The collection was recorded in Greece with some of the most prominent instrumentalists in Greece and a guest appearance by the Greek National Chorus(ERT). These songs represent the only collection of songs Mr. Mavroudis has written exclusively for one singer. Ms. Ziavras hopes that this CD, which was recorded in Athens, will result in exposing more people to this ancient, beautiful and topical genre. Included is a 12 page booklet with English translations with a descrition of the instrumentation, style and genre.
REVIEW OF THIS CD, SIMPLY MAVROUDIS:
"Greek may be foreign to most of our ears, but Julie Ziavras' lovely, liquid voice expresses feelings of love, longing and wonder that don't need translation, although the translations are provided on the liner notes. And the music, featuring a small orchestra, may include such Greek styles as rebetika and hasapiko, but it's as haunting and universal as the sound of a lonely violin". Steve Isreal-Times Herald Record
JULIE ZIAVRAS BIOGRAPHY:
Soprano Julie Ziavras is known for her diversity of repertory and styles and her ability to infuse a classical technique with the popular and folk genre. Her repertory ranges from opera and classical art song to contemporary and traditional folk, Greek and international ballads. Classically trained, she holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and has coached with Metropolitan Opera maestros including George Schick and Alberta Masiello.
She has won praise for her vocal beauty, musicianship and dramatic stage presence. An accomplished recitalist, she has performed in concert, on radio and TV and has won acclaim in the US and abroad. Appearances in New York City include Carnegie Recital Hall, Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Hall, Symphony Space Theater, the World Music Institute, The Guggenheim Museum in Soho, the Alternative Museum, the Greek Cathedral Concert Series, among others. She also appears in folk venues accompanying herself on guitar as part of a recently formed acoustic folk duo "Ken and Julie", featuring songs written expressly for her voice by songwriter Ken DeAngelis.
see: http://cdbaby.com/cd/kenandjulie or www.kenandjulie.com. She has also recorded five art songs written by Howard Garrett accompanied by pianist/arranger Steve Margoshes which appears on the album "Piano Miniatures" sold on CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/JudyandHowardGarrett.
Among her appearances abroad, she has been a featured artist at international song festivals, including guest soloist in the Fiesta International de las Naciones in Venezuela. She was invited to Greece by prominent composer/music director Manos Hadjidakis to appear on Greek National Radio (ERT) for numerous concerts and live broadcasts. This included a performance of a premiered work at the Pireus National Theatre that was simulcast on national radio. She was featured soloist with Greek composer Notis Mavroudis in a concert tour originating in Greece and culminating in Serbia. For Serbia, this was the first time a western artist performed there after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The National Museum in Belgrade was opened for the occasion and the concert was simulcast on national radio and television. Selections from her solo CD Simply Mavroudis were premiered on this tour with great success, to an audience which followed the music with translations. A vocalise written for her voice by Greek composer Spiros Cardamis entitled New Millenium, was in the number one spot in the opera category with mp3 for nearly three months and is now in their Hall of Fame. A review of her performance in The Gods of Music states that " the strings would be vapid without the incredible voice, a siren who summoned my spirit onto the rocks of musical ecstasy."
"Using her voice, Julie is an excellent collaborator, aiding my emotions and allowing us to approach Music's secrets". -Notis Mavroudis, composer, arranger, classical guitarist.
JULIE ZIAVRAS, OTHER REVIEWS:
"...an estimable vocalist is adding new tone and color in the heart of Greenwich Village...a pretty vocalist with a silvery voice. She held the spotlight alone, by way of introduction. Cradling her guitar, Miss Ziavras sang a variety of Greek numbers, plaintive to rhythmic, then rounded out the set with a group of English folk ballads."
-New York Times
"ZIAVRAS MASTERS THE MOST DIFFICULT INSTRUMENT. Soprano Julie Ziavras wowed her Montgomery listeners with her versatile voice and the variety of her repertoire from opera to folk songs...It was Ziavras, however, who highlighted the afternoon with her warm and compelling voice, appealing presence and wide range of repertoire... Opera, art songs, lieder, contemporary music written especially for her, poetry and folk songs offered ample evidence of her dramatic sense of style and personable interpretations...She sang more than 20 songs in six languages and poured her full energy into each number with virtuosity and verve...
Ziavras has enjoyed great success as a singer of Greek folk songs. The next set of five songs explored the melancholy strains of "A Bright Day for Us, Too," the patriotic plea of "Where Is God?," the traditional hospitality of "Bread Is on the Table," and the tender affection of "Road of Dreams" and "Your Name." High notes of pathos, lilting phrases and poetic imagery, marked by mandolin trills, captured the spirit of Greece in these works by Stavros Xarchakos, Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis.
-Dr. James F. Cotter, Times Herald Record
"But, the strings would be vapid without the incredible voice; a siren who summoned my spirit onto the rocks of musical ecstasy." Armond Blackwater -Gods Of Music
"The dreamlike rendition of Julie Ziavras makes us feel the waves of her voice, which makes the spirit airborne. What can one say...how can one describe the voice of a swallow?" -Greek National Herald
"It was the most fantastic voice I had ever heard from the Greek community...her performance was direct and sensitive...she has the rare characteristic of consistency in her voice...may she continue to sing with the same conscientiousness and dedication so that those of us who recognize quality song may continue to enjoy her..."
"...sensitive, sexy, magnificently creative, her rendition of one nostalgic Greek folk song simply took my breath away." GABSI Magazine
"She cultivates an intimate rapport with her audience, and this is the true test of a real interpreter-the way she 'works' this intimate communication with those across from her." Greek National Herald
"She has an incredibly powerful and beautiful voice." Bodles Opera House
"Only in a few instances, perhaps that can only be counted on one hand, that a rare something else--perhaps unbelievable-can be used to describe the qualities of a true artist...who distinguishes herself so strongly, that she is in a different singular class of her own. A voice so multi-facteted and ethereal that when she sings she takes you with her climbing the stairs of the angels." Proini /The Greek American
NOTIS MAVROUDIS, BIOGRAPHY
Born in Athens, Notis belongs to a generation of Greek composers who base their songs on poems and the lyrics of well known lyricists. He studied classical guitar at the Greek National Conservatory with Dimitris Fampas and graduated in 1969 with distinction. He continued his studies in Spain and in Milan, where he later taught classical guitar at the Scuola Civica di Musica. Returning to Greece, he began composing, broadcasting musical programs on Greek radio, published the classical guitar magazine TAR and writing numerous articles for newspapers and magazines.
In 1963 he began composing songs and pieces for classical guitar, many of which have won international competitions. These works have been extensively recorded by the most prominent musicians and singers in Greece. His music exemplifies Greece; using traditional folk instruments intrigrated with classical guitar, with eastern coloring and expressive melodic lines, marking his own very personal musical style.