Michael

Νάνα Μούσχουρη

39 posts in this topic

Sarantis wrote to me in another posting:

"Are you saying that Nana Mousxouri is not Greek or she does not perform in Greek.Last time i checked she had a huge succesfull album live from Greece singing in greek.Some of the greatest classics..She is greek with international fame.She is very respected in Greece and all over the world.."

Saranti, I think in case of Nana Mouskouri neither her nationality nor the language in which she is singing are the substantial criterion. Of importance is: WHAT is she singing and HOW is she doing it?

And under this aspect Mouskouri is responsible for having presented the world a completely misleading image of what Greek music is! As far as I know her biggest hit of Greek origin is "White roses of Athens" (if this is the correct title in English) plus perhaps some others like "Ksimeronei". To my mind this sort of songs is not (or: should not be) representative for Greek music (even when the composer is Hatzidakis!).

(And in order to avoid misunderstandings: I would not say that this type of music is completely bad - but I think it is unacceptable that because of Mouskouri it has become the sort of Greek music worldwide known!)

O.K. - she had also made some Greek productions with composers like Hatzinasios (in fact some beautiful songs) and Moutsis. But that is not the repertoire for which she is internationally famous.

And of course her Greek songs anyway are the exception - giving her appearances something like an "exotic" touch. As far as I know she sings mainly in French and/or German.

Moreover - at least to my mind - her voice is obviously completely inappropriate for singing Greek music (even for the more "soft" songs a la Xatzidakis or Xatzinasios).

I was very amused when I read the following statement by Stavros Kougioumtzis (who is usually known for his temperate and humble mentality in public statements). In an interview for the periodical "Difono" (Nr. 19 / April 1997) he said about the record of "Epitafios" (Theodorakis) with Mouskouri (p. 73):

"Νωρίτερα [δηλαδή πριν από την εκτέλεση του Μπιθικώτση] είχε προηγηθεί η εκτέλεση με τη Μούσχουρη, υπό την επιμέλεια του Μάνου Χατζιδάκι. Αν ο Χατζιδάκις ως ενορχηστρωτής έκανε μια αριστουργηματική δουλειά στις "Πασχαλιές Μέσα από τη Νεκρή Γη", στον αντίποδα είναι ο "Επιτάφιος". Το γλυκανάλατο ύφος της Μούσχουρη μου προκαλεί γέλιο."

Sorry, but when I shall be honest, about Mouskouri I cannot say more friendly things.

PS: That someone has "international fame" and is "respected all over the world" is no proof for the quality of his activities. For example Austria has an actor of "international fame" named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Would you say that his films and his activities as actors are characterized by quality??;)

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Michael ,you have your opinion and i have mine.Your earlier message does not make any since at all.You really confuse and overanalize everything..I will not respond because your letter makes no since and is totally incorrect...But, you are intittled to your opinion...

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Purely as a matter of personal taste, I think more highly of Schwarzennegger as an actor, than of Mouskouri as a vocalist. But do understand your comparison, Michael, and it is appropriate enough in a way.

As it happens, I don't like Mouskouri's voice very much, or her way of singing - no sin there...

But besides that, I must admit to a certain resentment against her. Remember the thread where we discussed getting people to listen to Dalaras? And how difficult it is to get some unpartial, unprejudiced attention? Well, one sneering remark I've heard rather too often is "oh, a Greek singer, like Nana Mouskouri". Then I say "no, not like her, I don't like her either", but the harm is done, people listen with a bias.

It is not her fault, or not entirely - she has that kind of voice and that kind of succes and that's the way it is - but I can't help resenting the side-effect.

p.s. Michael, if you can spare a minute, could you possibly give me a hint on that Kougioumtsis quote? It's a bit above my Greek ;) (put it on the messenger perhaps?)

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Saranti, it is your decision to reply or not. YOU started to speak about Mouskouri (in another thread). (I for myself would not even mentioned her.)  I reacted with a short posting and then you asked me: "So, no im not joking!!! Are you?"

Therefore I tried to give some reasons for my opinion (starting this thread). That you think that my letter makes no sense at  all and "is totally incorrect" - without giving any explanations for your judgement - is not of any importance for me. (Only perhaps you should not start to post your opinions if afterwards you are not willing or able to accept what other people say.)  

