Two works exploring the relation between folk and art music are performed at the Little Stock Exchange by GNO soloists Tassis Christoyannis and Yannis Christopoulos, with Sophia Tamvakopoulou on the piano: Yannis Konstantinidis’ Twenty Songs of the Greek People and Maurice Ravel’s Five Greek Folk Songs.
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
Folk songs and traditional music have been a steady source of inspiration for Yannis Konstantinidis. In his works the composer preserved the outline of the original songs and highlighted their special characteristics, the rhythmic stresses and the flourishes of the melodic line. He was preoccupied with the composition of the Twenty Songs of the Greek People for about a decade (1937-1947). In this concert the Songs engage in a dialogue with the Five Greek Folk Songs harmonized by Maurice Ravel in the early 20th century (1904-1906).
The Athens Stock Exchange was founded in 1876 and was initially housed at the Melas Residence, where, until then, the Central Post Office used to be. From 1885 to 1891 the Athens Stock Exchange was housed at the building on 11 Sofokleous Str. which had been constructed by the stock broking S.A. “Ermis”. In 1891 it moved to the building on Pesmazoglou Str., where it remained until 1934. The Little Stock Exchange is a neoclassical building with many Renaissance elements and an impressive interior and exterior décor. It consists of only one single space, the impressive Stock Exchange Hall, about twelve meters high and 17.5x15.5 m. wide. Its internal décor is the main reason why in 1991 it was declared by the 1st Ephorate of Modern Monuments of the Ministry of Culture “a work of art and a historical and protected monument along with its surrounding space, because of its great architectural, morphological and historical significance, both internally and externally”.
Creative team – Cast
Soloists Tassis Christoyannis baritone, Yannis Christopoulos tenor
Piano Sophia Tamvakopoulou