Seven emblematic works of Francescο Londariti, from the Cretan Renaissance, as well as one work of Orlando di Lasso and Francesco de Laudis are performed by three distinguished musicians, Dimitris Koundouras (recorder), Ilias-Ion Livieratos (violin, viola) and Dimitris Tigkas (violone) in the yard and inside the Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles at the Ancient Agora of Athens.
The 2nd Online festival titled “Counterpoints”, curated by Giorgos Koumendakis shed light upon the relationship between Greek art music and architecture. The festival’s videos were presented from 27 September to 31 October 2020. The festival was made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
At a glance – Synopsis
Francescο Londariti (1518-1572) was a Cretan Catholic musician who emerged in the wealthy, cosmopolitan and exciting Venetian Renaissance music life of the 1540s. Born in Handakas –today’s Heraklion–, he played the organ and was also a singer and a composer, associated with the Saint Titus Cathedral in his city. He sought a better future in Italy, first in Rome and then in Venice. He used to sing at the famous St Mark’s Basilica and wrote religious and secular music in the elaborate Venetian polyphonic idiom of Cinquecento. He joined the Munich Court after receiving an invitation from Duke Albert V, just like another Greek musician of the time, Francesco de Laudis. The selection of Londariti’s works along with the compositions of other musicians of the time bring out the musical framework in which he created, both in Venice and Munich. Londariti’s two three-tone canzonettas are a typical sample of the secular, light and highly popular form known as canzonetta napoletana. His religious work is worthily represented by two parts of the liturgy –“Agnus Dei” and “Kyrie eleison”– in a stricter, more complex homogeneous polyphonic style. The programme is completed with a secular, playful song of the great French-Flemish musician Orlando di Lasso, who marked the music life of the Munich Court, as well as with a canzonetta of composer and virtuoso cornetist Francesco de Laudis. Finally, an instrumental version of these vocal compositions proposes a different listening experience focused on bringing out the contrapuntal writing and the clarity of the form.
The Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles of the Solakis is situated at the southeastern corner of the Athens Ancient Agora and dates back from the last quarter of the 10th century A.D. It was constructed over the foundation of a 2nd-century A.D. Nymphaeum in a cross-in-square style. The name Solakis probably refers to the Solakis, a wealthy family of Athens, who funded the reconstruction of the temple during the period of the Turkish rule. During the years 1954-1956 restoration works were carried out to bring the monument back to its original form.
Creative team – Cast
Recorder Dimitris Koundouras
Violin, viola Ilias-Ion Livieratos
Violone Dimitris Tigkas