(click on the icon to view the table of contents) (CORIFEO-EROSMUSIC 85022)
A collection of recordings made by Greek guitarists had been missing from our record library until today. I do not know if the record market demands it or if this is the right time for the production of records with many participants and such a specialized repertoire. Nevertheless, we have decided to take this risk, trusting the maxim that “quality records usually sell”.
As co-ordinator and producer of this guitar album, I have acted on a “historical” principle so to speak, trying to bring together the older and the younger generations of Greek guitarists and evaluating their recorded work. In a country like Greece, where, for some mysterious and impenetrable reason, the classical guitar and its protagonists have created a tradition of enviable quality in all Europe and the USA, a public interest can almost be taken as a matter of course. In Greece there is an overproduction of guitar music! An interminable list of Greek guitarists has sprung up, winning awards at international contests, obtaining first prizes and favourable reviews on the international Press, or distinguishing themselves through teaching at international seminars or in concert tours throughout the world, and even in discography.
In short, if we wish to trace the evolution of the guitar in Greece, we could say that it is the result of half a century of systematic teaching (from the early 1950s), starting – essentially – with Dimitris Fampas, Gerassimos Miliaressis and Charalambos Ekmetzoglou, who – each one in his own way – passed the light of their knowledge on to their students. Subsequently (particularly during the 1960s), the next generation developed, following the European guitar trends, from “its native” Spain to musically austere England. Mediterranean and Balkan Greece has brought forth a long succession of guitarists that includes soloists, duos and other varied combinations! Today, after fifty years, Greek discography boasts many guitar records, and this album is an attempt to reveal this potential, unknown to the wide public. So, to begin with, we have the personal discography of every participant. From the existing recordings, I have chosen those guitarists and pieces that express the dominant and positive image of a time – and display a high standard of music. In other words, an anthology from a 50-year period that has brought the Hellenic Guitar School to the forefront of international developments, through the musical development and the special expressive features of each guitarist or duo.
This edition creates its own “history” because, for the first time, it binds together schools, techniques, persons, histories, forms, influences, memories, aesthetic views etc. A great effort has been made to include as many guitarists as possible, so that the necessary representation may be effected. Whether I have managed to do so or not, I do not know. (There was a case in which the refusal of one participant caused a gap in the chain of the “Greek coterie”.) I repeat that in this album we have attempted to outline the Greek history of the guitar, and for this reason recordings of teachers like Gerassimos Miliaressis, the unforgettable Dimitris Fampas, as well as composer and guitarist Kyriakos Tzortzinakis (lost so early and so tragically) have been included. Their performing “presence” invests this collection with historical dignity and joins different generations, once more attesting that music and its performance is like a tree: it has roots, branches and blossoms! The present release, consisting of two CDs encompassing the history of the guitar over half a century, is an attempt to reveal this ‘family tree’ of Greek guitarists.