Sleeve Notes (excerpts)
Here are Greek songs!!
Most of the songs I heard early in life: from my mother, an uncle who possessed an exceptionally beautiful voice, and a father who knew the first line of every Greek song, sang it, and then sat back to enjoy the singing more than all of us.
Later in life I, too, began to sing these songs and found more songs in the collection of the Harvard College Library.
Greece, lying between the East and the West, has been influenced by many cultures. Wars, crusades and migrations have added to the richness of modern Greek culture and particularly to modern Greek folk music.
Plagued by wars, poverty and oppression, the people of Greece retained the spirit of expressing themselves in songs and poetry. This was an expression of a people in love with life, in love with nature, and in love with love. From the combination of the Greek individuality and the external influences mentioned above evolved a Greek folk music idiom peculiar only to Greece.
The songs on this album cover a wide range. The robust Ma Ti To Theli, the passionate Otan Mou Ipe, the lively Yerrakina and Ta Matakia are contrasted by the poignant Ena Poulaki, the moody Mia Voskopoula and the lyrical Karavi Ena Apo Tin Chio.
This is the first recording of most of these songs: and thus the listener will be entering a new experience. In listening, I hope you come to love them as much as I love to sing them.
Lyric tenor, folk singer, and Officer of Harvard University — Theodore (Ted) Alevizos deftly combines a classically trained voice with an inherent love of modern Greek culture. Milwaukee-born, he was vocally trained by Emma Kelly during his under-graduate days at Marquette University, and coached by Belle Julie Soudant while a student at the Juilliard School of Music, before receiving a Master's Degree from Columbia University. His family originated from the southern part of the Peloponnesus, and although Ted found some of these songs while working with the famous Greek Folklore Collection at Harvard, many are recollections from his childhoods when they were sung at family gatherings and picnics. Ted learned to play the guitar two years ago; since then he has shared these songs, as well as those of American and English origin, on WBZ-TV and at The Ballad Room in Boston, on Oscar Brand's radio show in New York and with audiences in the New England area.
Rolf Cahn, internationally known as a composer (two of his scores were played at the Brussels World Fair), folk song collector and performer, accompanies Mr. Alevizos on the second guitar.
Notes by Susan T. Bamberger