Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Renowned Greek composer Michalis Terzis has spearheaded this project, which features beautiful Greek songs which are both original compositions from Terzis or his arrangements of traditional folk melodies. The finest Greek singers perform these tunes, including George Dalaras, Dimitra Galani, Glykeria, Anna Vissi, and Niki Valsami. Included in this release is an extensive informative booklet with information on the artists and the songs.
Michalis Terzis stands as one of the foremost contemporary Greek composers on the scene, with perhaps only his forebear Mikis Theodorakis holding a higher slot in public regard. On this, his 12th international release, the focus is more on the vocalists chosen to surround him than on the compositions themselves. Backed by an orchestra and Terzis himself on piano, various Greek notables make their way through the album. George Dalaras, a singer since the '70s (including a stint with Theodorakis), performs the opening number ably. The somewhat more contemporary Glykeria makes an appearance with a new composition and a breathy, almost Arabic delivery, and Dalaras returns, this time in an operatic-styled duet with Dimitra Galani. Glykeria makes another appearance, with an instrumental opening that could have come from a Greek Eagles cover band (think "Hotel California" on a bouzouki), and another drawn-out ballad comes courtesy of Galani. The firmly contemporary Cypriot superstar Anna Vissi contributes an uptempo piece, and Glykeria makes another appearance. The album plods along with ballad after ballad, many seemingly from the realm of film music, with little real excitement. Toward the end, however, a few gifts come to the listener courtesy of a couple of instrumental pieces led by Terzis' piano and a rare piece in which Terzis himself takes on the vocal duties, infusing just a touch of what might be Carlos Gardel's style into his delivery. For fans of Terzis, or indeed contemporary Greek vocal music, this one is likely a good pick. Others may wish to look for less mainstream acts or more exploratory singers (Kristi Stassinopolou being a good choice). ~ Adam Greenberg
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- Spirit of Athens: Greek Songs by Michalis Terzis (Xenos (Balkan Roma))