O komitis

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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 networks in which the Greek-speaking musics participate, constantly conversing with their co-tenants, are 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. This recording belongs to a corpus of recorded songs in which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Italian-speaking songs. 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 of these songs 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. 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.


This recording is the song "O komitis", which is a Greek adaptation of the Italian song "
Il pesciolino".

According to the Greek musical 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 Bampis 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 question mark). Roberto Leydi’s catalog, which, together with his archive can be found at the "Centro di dialettologia e di etnografia" in the Italian-speaking swiss 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, who also signed his songs under the nickname Tito Livido (see here).

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 Alan 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. It was also noted 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), which 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.

However, the song is connected to the German repertoire but also indirectly to the American one. Specifically, it is included in the second act of the three-act "Amerikanische Tanzoperette" (American-dance operetta) "Die oberen Zehntausend". This is the James Boche - Fifi duet "Fangt man Fischlein im hellen Sonnenschein". The music of the operetta, commissioned by the Metropol Theater in Berlin, was composed by Gustave Adolph Kerker (Herford, Kingdom of Prussia, February 28, 1857 - New York, June 29, 1923) to a German libretto by Julius Freund (Breslau, Silesia, Germany [now Wrocław , Poland], December 8, 1862 - Partenkirchen, Germany, January 6, 1914). The operetta premiered on April 23, 1909 at the Metropol Theater in Berlin.

Gustave Kerker immigrated with his family in 1867 to the USA. At the age of ten, he took over as musical director in Broadway theater productions while composing operettas and musicals (for more information, see here and here).

The song was recorded several times in German historical discography under the title "Goldfisch - Duett". For example:

- Robert und Poldi Both, probably in Germany in 1909-1910 (Jumbola Record 14305)
- Fr. Lessing - Herr Wright, Berlin, June 2, 1909 (Zonophone 1121ab - X-2-240058 & 11227)
- "Guido Gialdini (whistling), Berlin, 1909 (Zonophone 6460r - X-5-29275 & 509305 6386 16643)

The German musical score of the song under the title "Goldfisch - Duett", as well as other songs from the operetta (see here), was published in 1909, in Berlin, by Ed. Bote & G. Bock.

So far, two recordings, which are an adaptation of the Neapolitan song, has been identified in Greek historical discography:

- Leftheris [Menemenlis], Smyrna, June 7, 1912 (Favorite 7086t - 1-55057)
- Goulielmos Mozaras - Maria Mozara, New York, October 1923 (Okeh S-71915 - 28004-A), this record

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".

According to an ad in New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (March 29, 1933, p. 5), he also appeared 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).

In America, where the present recording took place, the “national” repertoires live a new, parallel life. This situation is not static and, to a large extent, is molded by discography, which attends to and “tunes” the overlapping relationships that have already developed in the “Old World”. Repertoires communicate with each other once again; a familiar and already dynamic condition in Europe.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Italian lyrics: Catullio ?
Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Mozaras Goulielmos, Mozara Maria
Orchestra-Performers:
Guitar
Recording date:
10/1923
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Okeh
Catalogue number:
28004-A
Matrix number:
S-71915
Duration:
3:10
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Okeh_28004_OKomitis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "O komitis", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5306

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 networks in which the Greek-speaking musics participate, constantly conversing with their co-tenants, are 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. This recording belongs to a corpus of recorded songs in which the Greek protagonists borrowed music and/or lyrics from pre-existing Italian-speaking songs. 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 of these songs 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. 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.


This recording is the song "O komitis", which is a Greek adaptation of the Italian song "
Il pesciolino".

According to the Greek musical 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 Bampis 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 question mark). Roberto Leydi’s catalog, which, together with his archive can be found at the "Centro di dialettologia e di etnografia" in the Italian-speaking swiss 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, who also signed his songs under the nickname Tito Livido (see here).

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 Alan 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. It was also noted 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), which 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.

However, the song is connected to the German repertoire but also indirectly to the American one. Specifically, it is included in the second act of the three-act "Amerikanische Tanzoperette" (American-dance operetta) "Die oberen Zehntausend". This is the James Boche - Fifi duet "Fangt man Fischlein im hellen Sonnenschein". The music of the operetta, commissioned by the Metropol Theater in Berlin, was composed by Gustave Adolph Kerker (Herford, Kingdom of Prussia, February 28, 1857 - New York, June 29, 1923) to a German libretto by Julius Freund (Breslau, Silesia, Germany [now Wrocław , Poland], December 8, 1862 - Partenkirchen, Germany, January 6, 1914). The operetta premiered on April 23, 1909 at the Metropol Theater in Berlin.

Gustave Kerker immigrated with his family in 1867 to the USA. At the age of ten, he took over as musical director in Broadway theater productions while composing operettas and musicals (for more information, see here and here).

The song was recorded several times in German historical discography under the title "Goldfisch - Duett". For example:

- Robert und Poldi Both, probably in Germany in 1909-1910 (Jumbola Record 14305)
- Fr. Lessing - Herr Wright, Berlin, June 2, 1909 (Zonophone 1121ab - X-2-240058 & 11227)
- "Guido Gialdini (whistling), Berlin, 1909 (Zonophone 6460r - X-5-29275 & 509305 6386 16643)

The German musical score of the song under the title "Goldfisch - Duett", as well as other songs from the operetta (see here), was published in 1909, in Berlin, by Ed. Bote & G. Bock.

So far, two recordings, which are an adaptation of the Neapolitan song, has been identified in Greek historical discography:

- Leftheris [Menemenlis], Smyrna, June 7, 1912 (Favorite 7086t - 1-55057)
- Goulielmos Mozaras - Maria Mozara, New York, October 1923 (Okeh S-71915 - 28004-A), this record

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".

According to an ad in New York’s Greek newspaper Ethnikos Kiryx (March 29, 1933, p. 5), he also appeared 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).

In America, where the present recording took place, the “national” repertoires live a new, parallel life. This situation is not static and, to a large extent, is molded by discography, which attends to and “tunes” the overlapping relationships that have already developed in the “Old World”. Repertoires communicate with each other once again; a familiar and already dynamic condition in Europe.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[Italian lyrics: Catullio ?
Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Mozaras Goulielmos, Mozara Maria
Orchestra-Performers:
Guitar
Recording date:
10/1923
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Okeh
Catalogue number:
28004-A
Matrix number:
S-71915
Duration:
3:10
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Okeh_28004_OKomitis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "O komitis", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5306

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