Geeske, concerning Mouskouri anyway you have said what is also my opinion. (Only that I would not say that "It is not her fault, or not entirely" - finally it is/was her own decision to choose a certain repertoire.)

Concerning the Greek text I will give you soon a translation (+ explanation). (Or perhaps in the meantime this will make someone else.) My problem is that at the moment I have no Greek-English dictionary with me and I want to find an absolutely correct translation for the word "glykanalato" (because this is the decisive word in this context). Maybe any other member can give a correct translation for "glykanalato"?

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My dictionary would say "mushy"

Boys I don't want to see you offending each other or be ironic in your way. So, let's close it here. Geeske is right.

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O.K., Geeske, with Nikolas' help I will try to translate and explain:

"Epitafios" is a famous Greek song cycle - Mikis Theodorakis wrote the music to some (already existing) poems of Giannis Ritsos.

In the early 60ies (I do not remember at the moment the exact year, it was about 1961, '62, '63) this song cycle was recorded two times with two completely different voices and styles of orchestration:

- with Grigoris Bithikotsis as singer and Theodorakis himself as conductor

- with Nana Mouskouri as singer and Manos Hatzidakis as conductor

That is what Kougioumtzis is referring to in the interview I mentioned. He says:

"It has preceded [to the interpretation by Bithikotsis] the interpretation by Mouskouri and Manos Hatzidakis as conductor. If Hatzidakis as orchestrator made a masterful work with "Pasxalies mesa apo ti nekri gi" [= another cycle recorded by Xatzidakis], the antipode is "Epitafios". The mushy style of Mouskouri makes me laugh."

 

PS: Sorry for my bad English, but I hope that the essence is understandable. ;)

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Michael, thank you for all the trouble you took.

And do stop apologizing for the wrong things - your English is NOT bad. It is not 100% without mistakes but that goes for all of us!!

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Chris, first of all I never expressed any doubt about the fact that you and Sarantis know Dalaras personally. I think that this makes your participation in the Club especially important and interesting for all of us. You (Chris, Sarantis) can tell us about personal experiences which most of us (= most of the other members) never made (and probably will never make). At least I for myself am very interested in learning something about the man (the person) Dalaras (let's say the individual "behind" this wonderful voice). So I do not only enjoy reading a lot of your postings but I have to thank you for telling us about your meetings, experiences etc. with Dalaras.

On the other hand not even all your experiences will stop me to keep my personal taste (about songs, repertoire, cooperations with other artists etc.). O.k., you say that you (Chris, Sarantis) "know just how the man [Dalaras] thinks". But even in case that this is realistic and you really know - what should be the consequence for me? Of course it is of interest to learn Dalaras' motives (why he decided to sing a certain song, to record a certain CD etc.etc.). And maybe I will understand this motives (at least up to a certain degree). But why should this make me to change my personal taste and my personal preferences? That Dalaras (or any other artist) is convinced of what he/she is doing, does not oblige me to be convinced too! I think I can say that I really admire Dalaras very much and that I owe him a lot. But nevertheless he is not something absolute for me, no God, no religion (as no one is for me, by the way). May be I agree with some of his opinions and decisions, maybe I disagree with others. (Anway, you say something similar: "I will be the first to admit that I have not always agreed with some of the choices that Dalaras has made ..." Only that up to now you did not give a concrete example - this would be of interest.)

Concerning Mouskouri I think I can restrict myself to a few words:

Just in order NOT to provoke anyone I quoted Kougioumtzis (who surely is an expert in the field of music). Unfortunately this quotation was completely ignored by my critics.

And something else:

Chris, you write: "Yes! she is Greek and still uses a Greek surname, but that's it! (You are reading too much into this and what is expected of her)!" And this (= being Greek and still using a Greek surname) should be a sufficient reason for a cooperation??? Or what else could be the reason why exactly WITH HER Dalaras should cooperate? Artistic reasons (like the quality of her voice or the quality of her non-greek songs) or perhaps only reasons in the field of marketing, namely her worldwide popularity?

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 hey Michael

Don't mean  to interfere with your debate

but I thought I could add a little insight to your last thoughts.  As to Mouskouri, you replied "why would Dalaras want to particapte with her if all she has is her Greek surname and nothing else"?  and then you said, "Could it be for her worldwide popularity"?

