Page 69 - SMCK Magazine #4
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  The project has been running since 2006 when we first per- formed a large part of the cycle with pianist Theodore Tzo- vanakis at the Kunsthistorishes Museum in Vienna.
The 14 Invenzioni song cycle was composed in 1925 and is hugely important for a number of reasons: foremost, this cycle is one of the prime examples of Greek musical mo- dernism and thus is a part of Greece’s first contemporary music repertoire. Also, this song cycle by Mitropoulos is his- torically the first setting of poems by Cavafy! Moreover, through 14 Invenzioni Mitropoulos raises the issue of “Gree- kness” and proposes a “national path” towards international musical modernism.
The song cycle’s score, with only ten of the fourteen “mo- vements,” circulated in 1927 under the title 10 Inventions and from then on it appeared in this form, whereas the ori- ginal manuscript of 14 Invenzioni was until recently discarded. A private performance in the presence of the poet took place in 1932 in which Mitropoulos sang the songs while ac- companying himself on the piano.
As the composer wrote to the poet in 1926: “You will be as- tonished at the courage I have shown in my choice of your songs, yet besides all my fears, the music is so appropriate for this type of meter and atmosphere that I can assure you it was liked by even the most moralist of people!”
SMCK: As an artist and academic, how would you advise a student of music to navigate through this rough period of Covid-19?
AC: Nowhere has the impact been more direct than on the performing arts.
Stay focused, stay motivated, have a daily practice routine and, most importantly, keep creating! “We are all within our future,” – as Greek surrealist poet and psychoanalyst An- dreas Embirikos writes in Ipsikaminos (1935) .
Angelica Cathariou sings a wide range of operatic, sym- phonic, and contemporary repertoire at venues including Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Opéra National du Rhin, Greek National Opera, Budapest Spring Festival. She has performed with renowned orchestras under the direction of C. l. Abbado, M. Plasson, and A. Zedda. Her recordings for BIS, Naxos, Naïve include the world premieres of works by Skalkottas, Mitropoulos, Milstein, Xenakis (Orphée d’Or 2012 Prize), and the music of A. Desplat for the film 11'09"01 NY September 11. An Onassis Scholar, Angelica is Assistant Professor at the University of Macedonia, De- partment of Music, Science, and Art. Her book L’Atelier Moderne: An exploration of the collaborative process bet- ween performer and composer in vocal music theatre of the 21st century” is published by NOVA Publishers, NY.
Mitropoulos chose Arn*old Schoenberg’s emblematic work Pierrot Lunaire as a model and point of reference for his work, possibly with the aim to symbolically ad- here to the international avant-garde. In the Foreword of Pierrot’s first edition Schoenberg gives very specific instructions to the performer regarding what she should do, or better, what she should not do in order to perform the music according to the composer’s in- tentions thus introducing a new era in the use of the voice delineating the technical characteristics of Sprechgesang.
In introducing his Invenzioni Mitropoulos writes: “Each of these poems has as its basis a different formal structure in which the reciter of the poem is but an atom of the structure. It is not a song but neither a dry recitation with accompaniment ...perhaps a styli- zed form of recitation.”
This method of recitation of the Cavafy settings ine- vitably leads to an almost Brechtian distancing of the reciter/singer, emphasizing the fact that the poetic description of pleasure by Cavafy often appears dis- tant and faded by the passing of time.
The song cycle of the 14 Invenzioni is one of the clo- sest existing musical works to the atmosphere and content of Cavafy’s poems mainly because of the mul- tiple relation of the musical style of the settings to the poetic meter and also due to the fact that throug- hout the entire cycle the vocal line develops from the text and is generated from the speech intonation and the sonic properties of the Greek language.' A.C.
  Angelica Cathariou, portrait. Photo: A.C.

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