Makran ki an eisai

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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. This recording 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. One such case is the recording "Makran ki an eisai" or "Mi lismoneis"
.

This recording features the instrumental performance from June 21, 1927 of the song by Frank Ferera - John K. Paaluhi in New York. Apart from the Greek market, it was also released under different titles in several languages and under various labels with the aim of covering many markets (Italian, English, Australian, German, Japanese).

According to the available sources, the song, under the title "Mi lismoneis",
was recorded for the first time in 1906 in Constantinople (Istanbul), by the Estudiantina Sideris and for Odeon (
CX 696 – No 31961. For the first Greek estudiantinas, see Ordoulidis, 2021a: 88–100 and Ordoulidis, 2021b).

It should first be mentioned that this is a Greek adaptation of the great Italian hit "O sole mio", with lyrics by Giovanni Capurro (1859–1920) and music by Eduardo Di Capua (1865–1917) and Emanuele Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972). The latter seems to have sold some of his compositions to Di Capua, including this one, in 1897. A year later, in 1898, from Odessa where he was touring, Di Capua appears to have composed the song and take part in a competition by "La tavola rotonda" (a literary, illustrated, music newspaper that was published every Sunday), published by the F. Bideri publishing house in Naples. In this competition, which is none other than the revival of an older festival-competition called "Piedigrotta", the composition won the second place (for relevant items and sources see herehere and here).

"Piedigrotta", which is written on the headline of the newspaper, 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.

"O sole mio" has been recorded countless times in various regions, languages and aesthetical frameworks. For example, see the list of recordings in the database that emerged from 
Allan Kelly’s research.

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

- Mi lismoneis, Estudiantina Sideris, 
Odeon CX 696 – NO 31961, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1906
Makran ki an eisai - Monodia synod. chorou, Kon. Arxinos varytonos, Apollon 154, Athens, 1908
- Mi lismoneis, Estudiantina, 
Favorite 1-59011, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1911
- Mi lismoniseis, Michail A. Magkos, Victor B-21551 - 72270-B, New York, April 9, 1918
- Mi lismoneis, Giorgos Chelmis, 
Columbia 84893-2 – E 4206, New York, November 1918 (?)
- Makran ki an eisai, Giorgos Kanakis – Menelaos Theletridis, 
Panhellenion 4555 – 7003, New York, 1919
- Makran ki an eisai, Tetos Dimitriadis,
Columbia 107314 – 7772, New York, November 1926 (re-issue from the record 7032-F by Columbia USA)

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis

Lyrics by:
Instrumental
Singer(s):
Instrumental
Orchestra-Performers:
Hawaiian guitars [Ferera Frank, Paaluhi John K.]
Recording date:
21/6/1927
Recording location:
New York
Publisher:
Okeh
Catalogue number:
28057
Matrix number:
W81035
Duration:
2:50
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Okeh_28057_MakranKiAnEisai
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Makran ki an eisai", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5310

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. This recording 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. One such case is the recording "Makran ki an eisai" or "Mi lismoneis"
.

This recording features the instrumental performance from June 21, 1927 of the song by Frank Ferera - John K. Paaluhi in New York. Apart from the Greek market, it was also released under different titles in several languages and under various labels with the aim of covering many markets (Italian, English, Australian, German, Japanese).

According to the available sources, the song, under the title "Mi lismoneis",
was recorded for the first time in 1906 in Constantinople (Istanbul), by the Estudiantina Sideris and for Odeon (
CX 696 – No 31961. For the first Greek estudiantinas, see Ordoulidis, 2021a: 88–100 and Ordoulidis, 2021b).

It should first be mentioned that this is a Greek adaptation of the great Italian hit "O sole mio", with lyrics by Giovanni Capurro (1859–1920) and music by Eduardo Di Capua (1865–1917) and Emanuele Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972). The latter seems to have sold some of his compositions to Di Capua, including this one, in 1897. A year later, in 1898, from Odessa where he was touring, Di Capua appears to have composed the song and take part in a competition by "La tavola rotonda" (a literary, illustrated, music newspaper that was published every Sunday), published by the F. Bideri publishing house in Naples. In this competition, which is none other than the revival of an older festival-competition called "Piedigrotta", the composition won the second place (for relevant items and sources see herehere and here).

"Piedigrotta", which is written on the headline of the newspaper, 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.

"O sole mio" has been recorded countless times in various regions, languages and aesthetical frameworks. For example, see the list of recordings in the database that emerged from 
Allan Kelly’s research.

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

- Mi lismoneis, Estudiantina Sideris, 
Odeon CX 696 – NO 31961, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1906
Makran ki an eisai - Monodia synod. chorou, Kon. Arxinos varytonos, Apollon 154, Athens, 1908
- Mi lismoneis, Estudiantina, 
Favorite 1-59011, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1911
- Mi lismoniseis, Michail A. Magkos, Victor B-21551 - 72270-B, New York, April 9, 1918
- Mi lismoneis, Giorgos Chelmis, 
Columbia 84893-2 – E 4206, New York, November 1918 (?)
- Makran ki an eisai, Giorgos Kanakis – Menelaos Theletridis, 
Panhellenion 4555 – 7003, New York, 1919
- Makran ki an eisai, Tetos Dimitriadis,
Columbia 107314 – 7772, New York, November 1926 (re-issue from the record 7032-F by Columbia USA)

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis

Lyrics by:
Instrumental
Singer(s):
Instrumental
Orchestra-Performers:
Hawaiian guitars [Ferera Frank, Paaluhi John K.]
Recording date:
21/6/1927
Recording location:
New York
Publisher:
Okeh
Catalogue number:
28057
Matrix number:
W81035
Duration:
2:50
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Okeh_28057_MakranKiAnEisai
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Makran ki an eisai", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=5310

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