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(Irida 021)Irida 021 Cover

Mezzo Soprano Elena Marangou and  pianist Tobias Krampen perform songs by Francis Poulenc, Benjamin Britten, Modest Mussorgsky, Johannes Brahms, Periklis Koukos, George Couroupos and Alkis Baltas.



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The common thread tying the songs of this album together is the theme of Childhood, both in litteral and metaphorical sense, which each composer perceives in his own personal way. The sensitive interpretations of Elena Marangou and Tobias Krampen shine light on elements of the compositions that will be appreciated by listeners of varied age groups.

Four Songs for Children composed by Francis Poulenc, are four humorous and occasionally surrealist stories, presented in Poulenc’s own way of balancing between comic and melancholic elements, whereas Benjamin Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies  presents his own 20th century perspective through unconventional lullabies that move from tenderness and affection to despair and even to fear.
In The Nursery by Modest Mussorgsky, the composer follows the rhythmical patterns and style of a childish narration, expressing thus the emotions and ideas of children in a charming and natural way, while the fourteen Children’s Folksongs by Johannes Brahms are short stories or fairy tales with simple melodies of childish immediacy.

The album closes with three pieces by contemporary Greek composers: Girl’s Song from the musical tale Merlin the Wizard on Poets’ Island by Periklis Koukos, Lullaby, from Six Songs for Mice by George Couroupos and Lullaby from Six Simple Songs by Alkis Baltas.

These songs, all composed in different time periods, places and languages, share a common atmosphere; the stories, the dreams, the games, the anxieties, the fears, the whispers that can be heard in a children’s room. It is a music that enlivens the children’s room of each one of us.