In 1995, the record label Musica Viva reissued on one CD Petros Theodorou's two LPs Beatrice (1992) and Onar (1989). The Greek composer would later turn to computer and electroacoustic music, but these first efforts focus on classical songs. Onar is a suite of six songs for voice and "computer orchestra," Theodorou's first attempt at synthetic music. All parts are programmed, leaving only Katerina Karatza's warm alto voice to channel the emotions contained in Hariklia Vassiliou's poems. The orchestra provides atmospheres and rhythmic structures. Theodorou's sense of melody remains of the tonal variety, his lines being strongly influenced by Greek folklore (which should not come as a surprise after all) and classical music, especially the lieder. The result is both pleasing and striking -- electronic lieders are not very common -- but later experimentations with genre clashing would be more fulfilling (Musica Practica, Phoenisses). Although it was released later, Beatrice eschews any form of technology. It is a cycle of 12 songs arranged in three sections. First are five songs for voice and guitar, followed by three wordless romances for guitar and cello, and three interludes for guitar, cello, and narrator. All material is based on Vassiliou's collection of poems Ostria. Baritone singer Spyros Sakkas delivers the first suite with a lot of conviction. The rest of the material, although well-written, is less striking, especially the three interludes. Compared to the composer's subsequent works, both "Beatrice" and "Onar" show a disarming simplicity.
AllMusic Review by François Couture