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Anna Maria Rentzeperi-Tsonou: George Lambelet’s song-cycle Ta chelidonia (The swallows) for voice (voices) and piano in poetry by Zacharias Papantoniou Εκτύπωση E-mail

By Anna-Maria Rentzeperi-Tsonou, Assistant Professor, Department of Music Science and Art, University of Macedonia, Greece, Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από κακόβουλη χρήση. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε την Javascript για να τη δείτε.



George Lambelet is one of the pioneers of the Greek National Music School because of his choice to write Greek national music and of his essays about how it should be composed. The songs for voice and piano have a dominant place in his work. In the song-cycle Τa Chelidonia (The Swallows) for voice (voices) and piano (first published in 1920) Lambelet set 16 of the poems included in the same-titled poetic cycle by the Greek poet Zacharias Papantoniou to music. Τhe poems express mainly Papantoniou’s love for nature, his affection for animals and his connection with his childhood experiences - all poems come to a pedagogic conclusion teaching the children kindness, integrity and loyalty often in parables. They consist of stanzas which contain the same number of verses.

In this study are analyzed four songs of the song-cycle regarding the musical parameters: morphological structure, tonality, harmony, tempo, meter, melody, rhythmic scheme, dynamic and piano accompaniment. Also the Greek element of the songs is examined. Two of the songs are strophic whereas the other two have a more complicated form. The songs are either written completely in Greek modes (scales) or move between modes and minor and major scales. The melodic line of the voice is in most of the songs rather simple. In most of the songs the melodic line of the voice and the piano accompaniment move with small rhythmic values (quarter and eighth notes). Two of the songs have a folk-like dancing character. In all songs the right hand of the piano doubles the melodic line of the voice (voices). The Greek character is shown by the 7/8 meter, the rhythmic patterns of Greek folk-dances, as syrtos – kalamatianos, the use of the interval of augmented second (trisemitone) in the melodic line of the voice and the constant use of Greek modes (scales) and the harmony that derives from them.

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