Various Artists

Magnesia Music Traditions: Song and Melodies from Magnesia of Thessalia, Greece

  • AllMusic Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Magnesia is a region of Thessalia in Greece. It comprises the surroundings of Volos and Almyros, a part of Mount Othrys, and most islands of the Northern Sporades. Its geography ensured the development of a musical tradition with its own idiosyncrasies. Important arrivals of refugees from Asia Minor in the early '20s enriched the folklore, brought many talented musicians, and revitalized Magnesia at a time when its population was being drained by the booming Athens. This two-CD set documents a wide array of traditional music, from love ballads to wedding dances, organized following a geographical order. Some songs were salvaged from 78-rpm recordings made in the 1930s, plus a couple more pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, but for the most part the recordings are recent (end of the 1990s), although not always professional-sounding (some come from living-room sessions). In terms of instrumentation, the music of Magnesia focused mainly on the clarinet, violin, and voice, with occasional lute. You have a chance here to discover many good players, including clarinetist Yiorgos Zissis, a legendary figure of the early 20th century. But the best pieces come from a recording session held in 2001 by producer Costis Drygianakis to fill in the voids archival recordings had left. These tracks feature the beautiful voice of Apostolos Glafyriotis, plus Stavros Kouskouridas (clarinet), Christos Pournaras (violin), and Kostas D. Karademitros (violin). The 112-page booklet includes informative essays on the land, the music, and the musicians, plus the lyrics for all songs in Greek and English. This album matches the quality of the productions issued on Smithsonian Folkways

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:54
2
3:14
3 3:17
4 5:23
5 3:19
6 2:37
7 4:45
8 3:35
9 2:13
10 7:17
11 3:06
12 5:55
13 2:46
14
0:36
15 3:46
16
3:12
17
3:08
18
4:53
19
1:59
20 2:34
21 3:29
22 3:18
23 5:47
24 4:49
25 2:04
26 2:38
27 2:38
28 3:52
29 3:45
30 3:43
31 2:51
32 5:07
33 1:45
34 1:21
35 4:49
blue highlight denotes track pick