I varka

Part of the content is temporarily available only in Greek

The network in which the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships developed with the Canzone Napoletana, the French chansons, the music of the Jewish ecumene and countless other sub-networks, which have interacted with Greek music since the era of the Ottoman Empire, forming a borderless and syncretic cultural framework. One of these fascinating networks concerns the Spanish world, which, through a variety of paths, met the Greek one. A key chapter in this influence was the unrepeatable international success achieved by a Spanish estudiantina in 1878 in Paris. Following its success, the band toured countless locations around the world. According to the sources, on February 28, 1886, the Spanish estudiantina gave a concert in Constantinople (Istanbul) and on April 26 and 29, 1886, in Athens (for the first Greek estudiantina, see Ordoulidis, 2021a: 88–100 and Ordoulidis, 2021b). The Spanish students mainstreamed the concept of semi-professional music groups, the bandurria, the mandolin, the guitar, the "tuna", i.e. the street serenade and the habanera, that came to be appropriated by the Greek musicians and to find its place even in the form of the manes (see for example the Smyrneiko minore, Gramophone 12574b). The network of the theater is a key environment for the circulation of music and the relationship between the two (music–theater) is more than dynamic. The appropriation by Greek musicians was twofold: on the one hand were the lyrics, which were now in Greek (from what the data show us so far, they had nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms and in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapted what they heard to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. In 1894, when the play of the then most popular zarzuela "La Gran Vía" was played for the first time, a new path that led to the appearance of the Athenian revue opened. Spanish songs started being adapted into Greek since then. One such case is the song "I varka".

This is a Greek adaptation of the Spanish song 
Barcarola "Así escuchando de la mar" (also on cylinder), which comes from the second scene of the first act of the zarzuela "Los Sobrinos del Capitán Grant", set to music by Manuel Fernández Caballero and libretto by Miguel Ramos Carrión.

The zarzuela "Los Sobrinos del Capitán Grant", whose libretto is based on Jules Verne's novel "Les Enfants du capitaine Grant" (1867), premiered at the Teatro del Príncipe Alfonso in Madrid, on August 25, 1877. Most likely, the first publication of the music score, which is in the Biblioteca Nacional de España (
Los sobrinos del Capitán Grant. Así escuchando de la mar el melancólico rumor), also comes from the same year.

In Greek historical discography, another recording of the song was found; it was made in New York, probably in April 1918, by Helmis-Vassel Quartette under the title "Ela na fygome ta dyo" (Columbia USA 84245 – E3921).

In the music score of the Greek adaptation, which was published under the title "
Sti varka" by the P. Zanoudakis & Co. publishing house in Alexandria, and which can be found in the Lilian Voudouri Music Library of Greece, the following are written: First of all, on the cover it seems that the music and lyrics come from P. D. Tsampounaris ("Poetry and Music by P. D. Tsampounaris"). Inside the musical score, however, one can read on the left side "Poetry by Χ. Χ.". As pointed out by Giorgos Konstantzos, Thomas Tamvakos and Athanasios Trikoupis (2014: 150–151), "Χ. Χ." was the nickname used by the composer Sotirios Grec.

The most fascinating element, however, concerns the reference under the title "Melody from the Italian song". We can see here, in a very clear way, one of the aspects of the super-complex network in which music circulates, in essence throughout the whole of Europe, how hubs are formed and through which route they arrive at key-places, which appropriate and update them, confirming, even on an imaginary level, Konstantinos Doxiadis’
Ecumenopolis (Ecumenical city).

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Lyrics by:
[Spanish lyrics: Carrión Miguel Ramos Greek lyrics: Ch. Ch.]
Singer(s):
Vidalis Giorgos, Choir
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Orchestra director:
Konstantinidis Grigoris
Recording date:
1926
Recording location:
Athens
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Odeon
Catalogue number:
GA-1122/A 154212
Matrix number:
Gο 328
Duration:
3:17
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Odeon_GA1122_IVarka
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "I varka", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=10366

The network in which the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships developed with the Canzone Napoletana, the French chansons, the music of the Jewish ecumene and countless other sub-networks, which have interacted with Greek music since the era of the Ottoman Empire, forming a borderless and syncretic cultural framework. One of these fascinating networks concerns the Spanish world, which, through a variety of paths, met the Greek one. A key chapter in this influence was the unrepeatable international success achieved by a Spanish estudiantina in 1878 in Paris. Following its success, the band toured countless locations around the world. According to the sources, on February 28, 1886, the Spanish estudiantina gave a concert in Constantinople (Istanbul) and on April 26 and 29, 1886, in Athens (for the first Greek estudiantina, see Ordoulidis, 2021a: 88–100 and Ordoulidis, 2021b). The Spanish students mainstreamed the concept of semi-professional music groups, the bandurria, the mandolin, the guitar, the "tuna", i.e. the street serenade and the habanera, that came to be appropriated by the Greek musicians and to find its place even in the form of the manes (see for example the Smyrneiko minore, Gramophone 12574b). The network of the theater is a key environment for the circulation of music and the relationship between the two (music–theater) is more than dynamic. The appropriation by Greek musicians was twofold: on the one hand were the lyrics, which were now in Greek (from what the data show us so far, they had nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms and in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapted what they heard to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. In 1894, when the play of the then most popular zarzuela "La Gran Vía" was played for the first time, a new path that led to the appearance of the Athenian revue opened. Spanish songs started being adapted into Greek since then. One such case is the song "I varka".

This is a Greek adaptation of the Spanish song 
Barcarola "Así escuchando de la mar" (also on cylinder), which comes from the second scene of the first act of the zarzuela "Los Sobrinos del Capitán Grant", set to music by Manuel Fernández Caballero and libretto by Miguel Ramos Carrión.

The zarzuela "Los Sobrinos del Capitán Grant", whose libretto is based on Jules Verne's novel "Les Enfants du capitaine Grant" (1867), premiered at the Teatro del Príncipe Alfonso in Madrid, on August 25, 1877. Most likely, the first publication of the music score, which is in the Biblioteca Nacional de España (
Los sobrinos del Capitán Grant. Así escuchando de la mar el melancólico rumor), also comes from the same year.

In Greek historical discography, another recording of the song was found; it was made in New York, probably in April 1918, by Helmis-Vassel Quartette under the title "Ela na fygome ta dyo" (Columbia USA 84245 – E3921).

In the music score of the Greek adaptation, which was published under the title "
Sti varka" by the P. Zanoudakis & Co. publishing house in Alexandria, and which can be found in the Lilian Voudouri Music Library of Greece, the following are written: First of all, on the cover it seems that the music and lyrics come from P. D. Tsampounaris ("Poetry and Music by P. D. Tsampounaris"). Inside the musical score, however, one can read on the left side "Poetry by Χ. Χ.". As pointed out by Giorgos Konstantzos, Thomas Tamvakos and Athanasios Trikoupis (2014: 150–151), "Χ. Χ." was the nickname used by the composer Sotirios Grec.

The most fascinating element, however, concerns the reference under the title "Melody from the Italian song". We can see here, in a very clear way, one of the aspects of the super-complex network in which music circulates, in essence throughout the whole of Europe, how hubs are formed and through which route they arrive at key-places, which appropriate and update them, confirming, even on an imaginary level, Konstantinos Doxiadis’
Ecumenopolis (Ecumenical city).

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Lyrics by:
[Spanish lyrics: Carrión Miguel Ramos Greek lyrics: Ch. Ch.]
Singer(s):
Vidalis Giorgos, Choir
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Orchestra director:
Konstantinidis Grigoris
Recording date:
1926
Recording location:
Athens
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Odeon
Catalogue number:
GA-1122/A 154212
Matrix number:
Gο 328
Duration:
3:17
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Odeon_GA1122_IVarka
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "I varka", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=10366

See also