Search - Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Stavros Xarhakos :: From Greece with Love: Songs from the Home of the Olympics

From Greece with Love: Songs from the Home of the Olympics
Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Stavros Xarhakos
From Greece with Love: Songs from the Home of the Olympics
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

This album features Baltsa's unrivalled voice singing folk music that is a basic source of the Greek tradition in song. All tracks feature folk songs arranged by leading contemporary Greek composers.

      
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Album Description
This album features Baltsa's unrivalled voice singing folk music that is a basic source of the Greek tradition in song. All tracks feature folk songs arranged by leading contemporary Greek composers.
 

CD Reviews

Sheer beauty from Agnes Baltsa
PhantomOfTheOpera | Norway | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This disc from Agnes Baltsa (Greek opera-singer) containing the most beautiful Greek songs is a real treat. It's recorded in the -80s when she was around 40 and in her prime. The songs are written by famous Greek composers like Theodorakis, Hadjidakis and Tsitsanis. My only complaint is that the cd only contains 11 songs. I wish it had at least 11 more.... But fortunately, my cd-player has a "repeat-button".......(Which I might add, is soon worn-out..)

For people unfamiliar with either Greek music or opera, this is the place to start. To me it seems that Greek music often is a matter of strong likes/dislikes, as is opera. You either love it or you hate it. After listening to this disc you will definitely want to seek out more recordings of Greek music and/or opera-recordings featuring Agnes Baltsa.

I know and love Agnes Baltsa from the opera stage, but even so, this record still amazes me. You will not hear her belt out painfully high notes like an opera-star on this cd - just beautiful singing throughout the whole disc. She also has a clear phrasing which I think is great, because it enables me to understand what the songs are all about. Being a classically trained singer one should perhaps think her voice unsuitable for simple-styled Greek folk songs. You couldn't be more wrong. Her crystal clear voice lends an elegancy to the songs that has to be heard to be believed. I'm a long time fan of Greek music and own a lot of recordings from various Greek artists, but never have I heard these songs so beautifully sung. This is definitely my "desert-island-recording" of Greek songs. I never tire of hearing them played again and again and again....

My favourite tracks from the disc have to be "Oniro pedion tis gitonias", "to treno fevgi stis okto", "O tahidromos" and "Arhontissa" and not to mention "Varkarolla". Her voice is just so hauntingly beautiful in these tracks. Don't be surprised if you end up in tears. But really, all the tracks are real treasures, gift-wrapped in Baltsa's velvet voice. It's a treat to hear Baltsa sing in her native tongue for the first time. It's obvious that she feels perfectly at ease here. She captures the melancholic beauty of the Greek soul so wonderfully. To me it's a mystery why she hasn't recorded more of this sort (at least I haven't been able to find any...)

The Athens Experimental Orchestra which is playing on this disc also deserves some words of praise. They make the Greek instruments sound heavenly and in the instrumental parts of the songs you just want to get up and dance.

This disc is really a proof of Greek supremacy - the music, the lyrics and Agnes Baltsa's singing - so simple and yet so powerful and breathtakingly beautiful. What more can I say? Just buy the cd ASAP!"
An hellenic voice from Greece
N. Freidin | Huntington, WV | 10/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Agnes Baltsa, a world-reknowned mezzo-soprano, here sings songs from her native Greece. Songs written by famous composers like Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis (the fellow who wrote the music for the film version of Kazantzakis' Zorba The Greek). And, Stavros Xarhakos, who conducts the Athens Experimental Orchestra, is also well represented (4 out of 11 songs). Songs run from joyful to plaintive. Baltsa is in her own element, and her commitment is total. A beautiful voice, vivacious here, melting there, is a sensuous delight.

"Cross-overs", operatic voices singing popular songs from their homelands, are no longer a rarity. If you enjoy Carreras or Domingo singing Spanish songs; the late Pavarotti, Italian songs; Terfel, Welsh songs; etc., you will certainly enjoy this compilation. For those unfamiliar with the Greek sound, this will be a miraculous discovery.

Only one song, Hadjidakis' The Postman (O tahidromos), was familiar to me, but as interpreted by Georges Moustaki (le facteur). Hearing it in its original version was my own little discovery.

I agree with another reviewer that only 11 songs (47.37 min of music) is cheating us of a full evening's worth of a recital by a great artist."
Stunning
B. Campbell | Houston, TX | 12/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Stunning Greek music! Mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa brings her fiery sound and artistry to this collection that makes one wish they we're in Greece."