 1.  How do you know that there not already friends?

 2.  And that they enjoy singing together occasionally?

 3.  If this ideology weren't true, then why does Dalaras still do colloboarations with other non-Greek artists such as: Jazz singer Joan Faulkner, and that new Classical Israeli singer Eli Shang (I'm not sure of the spelling of her name here) who is from France in which they will both be performing a concert together in September at the Irodio Theartre?

 It goes again without saying, if this methodology the path that Dalaras feels he must take, then so be it; and he does it well.  Every performer he has worked with on or off the stage has been a Masterpiece performance!

 Lets just accept this.  For the good or the better, whether it being traditional Greek music intended for a Greek audience or Not, its still comes out magnificient!  And we can never have enought of it!!!!!!!  

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Christo, that two people are (possibly) friends is also no sufficient argument for me that justifies an artistic cooperation. (Although I fear that friendship unfortunately in many cases really IS the reason why an artist promotes another one.)

And what shall I say to your other statement?:

" ... if this methodology the path that Dalaras feels he must take, then so be it; and he does it well."

If we see the matter in this way it is not necessary to mention or to discuss ANY name of an artist with whom Dalaras could cooperate. Just let's wait - because whatever Dalaras will do, it will be well done. (And we - as simple listeners - are not entitled to criticize in any way his choices.)

But that's a religious way of thinking which I cannot share.

PS: If I remember well, up to now from the supporters of Mouskouri I did not read even one ARTISTIC argument for a cooperation with Dalaras.  

(Edited by Michael at 9:07 pm on Aug. 3, 2001)

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Chris, I will answer to your last posting by starting another thread (in the topic "Views, experiences" ) because here we would get off-topic (no longer speaking about Mouskouri).

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I have seen Dalaras and Mouskouri singing together: Χάρτινο το φεγγαράκι" live and I have them on mp3 singing "Τ' αστέρι του βοριά"

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A little story.

I was in shopping in Nijmegen the other day - a fairly large, fairly sleepy provincial Dutch city. I am not good at shopping and don't do it often. So I found a small record shop I had overlooked till then, though it had been open half a year... and as it said on the window 'world music' in great fat letters, I stepped in. Looking for someone we know :D

They were heavy on Spanish-Latin-South American things, and I couldn't find the Greeks at all, at first. I found the Balkans, and the French, and the Italians... Then I spotted a card saying "Nana Mouskouri" so I went and looked.

And she was filed with the Germans.

Honest I swear, right there among the Schlagermusik!

So I had to look again. Finally found a tiny corner with Zorba and some postcard-bouzoukis, he wasn't there at all.

But the laugh was worth it. If I had been fond of Mouskouri, I should have been annoyed - but as I'm not...

LOL!!!

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I think in case of Nana Mouskouri neither her nationality nor the language in which she is singing are the substantial criterion. Of importance is: WHAT is she singing and HOW is she doing it

Mouskouri is the person who introduced Greek music to me, and in this way, she is important to me. That's one thing, very personal... :)

Now what is she singing? Well, today, not much, and how is she doing it? Very poorly today, unfortunately.

What did she sing and how did she do it? You shouldn't forget that when her voice was good enough, she was one of the main interpreters of Hadjidakis' songs, and the way she sang "To tragoudi tis Evridikis", "Itan kamari tis avgis", "Manoula mou" or the songs from "Oi mythoi mias gynaikas" is enough to state that she was a great and important singer for Greek music, and specially for Hadjidakis.The rest has absolutely no importance.

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I was at a Mouskouri concert on Tuesday evening in Lille. Here's what they wrote in our local newspaper:

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/vdn/journal/200...ILLE/ART9.shtml

Her voice was not as bad as I was thinking it would be and I quite enjoyed the whole programme, as she sang 11 Hadjidakis songs... not like she used to sing them, but quite...

She was very warmly greeted by the audience. There was a party after the concert. It was organized by the Greek Community in Lille, but as the concert had started very late (9:30...), Mouskouri didn't stay long with us. She seemed to be very tired anyway.

I must say that I was very glad to see her again, as she was the very first person who introduced Greek music to me, and of course, because she was one of the best Hadjidakis interpreters in the 1960s.

Here's the photo from yesterday's newspaper:

post-6-1034268180.jpg

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Francois you mentioned a very interesting point :

"She was one of the best Xatzidakhs interpreters".

