O komitis

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A special relationship, which was reflected in discography, developed between the famous Neapolitan song Canzone Napoletana and the Greek urban folk-popular song of the 19th and 20th centuries. Several of these cases, in which Greek musicians appropriated older Neapolitan songs, have already been identified and documented: "Neapolitan influences". Beyond Naples, however, relationships developed more generally with Italian music. The appropriation was twofold, as in the case of Canzone Napoletana and the French chansons: 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. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and the bel canto singing style are characteristics that reveal the relations between the Neapolitan and the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song. Discography is a very important tool in researching and understanding these relations. One such case is the song "O komitis", which is a Greek adaptation of the Italian song "Il pesciolino".

According to the Greek music score, which is electronically available on the website of the Lilian Voudouri Music Library of Greece, and which was published in Athens by Mystakidis-Efstathiadis House under the title "Dyodia Apallagentos-Elenitsas", "Il pesciolino" was adopted by Theofrastos Sakellaridis and was part of the annual revue titled "Panathinaia", of 1910. The revue, the text of which was written by Βampis Anninos and Giorgos Tsokopoulos, was played for the first time on July 12, 1910, at Nea Skini theater, by M. Kotopouli, T. Lepeniotis and others.

According to the CD "Elvira Donnarumma" (CD 0059 CEL, Phonotype Record, 2009), which includes recordings of the singer from 78 rpm discography, including "Il pesciolino", the song is attributed to Catullio. The archives of the Discography of American Historical Recordings (
DAHR) characterize the information about the name of the composer Catullio as "unconfirmed" (This information is given in the recording of the song with Giselda Picconi: Victor B 23061 – 72372, New Jersey, July 10 1919).

We have two sources of documentation for Donnarumma's recording that do not match, as regards the recording date. Dick Spottswood's catalog "
Columbia Records E Series, 1908–1923" states July 19, 1913 as the date of recording (albeit with a questioning). Roberto Leydi’s catalog, which, together with his archive can be found at the "Centro di dialettologia e di etnografia" in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, stated 1906 as the year of recording. In any case, the recording was made in Naples by the Italian record label Phonotype (matrix number 1091), and the record was re-issued by Columbia in America (42253-1 – E 2576).

However, in the musical score published by the G. Gori publishing house in 1898 in Turin, which appears in the unified catalog of Italian libraries, the song is attributed to Giovanni Battista Gastaldi.

The same author name is also mentioned in the documentation of the recording of the song with Carla Spinelli by Gramophone (2839 – 253115, Milan, October 21, 1913). The database obtained from Allan Kelly’s research confirms with this information.

According to the 
catalog (see p. 99) of the Italian piano company rolls F.I.R.S.T (Fabbrica Italiana Rulli Sonori Traforati), which was published in Milan in May 1914, and which includes a piano roll of the song (4490), its author is G. Gastaldi. He also notes that the play comes from the operetta "Il Principe di Pilsen". It is the Italian adaptation of the operetta "The Prince of Pilsen", by Carlo Lombardo (music) and Victor De Cottens and Pierre-Eugène Veber (libretto in French). The Italian version premiered in Naples, at the Eldorado Theater, on August 10, 1908.

The original English version premiered in Boston, at the Tremont Theater, in May 1902. The music of the play was written by the German composer, who was residing in the United States, Gustav Luders, and the libretto by Frank Pixley.

Most likely, Lombardo included the song, which is listed on F.I.R.S.T’s catalog as "celebre canzone popolare", in the Italian version of the operetta. Given that the oldest musical score of the song dates back to 1898, it appears that Lombardo added an existing work to the Italian version of the operetta.

It remains unknown whether the two names claiming paternity in terms of music composition (that is, Cattulio and Giovanni Battista Gastaldi) refer to a different person or if Cattulio was the nickname of Giovanni Battista Gastaldi. The latter, according to unconfirmed information, signed his songs under the nickname Tito Livido.

As Aikaterini Diakoumopoulou states (2009: 408) William Mozaris, the performer in this recording, participated in the revue "Lig' ap' ola" presented by Vrysoula Pantopoulou’s troupe at the Maxine Elliot's Theater, in New York, on March 29, 1933. In New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (January 26, 1933, p. 5), from where the above information comes, he is referred to as "the popular serenader and guitarist Mr. William Mozaris".

He also appeared, according to an ad in New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (March 29, 1933, p. 5), in the operetta "Ta koritsia tis Athinas", which was presented, after postponement, on April 2, 1933, at the Lyric Theater by the troupe of the "Elliniki Mousiki Skini" (Greek Music Stage).

One of the few things we know about William Mozaris concerns his appearances with the Athenian Serenaders every weekend since November 12, 1932, at the Minerva restaurant on West 57th Street in New York (Ethnikos Kiryx, November 12, 1932, p. 5).

