The Greek poet Constantine Cavafy lived from 1863 to 1933, mainly in Alexandria, Egypt. Worldwide, he is only known to a small circle of people. The themes of his poetry were philosophy, history and the erotic - subjects which he combines in his poems in a fascinating way. Cavafy was a poet in a time of transition between Hellenic ideals and a modern, spiritual new beginning. A new beginning, which is also attributed to him. *
The “Kavafis Project” is an elemental work, which combines the wisdom of philosophy with the intuition of music. As a constant enquirer all his life, Kavafis understood the contradictions of human existence, the decadence of bourgeois morality and the dubiousness of prevailing historiography. It is unfortunate that his brilliant work only posthumously received a fitting appreciation, which nonetheless shows his epoch-transcending relevance. Finally, a significant, musical honour has been conferred on the oeuvre of this revolutionary of Greek literature. The poet, just like the composer, has the perspective of the emigrant, who neither denies nor glorifies his origins. This detachment has enabled Alexandros Karozas to create his interpretation of Kavafis in the style of western, classical music, without entirely cutting himself off from the roots of the Greek musical tradition. *
Alexandros Karozas, who was born in Greece, lives in Frankfurt am Main, Constantinople and in Katerini at the mountain Olympus in Greece. He enjoys these cosmopolitan surroundings and has, moreover, become a part of them. His music is therefore all the more surprising. A link between cultures. Not artificial, but natural, sensitive, mature. Music, which inspires you to observe the evolution of culture in a great country. Something new is being created here, which nonetheless does not deny its roots. Alexandros Karozas succeeds because of his sense of unity, and the naturalness with which he blends various elements into something new. It is a joy to experience, and at the same time it conveys more of its creator, his values and his homeland, than perhaps he himself suspects. *
“George Dalaras sings in Greek, yet his music, springing from the heart, has a universal appeal” stated the French daily Le Figaro in 1993, long after the reputation of this great Greek musician had reached across the borders of his native land. Throughout his triumphant tours in Europe, the United States, Canada and every other corner of the world, George Dalaras stayed in close touch with his roots, leaving a trail of saplings behind to bloom in the traditional Greek rhythms destined, one might say, to accompany today’s blending of world cultures.
"Always keep Ithaca in your mind - to arrive there is your destination." (C.P. Cavafy)
Alexandros Karozas' composition of the poetry of
Constantine Cavafy is a brilliant musical achievement.
Ithaka sung by George Dalaras
Voices sung by George Dalaras
“The Kavafis Project”
*Translation: Tim Dowdall
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