This draw my attentention because in some way the world of interpreters was split up over the various composers.

Like Mpithikotshs and Maria Farantouri were (typical) Theodwrakhs interpreters. Dalaras a Loizos interpreter etc.

I wander if you share this idea? And can we further explore this list, I wander.

Whether one likes her singing or not, to my opinion she is a very good singer. Simply look into Dragoumanos catalog to see what she has achieved.

When raising the question on the street, (of countries like Germany, France , Belgium and The Netherlands),

"Have you ever heard of Nana Mouskourh?" a majority will reply with YES.

And I don't expect the same score if you would ask if people heard of Dalaras, Parios or many others.

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Francois you mentioned a very interesting point :

"She was one of the best Xatzidakhs interpreters".

This draw my attentention because in some way the world of interpreters was split up over the various composers.

Like Mpithikotshs and Maria Farantouri were (typical) Theodwrakhs interpreters. Dalaras a Loizos interpreter etc.

I wander if you share this idea? And can we further explore this list, I wander.

Yes, of course, I do share the idea. :music:

As far as Mouskouri is concerned, I like the Greek part of her career very much. The way she used her voice, then, with Hadjidakis' songs was quite extraordinary, and there's no other version of "O Kyr Antonis" but Mouskouri's.

She "lost" her voice at the beginning of the 1980s. Nevertheless, she made an astounding record with Hadjidakis in 1988 (Mythoi mias gynaikas), and I was quite impressed at her interpretation of "I Mikri Rallou" for example the other night. ;):rolleyes:

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Ο Μάνος Χατζιδάκις με την Νάνα Μούσχουρη την περίοδο που ηχογραφούσαν την μουσική για την ταινία ΕΛΛΑΣ Η ΧΩΡΑ ΤΩΝ ΟΝΕΙΡΩΝ (1961).

post-6-1034453539.jpg

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I'm going to this concert and I admit I'm already feeling bored... :huh::mad:

I don't think I can listen to Mousxouri more than 2-3 songs in a row...

and I admit being completely ignorant about her songs... :huh:

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Well, well, since I have some time, I thought I'd let you know a couple of things about the concert.

It wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be.. In fact it was quite nice.

Mousxouri has a right voice, but what I didn't like is the fact that I could not always understand what she was singing not even when she was singing in greek...

Also as I've said before I don't really like the high notes that women singers are able to sing, even though this actually means that they are pretty good singers when they get so high.

What I loved in the concert is a song that was written for her by an actor. The song must be called "Ou est mon passe" and it's marvellous!!

Francois if you have it, please... send it to me!

In my opinion this song was the greatest moment of the concert! It was soooooo sweet and sad...

I didn't really enjoy the songs that Mousxouri sang that where english songs from old movies... and I also don't really fancy jazz so I guess I didn't like too much the few jazz songs she sang. But that's just a matter of taste and I can't say that she sang them badly.

The canadian tenor named John Mc Dermott was really good! And he even sang in greek too! He was great! :) And so were their duets! :) Among them was joy to the world I think.

Their best duet was "Kokkino garyfallo"! They sang it sooooooo beautiful!!! And both were amazing! (this is one of the songs Dermott sang in greek, very good greek indeed! Funny note: I could understand better him than Mousxouri. :P )

She also sang the very first song that made her known. I think it's called: "Kapou yparxei i agapi mou" or something like that. This was another great moment, as she got moved and she even had a few tears rolling down...

Another nice moment was when she started a song with just the piano playing of all the other instruments, and she sang the first verce without the microphone. It was nice, even though I could not hear her that well.

And of course Mousxouri sang Xatzidakis songs and other greek known ones, but I can't remember titles...See the program had not the songs listed, so I could not find which songs were sang...

Overall I think it was a good choice that I went since I don't know when it would be the next time she will sing and some moments were really amazing!

P.S. Guess who was at the concert as well! Well, yes you guessed right! Dalaras and his wife were there! :)

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:)

Hi NIki,

you mean to tell me Dalaras didn't get up at the end to do an encore with her?

ohh How horrible

I guess we really will have to wait for next time around then for that to happen.

:blink:

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Mousxouri had already a singer on her side and also the concert was one of the very stricked ones, since it was for a cause, and in such concerts stuff like that don't happen.

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