giovedì 8 maggio 2008
Jani Christou - Symphony No. 1
Jani Christou was born at Heliopolis, N.E. of Cairo on January 9th, 1926, of Greek parents. He was educated at the English School in Alexandria, and began composing at an early age. In 1945 he travelled to England to study formal logic and philosophy at Kingâs College, Cambridge under Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell (he attained an MA in philosophy in 1948). At the same time he studied music privately with H. F. Redlich, the distinguished musicologist and pupil of Alban Berg, and in 1949 travelled to Rome to study orchestration with F. Lavagnino. He also travelled widely in Europe, culminating for a short period in Zurich, where he met and attended lectures in psychology with Carl Jung. Christou's studies in psychology were greatly encouraged by his brother Evanghelos (himself a pupil of Jung) whom Christou considered his spiritual mentor and who exerted a strong influence on his creative thinking. Christou was deeply affected by his brother's death in 1956 as the result of a car accident, and it was Jani who arranged the posthumous publication of Evanghelos's book The Logos of the Soul.
He returned to Alexandria in 1951, and in 1956 he married Theresia Horemi a remarkable young painter from Chios who supported and assisted Christou in all his artistic and creative aspirations. Christou would compose for long hours at a stretch, and when not actually physically engaged in the act of composing would spend a great deal of time studying in his vast library of books and absorbing subjects from philosophy, anthropology, psychology, theology and comparative religions, history and pre-history through to occultism and art. Christou was as much a philosopher and metaphysician as he was a composer, and it is important to understand that all of his music sprang from his philosophical studies and theories. This is particularly so in the music covering the last ten years of his life, where his compositional techniques are at times transmuted beyond conventional music. In a series of Î130 Projectsâ (described by John G. Papaioannou as 130 metamusical, ritual works) Christou extends musical syntax to such a degree that the boundaries between music, theatre and everyday 'life', merge, coexist and sometimes become mutually independent one from the other: Anaparastasis III (The Pianist) for actor and instrumental ensemble and tapes (1968); Anaparastasis I, for baritone and instrumental ensemble (1968) and Enantiodromia are prime examples of this genre of Christou's late music. (http://www.janichristou.org/)
Symphony No. 1 for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (1951)
Athens State Orchestra. Kitsa Damassiotou, mezzo-soprano. Conductor: Alec Sherman
Phoenix Music for Orchestra (1949)
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, conductor: Brad Lubman