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Italian lyrics: Catullio ? Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Leftheris [Menemenlis or Beslemedakis Lefteris]
Orchestra-Performers:
Mandolins, cimbalom
Recording date:
07/06/1912
Recording location:
Smyrna (Izmir)
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Favorite
Catalogue number:
1-55057
Matrix number:
7086-t
Duration:
2:58
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Fav_1_55057_OKomitis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "O komitis", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5094

A special relationship, which was reflected in discography, developed between the famous Neapolitan song Canzone Napoletana and the Greek urban folk-popular song of the 19th and 20th centuries. Several of these cases, in which Greek musicians appropriated older Neapolitan songs, have already been identified and documented: "Neapolitan influences". Beyond Naples, however, relationships developed more generally with Italian music. The appropriation was twofold, as in the case of Canzone Napoletana and the French chansons: 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. After all, the mandolins, the guitars, the marches, polyphonic song and the bel canto singing style are characteristics that reveal the relations between the Neapolitan and the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular song. Discography is a very important tool in researching and understanding these relations. One such case is the song "O komitis", which is a Greek adaptation of the Italian song "Il pesciolino".

According to the Greek music score, which is electronically available on the website of the Lilian Voudouri Music Library of Greece, and which was published in Athens by Mystakidis-Efstathiadis House under the title "Dyodia Apallagentos-Elenitsas", "Il pesciolino" was adopted by Theofrastos Sakellaridis and was part of the annual revue titled "Panathinaia", of 1910. The revue, the text of which was written by Βampis Anninos and Giorgos Tsokopoulos, was played for the first time on July 12, 1910, at Nea Skini theater, by M. Kotopouli, T. Lepeniotis and others.

According to the CD "Elvira Donnarumma" (CD 0059 CEL, Phonotype Record, 2009), which includes recordings of the singer from 78 rpm discography, including "Il pesciolino", the song is attributed to Catullio. The archives of the Discography of American Historical Recordings (
DAHR) characterize the information about the name of the composer Catullio as "unconfirmed" (This information is given in the recording of the song with Giselda Picconi: Victor B 23061 – 72372, New Jersey, July 10 1919).

We have two sources of documentation for Donnarumma's recording that do not match, as regards the recording date. Dick Spottswood's catalog "
Columbia Records E Series, 1908–1923" states July 19, 1913 as the date of recording (albeit with a questioning). Roberto Leydi’s catalog, which, together with his archive can be found at the "Centro di dialettologia e di etnografia" in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, stated 1906 as the year of recording. In any case, the recording was made in Naples by the Italian record label Phonotype (matrix number 1091), and the record was re-issued by Columbia in America (42253-1 – E 2576).

However, in the musical score published by the G. Gori publishing house in 1898 in Turin, which appears in the unified catalog of Italian libraries, the song is attributed to Giovanni Battista Gastaldi.

The same author name is also mentioned in the documentation of the recording of the song with Carla Spinelli by Gramophone (2839 – 253115, Milan, October 21, 1913). The database obtained from Allan Kelly’s research confirms with this information.

According to the 
catalog (see p. 99) of the Italian piano company rolls F.I.R.S.T (Fabbrica Italiana Rulli Sonori Traforati), which was published in Milan in May 1914, and which includes a piano roll of the song (4490), its author is G. Gastaldi. He also notes that the play comes from the operetta "Il Principe di Pilsen". It is the Italian adaptation of the operetta "The Prince of Pilsen", by Carlo Lombardo (music) and Victor De Cottens and Pierre-Eugène Veber (libretto in French). The Italian version premiered in Naples, at the Eldorado Theater, on August 10, 1908.

The original English version premiered in Boston, at the Tremont Theater, in May 1902. The music of the play was written by the German composer, who was residing in the United States, Gustav Luders, and the libretto by Frank Pixley.

Most likely, Lombardo included the song, which is listed on F.I.R.S.T’s catalog as "celebre canzone popolare", in the Italian version of the operetta. Given that the oldest musical score of the song dates back to 1898, it appears that Lombardo added an existing work to the Italian version of the operetta.

It remains unknown whether the two names claiming paternity in terms of music composition (that is, Cattulio and Giovanni Battista Gastaldi) refer to a different person or if Cattulio was the nickname of Giovanni Battista Gastaldi. The latter, according to unconfirmed information, signed his songs under the nickname Tito Livido.

As Aikaterini Diakoumopoulou states (2009: 408) William Mozaris, the performer in this recording, participated in the revue "Lig' ap' ola" presented by Vrysoula Pantopoulou’s troupe at the Maxine Elliot's Theater, in New York, on March 29, 1933. In New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (January 26, 1933, p. 5), from where the above information comes, he is referred to as "the popular serenader and guitarist Mr. William Mozaris".

He also appeared, according to an ad in New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (March 29, 1933, p. 5), in the operetta "Ta koritsia tis Athinas", which was presented, after postponement, on April 2, 1933, at the Lyric Theater by the troupe of the "Elliniki Mousiki Skini" (Greek Music Stage).

One of the few things we know about William Mozaris concerns his appearances with the Athenian Serenaders every weekend since November 12, 1932, at the Minerva restaurant on West 57th Street in New York (Ethnikos Kiryx, November 12, 1932, p. 5).

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Italian lyrics: Catullio ? Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Leftheris [Menemenlis or Beslemedakis Lefteris]
Orchestra-Performers:
Mandolins, cimbalom
Recording date:
07/06/1912
Recording location:
Smyrna (Izmir)
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Favorite
Catalogue number:
1-55057
Matrix number:
7086-t
Duration:
2:58
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Fav_1_55057_OKomitis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "O komitis", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5094

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