Mi me paideveis!

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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.

In contrast to the majority of the cases where popular musicians played a leading role in these appropriations, in "Mi me paideveis!", it was Theofrastos Sakellaridis who was inspired by “Balcone 'nchiuso!” and created a song using the verse of the Neapolitan song and writing a new chorus.

This is not the only case where the composer turned to Neapolitan music to borrow musical material or draw inspiration. "O komitis", "Gyrise piso", "Nea gynaika", "Ta dendra" (an arrangement of the song "Mbraccia a me!..." on whose melody the song "Den se thelo pia" was based on) are just some of the songs that reveal his relationship with the genre.

Thodoros Chatzipantazis writes the following about it (Chatzipantazis - Maraka, 1977, 1: 161): "When Theofrastos Sakellaridis was asked by journalists in 1911 how he wrote the music of the revue ‘Panathinaia’, he gave the following answer without any kind of hesitation [newspaper "Athinai", July 16, 1911]: "I go with the writers of the revue to the cafés chantants and keep shorthand musical transcripts in my music notebook. [...] They are usually Neapolitan songs, because the ears of the Neapolitans is on the same level as the ones of the Athenians. This year, however, because Neapolitan music was very poor and because Viennese operettas are in fashion, we preferred the latter for the ‘Panathinaia’. [...] I’m ‘stealing’ left and right from operettas. I wrote ‘Prigkipissa ton dollarion’ this year. I am removing some stuff and I am leaving some other stuff. I take a few battute from 2 or 3 songs, I add another intro to them and produce a new song. I complete other songs with my own chorus."

According to the findings so far, it is the only recording of the song in Greek historical discography, and it remains unknown if it was written for an operetta, the musical theater genre in which Theophrastos Sakellaridis excelled.

The original song, “Balcone 'nchiuso!”, was the creation of Vittorio Fassone (music) and Giuseppe Capaldo (lyrics).

Based on the findings so far, it seems that it was published for the first time in 1910, in Naples, by F. Bideri publications. "Piedigrotta 1910", where, according to the score, the song was first performed there, 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.

So far, the following recordings have been identified in Italian historical discography:

- Piero Orsatti, New York, November 20, 1912 (Columbia 38414 - E1876)
- Giuseppe Godono, New York, December 1929 (Columbia W403476 - 14684-F)

Research and text by: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis



Lyrics by:
[Neapolitan lyrics: Capaldo Giuseppe Greek lyrics: Sakellaridis Theofrastos ?]
Singer(s):
Dimitriadis Tetos, Paschalidis V. [Iraklis]
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Recording date:
02/1923
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E-9036
Matrix number:
89018-1
Duration:
3:12
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E9036_MiMePaideveis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Mi me paideveis!", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=9450

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.

In contrast to the majority of the cases where popular musicians played a leading role in these appropriations, in "Mi me paideveis!", it was Theofrastos Sakellaridis who was inspired by “Balcone 'nchiuso!” and created a song using the verse of the Neapolitan song and writing a new chorus.

This is not the only case where the composer turned to Neapolitan music to borrow musical material or draw inspiration. "O komitis", "Gyrise piso", "Nea gynaika", "Ta dendra" (an arrangement of the song "Mbraccia a me!..." on whose melody the song "Den se thelo pia" was based on) are just some of the songs that reveal his relationship with the genre.

Thodoros Chatzipantazis writes the following about it (Chatzipantazis - Maraka, 1977, 1: 161): "When Theofrastos Sakellaridis was asked by journalists in 1911 how he wrote the music of the revue ‘Panathinaia’, he gave the following answer without any kind of hesitation [newspaper "Athinai", July 16, 1911]: "I go with the writers of the revue to the cafés chantants and keep shorthand musical transcripts in my music notebook. [...] They are usually Neapolitan songs, because the ears of the Neapolitans is on the same level as the ones of the Athenians. This year, however, because Neapolitan music was very poor and because Viennese operettas are in fashion, we preferred the latter for the ‘Panathinaia’. [...] I’m ‘stealing’ left and right from operettas. I wrote ‘Prigkipissa ton dollarion’ this year. I am removing some stuff and I am leaving some other stuff. I take a few battute from 2 or 3 songs, I add another intro to them and produce a new song. I complete other songs with my own chorus."

According to the findings so far, it is the only recording of the song in Greek historical discography, and it remains unknown if it was written for an operetta, the musical theater genre in which Theophrastos Sakellaridis excelled.

The original song, “Balcone 'nchiuso!”, was the creation of Vittorio Fassone (music) and Giuseppe Capaldo (lyrics).

Based on the findings so far, it seems that it was published for the first time in 1910, in Naples, by F. Bideri publications. "Piedigrotta 1910", where, according to the score, the song was first performed there, 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.

So far, the following recordings have been identified in Italian historical discography:

- Piero Orsatti, New York, November 20, 1912 (Columbia 38414 - E1876)
- Giuseppe Godono, New York, December 1929 (Columbia W403476 - 14684-F)

Research and text by: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis



Lyrics by:
[Neapolitan lyrics: Capaldo Giuseppe Greek lyrics: Sakellaridis Theofrastos ?]
Singer(s):
Dimitriadis Tetos, Paschalidis V. [Iraklis]
Orchestra-Performers:
Orchestra
Recording date:
02/1923
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E-9036
Matrix number:
89018-1
Duration:
3:12
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E9036_MiMePaideveis
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Mi me paideveis!", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=9450

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