Mia Prigkipiotissa

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At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe is living in peace and prosperity. The “Belle Époque” is an outgrowth of previous important historical events and developments. The networks that are created and which evolve funnel both people and their products, tangible and intangible. It is within this multi-layered world that sound recording and sound reproduction is invented. Early record labels send mobile crews literally all over the world to record local musicians. The range of the repertoire is endless. Cosmopolitanism in large urban centers favors polystylisms and polymorphisms. Colonialism, revolutions, conflicts, refugee flows; the theater, cinema, radio, photography, orchestras’ tours, but also circulations in all kinds of commercial channels in a world that evolves dynamically and anisotropically, form a complex network of “centers” and “peripheries” in alternating roles setting musical idioms in motion, both literally and figuratively. The network in which the Greek-speaking urban popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships that developed between “national” repertoires. The result of this ongoing research is “Cosmopolitanism in Greek Historical Discography”.

Historical sources underline the close relations between Italian-speaking and Greek-speaking music. The conversations that developed with specific places, such as the Ionian Islands, the Dodecanese and Patras, as well as their results, are enough to highlight the strong ties between the two ethno-cultural groups. Furthermore, relationships were forged in places where the two ethnicities lived together, such as, for example, in the case of cosmopolitan Smyrna (Izmir) in the Ottoman Empire, or that of New York, where Italians and Greeks immigrated. When researching the historical material, it seems that one particular city in the Italian peninsula developed special relations with the large urban centers where Greek-speaking musicians played a leading role: it was Naples, with its famous Canzone Napoletana. "Mia Prigkipiotissa" or "Fasouliotissa" belongs to a corpus of songs from which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Neapolitan-speaking songs. In many cases, the appropriations concern not only Neapolitan-speaking songs but the Italian language as a whole, since, often, the original Neapolitan-speaking songs were translated into Italian, from which the loan arose. These songs arrived at the Greek-speaking world either directly or indirectly, through other repertoire networks. In any case, the circulation of musics is already a reality before the 20th century with theatrical and musical performances tours, but also with the networks of music publishing houses. Discography is not only embedded in this context, but plays a key role in its transformation. The appropriation by Greek musicians is twofold: on the one hand are the lyrics, which are now in Greek (often, in fact, they have nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, are the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms but also in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapt what they hear to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and the bel canto singing style are characteristics that reveal the influences of the Canzone Napoletana on the Greek-speaking urban popular song. It should also be noted that, in various cases, often due to the great international success of the songs, the network that is finally formed is extremely complex and does not only concern Greek-Italian relations.


So far, six recordings has been identified in Greek historical discography:

- "
Fasouliotissa", Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina), Gramophone 1555y – 3-14588, Constantinople (Istanbul), June 1910
- "
Mia Prigkipiotissa", Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina), Gramophone 1642y – 3-14110, Constantinople (Istanbul), July 3, 1910, this record (re-issue: Victor 63521-A). The sound engineer Arthur Clarke was responsible for the recording
- "
Prigkipiotissa", Estudiantina Christodoulidis, Favorite 3949-t – 1-59039, Constantinople (Istanbul), July 5, 1910 (re-issue: Columbia E 6077)
- “I Prigkipiotissa”, Antonis Melitsianos, Grammavox 13005, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1910-1911
- “Prigkipiotissa”, Estudiantina, Odeon Cx 2116 - X 46362, Constantinople (Istanbul), between 1909-1912
- "
Fasouliotissa", Marios Lymperopoulos, Victor B 21301 – 72933, New York, December 20, 1917


In the last recording from 1917, in New York, the song was performed by the military-type orchestra conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret (born Natan Schüldkraut), an American composer and conductor of Jewish descent from Lviv in present-day Ukraine. The two Greek versions, apart from the title, have minor differences in the lyrics.

The song is a Greek adaptation of the Neapolitan song "So' turnato", set to music by Rodolfo Falvo (1873 – 1937) and lyrics by Alessandro Cassese (1876 – 1916). The song was arranged by Nikolaos Kokkinos with Greek lyrics by Vasileios Sideris, as it emerged from the musical score published in Athens by the Georgios D. Fexis publishing house under the title "
I Fasouliotissa".

The song "So' turnato" was recorded —probably for the fisrt time— in 1907 in Milan by Annita Di Landa and orchestra for Gramophone Concert Record (11105b – X 93113). It was also recorded in 78 rpm discography by Pasquale Sirabella (Era Grand Record 42527, Naples, probably between 1907–1912), by
Francesco Daddi (Columbia 4936-1 – E675, around October 1910), by Diego Giannini and by Lina Cavalieri (Pathé 62011, 1917).

The musical score of the song was included, along with eight more musical scores of songs by the composer, in the publication "
Piedigrotta, Falvo – Settembre 1907" (p. 16–17), which was published in Naples in September 1907 by the il Cafè-Chantant publishing house (see also here). It was also published by Capolongo-Feola’s La Canzonetta publishing house (Naples 1907).

"Piedigrotta" refers to one of the most famous and oldest religious festivals that took place in Naples. During the festival, a music competition took place, which, in the 19th century, turned into a dynamic festival. This festival took the form of a commercial mechanism which played a key role in shaping and promoting Neapolitan song.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Neapolitan lyrics: Cassese Alessandro
Greek lyrics: Sideris Vasileios ?]
Singer(s):
Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina)
Orchestra-Performers:
Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina)
Recording date:
03/07/1910
Recording location:
Constantinople (Istanbul)
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Gramophone Concert Record
Catalogue number:
3-14110
Matrix number:
1642y
Duration:
2:40
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
GramoCR_3_14110_MiaPringipiotissa
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Mia Prigkipiotissa", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4981

At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe is living in peace and prosperity. The “Belle Époque” is an outgrowth of previous important historical events and developments. The networks that are created and which evolve funnel both people and their products, tangible and intangible. It is within this multi-layered world that sound recording and sound reproduction is invented. Early record labels send mobile crews literally all over the world to record local musicians. The range of the repertoire is endless. Cosmopolitanism in large urban centers favors polystylisms and polymorphisms. Colonialism, revolutions, conflicts, refugee flows; the theater, cinema, radio, photography, orchestras’ tours, but also circulations in all kinds of commercial channels in a world that evolves dynamically and anisotropically, form a complex network of “centers” and “peripheries” in alternating roles setting musical idioms in motion, both literally and figuratively. The network in which the Greek-speaking urban popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships that developed between “national” repertoires. The result of this ongoing research is “Cosmopolitanism in Greek Historical Discography”.

Historical sources underline the close relations between Italian-speaking and Greek-speaking music. The conversations that developed with specific places, such as the Ionian Islands, the Dodecanese and Patras, as well as their results, are enough to highlight the strong ties between the two ethno-cultural groups. Furthermore, relationships were forged in places where the two ethnicities lived together, such as, for example, in the case of cosmopolitan Smyrna (Izmir) in the Ottoman Empire, or that of New York, where Italians and Greeks immigrated. When researching the historical material, it seems that one particular city in the Italian peninsula developed special relations with the large urban centers where Greek-speaking musicians played a leading role: it was Naples, with its famous Canzone Napoletana. "Mia Prigkipiotissa" or "Fasouliotissa" belongs to a corpus of songs from which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Neapolitan-speaking songs. In many cases, the appropriations concern not only Neapolitan-speaking songs but the Italian language as a whole, since, often, the original Neapolitan-speaking songs were translated into Italian, from which the loan arose. These songs arrived at the Greek-speaking world either directly or indirectly, through other repertoire networks. In any case, the circulation of musics is already a reality before the 20th century with theatrical and musical performances tours, but also with the networks of music publishing houses. Discography is not only embedded in this context, but plays a key role in its transformation. The appropriation by Greek musicians is twofold: on the one hand are the lyrics, which are now in Greek (often, in fact, they have nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, are the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms but also in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapt what they hear to their own condition, based on their own capabilities. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and the bel canto singing style are characteristics that reveal the influences of the Canzone Napoletana on the Greek-speaking urban popular song. It should also be noted that, in various cases, often due to the great international success of the songs, the network that is finally formed is extremely complex and does not only concern Greek-Italian relations.


So far, six recordings has been identified in Greek historical discography:

- "
Fasouliotissa", Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina), Gramophone 1555y – 3-14588, Constantinople (Istanbul), June 1910
- "
Mia Prigkipiotissa", Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina), Gramophone 1642y – 3-14110, Constantinople (Istanbul), July 3, 1910, this record (re-issue: Victor 63521-A). The sound engineer Arthur Clarke was responsible for the recording
- "
Prigkipiotissa", Estudiantina Christodoulidis, Favorite 3949-t – 1-59039, Constantinople (Istanbul), July 5, 1910 (re-issue: Columbia E 6077)
- “I Prigkipiotissa”, Antonis Melitsianos, Grammavox 13005, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1910-1911
- “Prigkipiotissa”, Estudiantina, Odeon Cx 2116 - X 46362, Constantinople (Istanbul), between 1909-1912
- "
Fasouliotissa", Marios Lymperopoulos, Victor B 21301 – 72933, New York, December 20, 1917


In the last recording from 1917, in New York, the song was performed by the military-type orchestra conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret (born Natan Schüldkraut), an American composer and conductor of Jewish descent from Lviv in present-day Ukraine. The two Greek versions, apart from the title, have minor differences in the lyrics.

The song is a Greek adaptation of the Neapolitan song "So' turnato", set to music by Rodolfo Falvo (1873 – 1937) and lyrics by Alessandro Cassese (1876 – 1916). The song was arranged by Nikolaos Kokkinos with Greek lyrics by Vasileios Sideris, as it emerged from the musical score published in Athens by the Georgios D. Fexis publishing house under the title "
I Fasouliotissa".

The song "So' turnato" was recorded —probably for the fisrt time— in 1907 in Milan by Annita Di Landa and orchestra for Gramophone Concert Record (11105b – X 93113). It was also recorded in 78 rpm discography by Pasquale Sirabella (Era Grand Record 42527, Naples, probably between 1907–1912), by
Francesco Daddi (Columbia 4936-1 – E675, around October 1910), by Diego Giannini and by Lina Cavalieri (Pathé 62011, 1917).

The musical score of the song was included, along with eight more musical scores of songs by the composer, in the publication "
Piedigrotta, Falvo – Settembre 1907" (p. 16–17), which was published in Naples in September 1907 by the il Cafè-Chantant publishing house (see also here). It was also published by Capolongo-Feola’s La Canzonetta publishing house (Naples 1907).

"Piedigrotta" refers to one of the most famous and oldest religious festivals that took place in Naples. During the festival, a music competition took place, which, in the 19th century, turned into a dynamic festival. This festival took the form of a commercial mechanism which played a key role in shaping and promoting Neapolitan song.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Neapolitan lyrics: Cassese Alessandro
Greek lyrics: Sideris Vasileios ?]
Singer(s):
Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina)
Orchestra-Performers:
Elliniki Estudiantina (Greek Estudiantina)
Recording date:
03/07/1910
Recording location:
Constantinople (Istanbul)
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Gramophone Concert Record
Catalogue number:
3-14110
Matrix number:
1642y
Duration:
2:40
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
GramoCR_3_14110_MiaPringipiotissa
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Mia Prigkipiotissa", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4981

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