myrtles, of the Virgin Myrtidiotissa, of St. Elessas, of St Theodoros and of St Moni.


The island with its own traditional way of life, with special occupations, domestic arts and crafts, women's and men's costumes, and with its own tradition of poetry and song.

Tsirigo is a link between the Mani and Crete, not only geographically but also linguistically and musically. Linguistically, the northern part of the island resembles the Mani, while the southern part, Crete.

In older times the lyra was played on the island (today the violin, accompanied by the laouto), and mostly Cretan tunes were heard, though with local variations, while at the same time people also danced (and dance) the Peloponisian kalamatianos (‘Moraitikos'), and nisiotika syrta and balli. There are, however, clearly local dances-single, double and crossed syrtos, and the true Tsirigotikos dances, which maintain their grace and originality. TheTsirigo songs have a technical and poetic richness all their own, and are brimming with lyrical expression. We see this in historical songs, rhymes, sagas, wayfaring songs, lullabies, and baby jingles, teasing songs, mocking songs, wedding songs, emotional songs, songs of ‘xenitia' (exile), songs praising the beauty of the island, and so on. There are also songs and mandinades (rhymed couplets), as well as instrumental pieces which show influences from other islands of the Eptanisa (Ionian islands) and from neighboring Crete.

Worth noting on this recording is the old wedding march, or patinada of Kythira, as well as the Apokries (Carnival) song ‘In Palaiopoli I married'. This tune is very old and has direct connection with the area of Phriligianikos-Mitatos of Palaiopoli. It was sung only on the last Sunday of Apokries (called Tirini), and has a symbolic character. It is danced to the rhythm of the simple Bourdari, and is sung without instruments. . All of the names that are heard are known and existing nicknames of the area, and are also names of types of food eaten during Sarakosti (Lent). . These types of songs, unaccompanied by instruments, were often sung while people were working, and with such a rhythm and intensity that hearing them lightened the hard labor.

Also found on this recording is the hymn of Myrtidiotissa, "Osper kavhima theion". The lyrics are of the memorable Sophocles Kaloutsis, who also wrote the church service of Myrtidiotissa, and who was a great teacher in the eyes of the people of Kythira. He was musically erudite and he saved this melody which was heard during Megali Evdomada (Holy Week) in Hora (the main island town). During that period, the sacred icon of the Virgin is hosted in the Metropolitan church. This melody, along with other church melodies of the Ionian tradition, was created by Archimandrite Samouil Zannis, who lived during the second half of the 19th century.

Although we are dealing with a small island, this recording presents us with many surprises. With its acoustic variations, nuances of sound, discerning orchestration, astute selection and authentic execution, the sound of this recording will pass on to following generations, and set the course in our own " Passage to Kythira".

March, 1991
FEBRONIA REVINTHI
Musical production E. P. A. 1


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