Gioconda's Smile / Reflections
Artistic supervisor: Giorgos Hadjidakis
Conductor: Lukas Karytinos
PREMIERE 28 SEPTEMBER 2018
28, 29, 30 September 2018
MANOS HADJIDAKIS CYCLE
Greek National Opera - Stavros Niarchos Hall
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Starts at: 20.00
Reflections will be performed by Vassilikos and Raining Pleasure.
The second part 2018/19 of the Manos Hadjidakis Cycle opens with two of his works, closely associated with the mythology of New York, where the composer spent one of the most creative periods of his life.
Gioconda’s Smile is beyond doubt an emblematic work of the Greek music output. “These ten songs were written with a mixture of despair and memories. The theme is a woman alone in the big city. Each song is also a monologue of hers, and all of them together compose her story. A story at once modern and old.” With these words Manos Hadjidakis concluded his note on the first edition of the legendary album Gioconda’s Smile. The work, which has sold more than three million copies throughout the world, was recorded in 1965 in New York, and it was produced by legendary Quincey Jones.
The cycle of songs Reflections was destined for the rock band “New York Rock & Roll Ensemble”, whom Hadjidakis met during the time he lived in New York while he was getting acquainted with the contemporary pop and rock culture. The “New York Rock & Roll Ensemble” have been pioneering; they interpreted rock music with classical musical instruments and vice versa, while during their concerts they used to wear baroque costumes. The album, which was released in 1970, includes eight songs with English lyrics written by the members of the band, and two orchestral themes. To this day, almost 50 years later, Reflections still sound modern, and at the same time always timeless in their aesthetic perfection, at once global and Greek, just like their creator. In 2005, the exceptional Greek rock band Raining Pleasure and Vassilikos released their own wonderful cover of Reflections. With new inspired orchestrations, respectful to the original material, and a great interpretation by Vassilikos, this album managed to re-introduce Hadjidakis’s youthful work to thousands of new listeners and set it on a new course.