Balançoire

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It is an adaptation with French lyrics of the Neapolitan song "Altalena" or "L'Altalena" which was also a hit in France under the title "Balançoire". According to the publication Le Rideau artistique et littéraire : journal des théâtres Montparnasse (Νο 483, p. 4, 1907), the song is one of three Neapolitan songs performed by Maria Caïra with the Coesar Terrore Orchestra at the Théâtre Montparnasse in Paris in 1907.

The French 
musical score of the song, with lyrics by Maurice Guidon, was published in 1899, in Nice, by P. Decourcelle. A Polish musical score was also published in Warsaw by the B. Rudzki publishing house.

Regarding the paternity of the song, the following is noted:

In 1898, a
musical score entitled "L'Altalena" in the name of F. Florentio was published in Florence by the Societá Editrice Fiorentina publishing house. In the same year, a musical score (see here and here) entitled "Altalena", which mentions Giovanni Battista Pirani as having covered the song and B. Torena as the lyricist, was published by the Forlivesi & C. publishing house in Florence. This musical score, the only one which could be accessed, includes the song of this recording.

On the label of Odeon’s record No. 36550, which includes the French version of the song under the title "
Balançoire", Pirani is listed as the composer; the names "(Selesi / Florentis)" are listed in Odeon’s catalog, in the details of the same recording.

According to the database that emerged from
Allan Kelly's research, the DAHR, Yuri Bernikov's archive website and other sources, the song entitled "L'Altalena", which in some cases is accompanied by the designation "canzone popolare" or "canzone italiana", was recorded several times in historical discography in various locations (London, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Trento, Naples, Warsaw, Lima) between the years 1902–1917 by the following people: Florentis, Florentino, Selesi, Senese, Pirani, Pisani. The following are some examples of the recordings, for all of which no audio material was found:

- "L'Altalena" (Florentis), Signor FANTONI, London, October 1, 1902 (Gramophone 2405b – 52383)
- "L'Altalena", Italienisches Lied (Selesi), K u K INFANTERIE REGIMENT Nr 51, FREIHERR VON PROBST, Vienna, 1906 (Gramophone 2598k – 20161)
- "L'Altalena" (Selesi), COPPIA CORBETTA, Milan, 1906 (Gramophone 9519b – X 94035)
- "
Balançoire" (Pirani), Altalena, Chanson Napoletaine, Mr Maréchal [Maréchal André], Paris, 1906 (Odeon XP 2378 – No 36550)
- "L'Altalena" – Valzer (G. B. Pirani), Lanner, Vienna, November 1908 (Odeon A 92028)
- "Altalena", piosnka włoska Pisani’ego (Altalena, Italian song by Pisani), Редо Йосиф (Józef Stanisław Redo), Warsaw, probably 1909 (Сирена-Рекорд 8494)
- "L'altalena", canzonette populare napoletane (Senese), Signorina Bollini, Naples, c. 1912 (Polyphon 9236 – 14009)
- "L'Altalena", Canzone italiana, CORPO MUNICIPALE DI TRENTO, Trento, Austria, June 18, 1913 (Gramophone 15559l – 590014)
- "
Altalena", Canzonetta (G. B. Pirani), Orquesta del Zoológico, Lima, September 3, 1917 (Victor G 2329 – 73251)
- "La Sorrento – L'Altalena", Tichy und Schmiedl [Schmidt], Europe, 19; (Drucker "Sokol" Record, 54354 - 2080 a)

So far, two recordings, which are an adaptation of the Neapolitan song, has been identified in Greek historical discography:
- "Garoufalaki", Athinaiki Estoudiantina, Constantinople 1904 (Gramophone 2486h - 14633)
- "Otan vgaineis to proi sto parathyri", Giorgos Chelmis, New York, approximately August 1918 (Columbia USA 84612 - E4124)


The Greek musical score was published in Athens by the G. Fexis publishing house under the title "
Sto parathyri" and is accompanied by the initials Χ.X.

According to Giorgos Konstantzos, Thomas Tamvakos, Athanasios Trikoupis (
2014, 150–151), X. X. was the nickname used by the composer Sotirios Grec.

This is one of the many cases that underline the close relations between Naples and Smyrna (Izmir). "Garoufalaki" belongs to a corpus of recorded songs in which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Neapolitan songs. The appropriation 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 but also in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapted what they heard to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and bel canto are characteristics that reveal the relations between
Canzone Napoletana and the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song. Discography is a very important tool in researching and understanding these relations.

Research and text by: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Guidon Maurice]
Singer(s):
Mr Maréchal [Maréchal André]
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Recording date:
1906
Recording location:
Paris
Language(s):
French
Publisher:
Odeon
Catalogue number:
No. 36550
Matrix number:
XP 2378
Duration:
2:29
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10¾ in. (27 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Odeon_36550_Balancoire
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Balançoire", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=11153

It is an adaptation with French lyrics of the Neapolitan song "Altalena" or "L'Altalena" which was also a hit in France under the title "Balançoire". According to the publication Le Rideau artistique et littéraire : journal des théâtres Montparnasse (Νο 483, p. 4, 1907), the song is one of three Neapolitan songs performed by Maria Caïra with the Coesar Terrore Orchestra at the Théâtre Montparnasse in Paris in 1907.

The French 
musical score of the song, with lyrics by Maurice Guidon, was published in 1899, in Nice, by P. Decourcelle. A Polish musical score was also published in Warsaw by the B. Rudzki publishing house.

Regarding the paternity of the song, the following is noted:

In 1898, a
musical score entitled "L'Altalena" in the name of F. Florentio was published in Florence by the Societá Editrice Fiorentina publishing house. In the same year, a musical score (see here and here) entitled "Altalena", which mentions Giovanni Battista Pirani as having covered the song and B. Torena as the lyricist, was published by the Forlivesi & C. publishing house in Florence. This musical score, the only one which could be accessed, includes the song of this recording.

On the label of Odeon’s record No. 36550, which includes the French version of the song under the title "
Balançoire", Pirani is listed as the composer; the names "(Selesi / Florentis)" are listed in Odeon’s catalog, in the details of the same recording.

According to the database that emerged from
Allan Kelly's research, the DAHR, Yuri Bernikov's archive website and other sources, the song entitled "L'Altalena", which in some cases is accompanied by the designation "canzone popolare" or "canzone italiana", was recorded several times in historical discography in various locations (London, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Trento, Naples, Warsaw, Lima) between the years 1902–1917 by the following people: Florentis, Florentino, Selesi, Senese, Pirani, Pisani. The following are some examples of the recordings, for all of which no audio material was found:

- "L'Altalena" (Florentis), Signor FANTONI, London, October 1, 1902 (Gramophone 2405b – 52383)
- "L'Altalena", Italienisches Lied (Selesi), K u K INFANTERIE REGIMENT Nr 51, FREIHERR VON PROBST, Vienna, 1906 (Gramophone 2598k – 20161)
- "L'Altalena" (Selesi), COPPIA CORBETTA, Milan, 1906 (Gramophone 9519b – X 94035)
- "
Balançoire" (Pirani), Altalena, Chanson Napoletaine, Mr Maréchal [Maréchal André], Paris, 1906 (Odeon XP 2378 – No 36550)
- "L'Altalena" – Valzer (G. B. Pirani), Lanner, Vienna, November 1908 (Odeon A 92028)
- "Altalena", piosnka włoska Pisani’ego (Altalena, Italian song by Pisani), Редо Йосиф (Józef Stanisław Redo), Warsaw, probably 1909 (Сирена-Рекорд 8494)
- "L'altalena", canzonette populare napoletane (Senese), Signorina Bollini, Naples, c. 1912 (Polyphon 9236 – 14009)
- "L'Altalena", Canzone italiana, CORPO MUNICIPALE DI TRENTO, Trento, Austria, June 18, 1913 (Gramophone 15559l – 590014)
- "
Altalena", Canzonetta (G. B. Pirani), Orquesta del Zoológico, Lima, September 3, 1917 (Victor G 2329 – 73251)
- "La Sorrento – L'Altalena", Tichy und Schmiedl [Schmidt], Europe, 19; (Drucker "Sokol" Record, 54354 - 2080 a)

So far, two recordings, which are an adaptation of the Neapolitan song, has been identified in Greek historical discography:
- "Garoufalaki", Athinaiki Estoudiantina, Constantinople 1904 (Gramophone 2486h - 14633)
- "Otan vgaineis to proi sto parathyri", Giorgos Chelmis, New York, approximately August 1918 (Columbia USA 84612 - E4124)


The Greek musical score was published in Athens by the G. Fexis publishing house under the title "
Sto parathyri" and is accompanied by the initials Χ.X.

According to Giorgos Konstantzos, Thomas Tamvakos, Athanasios Trikoupis (
2014, 150–151), X. X. was the nickname used by the composer Sotirios Grec.

This is one of the many cases that underline the close relations between Naples and Smyrna (Izmir). "Garoufalaki" belongs to a corpus of recorded songs in which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Neapolitan songs. The appropriation 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 but also in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapted what they heard to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and bel canto are characteristics that reveal the relations between
Canzone Napoletana and the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song. Discography is a very important tool in researching and understanding these relations.

Research and text by: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Guidon Maurice]
Singer(s):
Mr Maréchal [Maréchal André]
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Recording date:
1906
Recording location:
Paris
Language(s):
French
Publisher:
Odeon
Catalogue number:
No. 36550
Matrix number:
XP 2378
Duration:
2:29
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10¾ in. (27 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Odeon_36550_Balancoire
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Balançoire", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=11153

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See also