Alkis Baltas, composer
Theodore Kerkezos, alto saxophone
Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra
Alkis Baltas, conductor
The outstanding album BALLET MUSIC is third album in a series dedicated to the one of Greece’s leading composer, Alkis Baltas.
The ballet Panoria was composed during the period 2002–3, following the assignment by the Greek National Opera (Artistic Director: Lucas Karytinos). The play was first presented in 2004 in five shows by the ballet of the Greek National Opera, with choreography by Charis Mantafounis, who transferred the story to the modern era. The Orchestra of the GNO was directed by the composer. The story of the ballet is based freely on the theatrical play Panoria(or Gyparis) by the Cretan Renaissance writer Georgios Chortatsis (1550–1610). Two haughty Amazons, who hunt in Psiloreitis, refuse the love of two young men. At the end, and with the magical intervention of Aphrodite, the two girls’ refusal is transformed into strong love. Love shall triumph again.
The nature of the music follows the sometimes lyrical and sometimes comic scenes of the play. Sometimes, in parts of intense rhythmic character, some distant references to Cretan traditional music are made. Musical references are also made to Renaissance music, mostly by the use of the melody of the song “So ben, mi, c’ha bon tempo” of Chortatsis’s contemporary, Italian composer Orazio Vecchi (1550–1605). The ballet Monologue for alto saxophone and orchestra was composed in 2009. It is intended to be interpreted by only one dancer, who, during the composition, renders various sentiments and emotions. After the intense orchestral introduction, the solo saxophone plays a broadly expressive melody. With gradually increased movement, the music moves to intense, anguished dancing movement. Consequently, the music becomes calm, and on the ison of strings, the first cadenza is heard. The saxophone’s melody aims to express the internal philosophic mood of the lead dancer. A development part follows, in which the solo saxophone has an intense dancing dialogue with the orchestra. Immediately after, the saxophone’s second cadenza is heard, which also has the character of internal meditation. The play finishes with a calm coda and the music fading as the lights of the scene dim.The composition is dedicated to the saxophone soloist Theodore Kerkezos.
Panoria for orchestra
01. Introduction and Dance of Amazons [04:48]
02. Dance of Cupid and Dance of Gyparis and Alexis [05:45]
03. Entry of Frosyni and Comic Dance of Men [03:08]
04. Intermezzo [04:30]
05. Dance of Couples [03:02]
06. Sad Frosyni and Dance of Men [05:09]
07. Pas de Quatre [03:06]
08. Cretan Dance [02:29]
09. Dance of Gyparis and Alexis [02:45]
10. Dance of Cupid [02:02]
11. Dance of Panoria [02:31]
12. Panoria – Gyparis and Alexis – Athousa [04:29]
13. Monologue for alto saxophone and orchestra [15:36]
Total time: [59:30]