Author Topic: Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?  (Read 2282 times)

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Tapkaara

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Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?
« on: June 19, 2013, 09:00:38 AM »
Is anyone else on the board familiar with the Greek nationalist composer Manolis Kalomiris? (1883-1962)

His music is not widely available though Naxos does have two good recordings available:

http://www.amazon.com/Triptychon-Sym-3-Manolis-Kalormiris/dp/B000OQDRVE/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1371664471&sr=8-6&keywords=manolis+kalomiris

http://www.amazon.com/Rhapsodies-FIDETZIS-MANOLIS-KALOMIRIS-Imported/dp/B00CH86ETO/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1371664471&sr=8-12&keywords=manolis+kalomiris

Other recordings are available on Amazon but they are obscure European releases and sometimes expensive.

I really like Kalomiris. He was inspired by Russian Orientalism and that's a good way to describe the sound of his music. Lots of Greek tunes and dance rhythms are to be heard in his works. He goes for a big orchestral sound that has often been described as "dense." Over-orchestrated? Perhaps at moments, but it lends itself to a monolithic grandeur that I find really fun.

To my ears, he is post-Rimsky-Korsakov and proto-Khachaturian.

He has written three symphonies, only to of which I have heard, the First and the Third. (Not sure if the Second is even on record.) There are some YouTube videos of his musci which should make sampling somewhat easy.

If anyone else has heard his stuff, I'd love to know what you think! Opa!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 06:01:55 PM »
A functioning link for the second recording:

"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 06:06:01 PM »
I heard the first recording linked in the original post and have to say I wasn't impressed with the music. I didn't find a distinctive voice in the music. I also didn't care for the narration in the Symphony No. 3, but, then again, I never liked narration of any kind in music anyway. The only exception I make is Ginastera's Estancia which is a much finer work than Kalomiris' 3rd IMHO.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Brian

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Re: Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 06:32:45 AM »
I really enjoyed the CD with Symphony No. 3 and Triptychon, and your description of the musical language is dead-on - or at least, it's in agreement with mine! I wrote an Amazon review of that disc and called it "the Greek Khachaturian," very splashy music with rip-roaring climaxes and a heavy ethnic flavor.

Culled the CD from my collection recently because I can stream it off NML and only listen once every year or two, but it is enjoyable, for me.

Tapkaara

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Re: Manolis Kalomiris...Greek to you?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 07:31:50 AM »
I really enjoyed the CD with Symphony No. 3 and Triptychon, and your description of the musical language is dead-on - or at least, it's in agreement with mine! I wrote an Amazon review of that disc and called it "the Greek Khachaturian," very splashy music with rip-roaring climaxes and a heavy ethnic flavor.

Culled the CD from my collection recently because I can stream it off NML and only listen once every year or two, but it is enjoyable, for me.

I really have a soft spot for ethnically-informed music. I find ethnomusicology to be a fascinating science and when I love it when composers incorporate the sounds of their native musical traditions into their art.

Yeah, "splashy music with rip-roaring climaxes" is putting it well.

I have the two Naxos discs as well as a few other imports. I have tried collecting everything I can from Kalomiris and I hope Naxos records more or re-releases previous recordings under their name.

By the way, Symphony no. 1 is quite good. I have two recordings of it (both imports) and is worth a listen if you can find it. I prefer it to his Third Symphony.