ERT Choir / Maria Farantouri / Eleni Karaindrou

Eleni Karaindrou: Elegy of the Uprooting

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Eleni Karaindrou has been active for more than three decades as a film composer, creating scores for Weeping Meadow, Eternity and a Day, Voyage to Cythera, and other projects. Elegy of the Uprooting (1982-2004) is a large-scale work for voice, choir, and orchestra, in which themes from Karaindrou's soundtracks and incidental music for the theater are brought together in a more unified format. This live 2005 concert presentation from Athens is as much a retrospective celebration of Karaindrou's artistry as it is an extended cantata-symphony on the theme of dislocation and the plight of refugees, so listeners at first may feel some confusion in how to appreciate the album. Furthermore, fans of ECM's New Series may find that this music is rather conventional, compared to the avant-garde fare the label regularly features. In a sense, this recording may be better suited to fans of traditional eastern European folk music who will find Karaindrou's sorrowful melodies and exotic instrumentation to their liking. Many will recognize the poignant theme By the Sea from its use in a TV ad for Lincoln Financial Group, though nothing else on this double disc is comparably familiar in the United States. On the whole, Elegy of the Uprooting consists of subdued instrumentals in minor keys, often led by the composer from the piano, and sorrowful songs delivered with deep emotion by Maria Farantouri, with support from the ERT Choir and the Camerata Orchestra, conducted by Alexandros Myrat. Because of its consistently somber moods, slow tempos, and long running time, this is a good album to play in the background on overcast days, though its unrelieved melancholy may even be too much for that purpose. ECM's sound is clear and mostly clean, except for a few audience noises.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
1 3:59
Suspended Step of the Stork
2 1:42
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
3 3:28
Ulysses' Gaze
4 3:30
Trojan Women
5 4:07
6 2:09
Eternity and a Day
7 1:26
8 6:22
Rosa
9 3:53
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
10 2:44
Trojan Women
11 1:39
12 1:41
13 2:02
14 0:36
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
15 0:42
16 2:08
Voyage to Cythera
17 1:58
18 2:17
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
19 3:10

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Happy Homecoming, Comrade
1 2:56
2 2:26
Trojan Women
3 0:54
4 1:47
5 1:47
6 1:21
Suspended Step of the Stork
7 2:02
The Seagull
8 1:27
9 2:26
Landscape in the Mist
10 2:57
Trojan Women
11 2:13
12 2:58
The Price of Love
13 2:41
The Beekeeper
14 4:26
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
15 2:32
Trojan Women
16 1:03
17 2:11
18 2:49
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
19 2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick