Christos Hatzis: EROTIKOS LOGOS

Three Songs on Poems by Sappho
texts in classical Greek by Sappho

Erotikos Logos
texts in modern Greek by George Seferis
(winner of the 1996 Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music)

texts in English by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Monica Whicher soprano
Ronald Greydanus countertenor
Joaquin Valdepeñas clarinet
Steven Dann viola
David Hetherington cello
Mark Widner piano
Trevor Tureski percussion
Robert Aitken conductor

producer: Keith Horner
recorded at Studio 211, CBC Broadcast Centre, Toronto
recording engineer: Doug Doctor
digital editing: Christos Hatzis
cover design: Scott McKowen
cover photo: Elisabeth Feryn
liner notes & layout: Christos Hatzis

Marquis Classics ERAD 197.
For information and catalogue contact
Marquis Classics
30 Kenilworth Avenue,
Toronto, Canada M4L 3S3
Fax: 416-690-7346
To order the CD online click below:
Produced by Iolkos Productions with financial support from
the Ontario Arts Council and F.A.C.T.O.R.


Copyright notice: All of the material below is copyrighted. You may download it for personal listening. No further distribution and/or reproduction of any kind is allowed without written authorization from the copyright owner.

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Three Songs on Poems by Sappho.3. Anaktoria

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  • Three Songs on Poems by Sappho have a sinewy, drawn-out intensity. The vocal line, uttered with concentrated fervor by Monica Whicher, has a rhythmic freedom which suggests the inflections of the spoken language...the rather grim angularity of the music is arresting...[In Arcana] the music is very powerful, and the second song, "The Death of the Prince," is a masterpiece of atmosphere. An ensemble of consummate instrumental virtuosos conducted by Robert Aitken, and superbly recorded, provides rich and vivid accompaniments.
  • Urjo Kareda, CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (Canada) 


  • Take a long, deep breath. Exhale slowly and imagine an ancient myth unfolding like the sails of Jason's Argo in a strong Aegean sea breeze. Now imagine the songs and stories of lost times made intelligible to modern ears and hearts: classical tales of Greece and Egypt projected on our mind's internal cinema screens and underscored by the music of our desires. Erotikos Logos comprises three song cycles composed by Christos Hatzis on love poems by Sappho, George Seferis and Gwendolyn MacEwen. These songs form a personal vocabulary of passion for the Greek-born Hatzis, and are rewarding listening for anyone willing to open their feelings to his considerable expressive abilities. Hatzis is a persuasive and thoughtful guide. He paints magnificent backdrops of emotion employing a musical palette reminiscent of Monteverdi, Schubert, Debussy, Glass and even Broadway show tunes on which he applies globs of rich vocal lines for soprano Monica Whicher and countertenor Ronald Greydanus. Despite most of the texts being Greek and indecipherable prior to reading the translations, the songs pack a serious emotional punch. Hatzis is easily forgiven the ocasional foray into correspondence course romanticism and perfunctory sensuality when the ensemble of voice, clarinet, viola, cello piano and percussion blow in a fresh turn of phrase or ingenious orchestration. Hatzis is a deft melodist and a master of form. His sense of proportion ensures that few of his ideas outstay their welcome or disappoint the listener with premature resolution. the crackerjack chamber ensemble conducted by Canadian flutist and new music eminence, Robert Aitken, is great company for both vocalists who rise to the challenge of these demanding scores. Greydanus is the more convincing because his unaffected delivery better suites the illusion of timeless history the composer seems to seek. Marquis Classics has used a different production team on this release, resulting in a significantly improved sonic experience.....The sum is a playful and pungent CD that whispers to you more eloquently with successive hearings. If you're curious, buy it. Your inner sensualist will thank you.



  • With rigorous musical discipline and an acute ear for transcendentally beautiful sounds, Christos Hatzis writes mouthwatering scores that are both familiar and strange. They are familiar because he often quotes actual themes like the bit of Puccini that creeps into his song-cycle Erotikos Logos, or recreates familiar styles like the Sigmund Rombergish melody that arches through the ravishing background agitation in the first of his Three Songs on Poems by Sappho. These familiar patches are evanescent. They donít die but live out a half-life like decaying uranium. The strangeness comes form the fact that the molodies never go where you expect them to. they rise and fall according to an inner logic closely married to that of the poetry the set. The context of their lyrical, sensual sweep is often contradicted by the sound of the piano in the background playing a different rhythm, different tempo and different keyscape. Hatzisí crafsmanship is superb to the point of transparency. It gives tremendous support and integrity to lines that appear and dissappear with the spontaneity of improvisation. the ensemble of clarinet, viola, cello and piano, with percussion (Arcana only), is directed by Robert Aitken and is, in a word, beyond superb.


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