dda 21224 (2 CD set)
 
cd image

 

SOUNDS OF THE CHIONISTRA
ALISON SMART & LESLEY-JANE ROGERS (sopranos), JENNIE-HELEN MOSTON (piano)
THE ELLERDALE TRIO: MARTIN SMITH (violin), JESSICA BURROUGHS (cello), SARAH DOWN (piano)
with LUKAS KARGL (Baritone), RICHARD RUSSELL(clarinet),STEVEN BURNARD (viola),
FENELLA HUMPHREYS & SUSAN COLLIER (violin)

The Chionistra is the beautiful Mount Olympus in Cyprus where the crocuses grow (not the one in Greece where the ancient gods ruled) ... and close to home for Greek Cypriot composer Cilia Petridou, who though she moved to England in 1965, was deeply affected by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the still unresolved partition of the island. CD1 (songs) and CD2 (Chamber works) reflect this tragedy and the loss of the city of Famagusta, contrasted with the happy memories of an idyllic childhood, in deeply felt, Romantically styled works beautifully performed - all first recordings.

CD DURATION:  CD1: 67.27; CD2: 77.20

AUDIO SAMPLE:
Piano Trio (extract)





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DIGITAL DOWNLOAD:


CD1 (SONGS)
The Grocer
Sirens
Kyrenia
What Love Is
Mirrors
Optimism
The Siege of Byzantium
Evtho
CD2 (CHAMBER WORKS)
Piano Quartet "Memories"
String Quartet "The Collar"
Piano Trio "Black July 1974"
Crocus on the Chionistra
First Applause
Catch Me if you Can
Into Exile

 

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“Vocal music, most of it for two sopranos and piano – a highly effective combination that more composers ought to explore. The piano part in The Siege ... sounds almost like the reduction of an orchestral texture .... part of which gives The Siege and Evtho their ritual quality. The essential honesty [of Petridou's chamber music] and the very want of fluency gives it an innocent charm, not least since it is often very lovely. The performances are sensitive and thoughtful ... In a concert, coming between two other composers, Petridou's atmospheric and thoughtful idiom would offer an attractive alternative. The recorded sound is entirely natural.” – Martin Anderson (Fanfare)

“Her music shows a confluence of Eastern and Westen elements. The two sopranos have light and pleasant voices and blend together well in their duets. This is heartfelt music, played and sung with conviction. The pathos [of the music] will win over many listeners, and I recommend it accordingly. The booklet gives a good picture of the composer and her times. Other production values, such as recorded sound are also good.” – David DeBoor Canfield (Fanfare)

“In both the songs and the chamber music included in this two-disc set there is a melodic and harmonic language that recalls 18th- or 19th Century European classical traditions, both in terms of musical vocabulary and expressive and dramatic temperament... with an added Mediterranean flavor, presumably owing to the composer's Greek heritage. All of the music is accessible and easy to appreci­ate for its craft and heartfelt expression.” - George Adams (American Record Guide)

“This two CD set contains some beautiful and highly accessible music. Through Alison Smart and Lesley-Jane Rogers, [the composer] has been introduced to a group of very gifted musicians who seem to have enjoyed learning and recording some of her vocal and chamber music” - Eleftheria

“I was most impressed by the calibre of the musicians... and by the mastery of the Greek language by the singers, and of their sensitivity to the poetry. The vocal duets displayed a very sympathetic blend of voices. Your depiction of your deep understanding of the conflict in the history of your beloved Cyprus is so evident in the chamber works too.” – Extracts from a letter to the composer from Eileen Hamilton (Royal Opera House)

Read an interview with the composer about the disc from Greek magazine 'Think Free' here (pdf)