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Photo: Evaggelia Thomakou Photo: Evaggelia Thomakou

Reviewing Eleftheria Arvanitaki's tribute concert to Vassilis Tsitsanis at Herodion Theatre...

“What if today, tomorrow or now” is a song that all Greeks are familiar with – and have whispered from times to times. This is because the songs of Vassilis Tsitsanis are part of our DNA, the songs that our parents used to listen to when we were kids, the songs we doubted as teenagers and the songs to where we return as we grow older and come to admire deeply.

Eleftheria Arvanitaki has always been fond of rembetika and this is part of the reason why her tribute to Tsitsanis concert was unique. She described the original performances of these songs by female singers such as Ninou or Bellou as legendary, but I’m sure – after experiencing Arvanitaki’s Herodion appearance – that these songs have met their ideal performer also in our days and this is Eleftheria Arvanitaki…

… Eleftheria Arvanitakis was exceptional once more. She is a performer who , apart from her extraordinaire vocal abilities, can entertain the audience and bring it close to her, even at a theatre like Herodion that is quite imposing. When she spoke about Tsitsanis she called him the “Parthenon of Greek music” and she was more than right. Vassilis Tsitsanis changed the character of “laika” and “rembetika” songs, he removed their outcast character and righteously positioned them to a major part of the Greek musical tradition. These songs are still talking to our inner selves and this is why the audience didn’t stop singing and applauding last night…

… What I’m keeping from last night’s concert is a sense of endless warmth and love we all felt, coming from the musicians, Eleftheria and the rest of the performers, and reached even the highest of the seating zones, before spreading out to the Athenian sky…

By Eleni Lambraki, www.musicorner.gr, 3/10/2014

 

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