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Gas Crisis did not Affect Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Attending an extraordinary EU energy meeting in Brussels on January 12, which marked the resumption of gas supplies towards the EU, the newly appointed Development Minister Kostas Hadjidakis stressed that “ever since the beginning of the crisis, Greece has been actively engaged in the effort of the EU to overcome the implications of the crisis, while two of the EU observers sent on the spot are Greek”. The minister also pointed out that the Greece was probably the sole EU country not to have been affected by the situation, utilising its reserves in liquified natural gas together with a bilateral agreement with Algeria which provides for immediate procurement of natural gas if needed. Secretariat General for Information: About Brand Greece- Energy Policy

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Concert of Contemporary Greek Music in Warsaw / “Erato” Ensemble

   On October 18, Greek Ambassador in Poland, Mr Pantelis Carcabassis organized at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, a concert of contemporary Greek music, performed by “Erato” music ensemble.
Introducing the artists to the audience, Mr Carcabassis underlined that “the title of the concert “Songs With And Without Words” is not simply an hommage to the genius of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: the Greeks have been singing throughout their history – from times immemorial to the present day. And they have always been discovering the music in words….”
The “Erato” ensemble comprises of Theodora Baka/voice, Mariella Kessissoglou/ clarinet and Maria Papapetropoulou/ piano.
Their program included Manos Hadjidakis’s cycles of songs (“Magnus Eroticus”, The “Bloody Wedding”, “Roman Agora”) arranged for trio (voice-clarinet-piano), as well as songs of other Greek composers – Nikos Kypourgos, Christos Mentis and Georgios Sfyridis.
The ensemble has performed with great success in Greece, Germany and Italy. Critics call them “the three Muses of Greek music” and especially emphasize their sensitive interpretation, which reveals in all aspects the “euphoric melancholy” of this kind of music. Continue reading

Rebetika: The Greek Blues

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   British music journalist Peter Paphides writes about the music of rebetika, “the Greek blues” in the Times (UK). Rembetika as a genre has often been compared to the American blues, due to its underground roots and its themes of exile, loss of family, substance abuse, unrequited love, imprisonment and death. Paphides makes special mention to legendary rebetika musician Markos Vamvakaris, “the Robert Johnson of rebetika, with a back story just as mythical as Johnson’s crossroads encounter with the Devil” and to famous composer Manos Hadjidakis. Hadjidakis assimilated rebetika melodies and lyrics into his own music, setting about to create a music “that Greece could call its own, using rebetika, traditional rural folk songs and Byzantine influences.  Times Online: Rebetika – I guess that’s why they call it the Greek bluesWorld Media on Greece – Culture and Education ; Secretariat General of Information: