Sounds of the Chionistra


Catalogue No: DDA 21224
EAN/UPC: 809730122422
Artists: , , ,
Release Date: March 2013
Genres: ,
Discs: 2
Total Playing Time: 144:47

The Chionistra is the beautiful Mount Olympus in Cyprus where the crocuses grow (not the one in Greece where the ancient gods ruled) … and close to home for Greek Cypriot composer Cilia Petridou, who though she moved to England in 1965, was deeply affected by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the still unresolved partition of the island. CD1 (songs) and CD2 (Chamber works) reflect this tragedy and the loss of the city of Famagusta, contrasted with the happy memories of an idyllic childhood, in deeply felt, Romantically styled works beautifully performed – all first recordings.

Track Listing

    CIlia Petridou:

  1. The Grocer (2:49)
  2. Sirens (5:38)
  3. Kyrenia (5:12)
  4. What Love Is (3:05)
  5. Mirrors (3:35)
  6. Optimism (3:47)
  7. I. The Siege − Part I (9:32)
  8. II. The Siege − Part II (2:49)
  9. III. The Siege − Part III (11:34)
  10. Evtho (19:21)
  11. I. Piano Quartet “Memories” − I. Youthful Times (9:35)
  12. II. Piano Quartet “Memories” − II. First Loss (7:36)
  13. III. Piano Quartet “Memories” − III. Greek Flag (8:55)
  14. String Quartet “the Collar” (8:03)
  15. I. Piano Trio “Black July 1974” − I. Farewell (11:02)
  16. II. Piano Trio “Black July 1974” − II. Lament for Famagusta (5:37)
  17. III. Piano Trio “Black July 1974” − III. Memories 1960 (5:26)
  18. IV. Piano Trio “Black July 1974” − IV. Optimism-Sadness (3:57)
  19. Crocus on the Chionistra (1:58)
  20. First Applause (5:57)
  21. Catch me if you can (2:21)
  22. Into Exile (4:19)



This two CD set contains some beautiful and highly accessible music. Through Alison Smart and Lesley-Jane Rogers, [the composer] has been introduced to a group of very gifted musicians who seem to have enjoyed learning and recording some of her vocal and chamber music

” —Christina Zve

Vocal music, most of it for two sopranos and piano – a highly effective combination that more composers ought to explore. The piano part in The Siege … sounds almost like the reduction of an orchestral texture …. part of which gives The Siege and Evtho their ritual quality. The essential honesty [of Petridou’s chamber music] and the very want of fluency gives it an innocent charm, not least since it is often very lovely. The performances are sensitive and thoughtful … In a concert, coming between two other composers, Petridou’s atmospheric and thoughtful idiom would offer an attractive alternative. The recorded sound is entirely natural.

” —Martin Anderson
American Record Guide

In both the songs and the chamber music included in this two-disc set there is a melodic and harmonic language that recalls 18th- or 19th Century European classical traditions, both in terms of musical vocabulary and expressive and dra­matic temperament… with an added Mediter­ranean flavor, presumably owing to the com­poser’s Greek heritage. All of the music is accessible and easy to appreci­ate for its craft and heart-felt expression.

” —George Adams

Her music shows a confluence of Eastern and Western elements. The two sopranos have light and pleasant voices and blend together well in their duets. This is heartfelt music, played and sung with conviction. The pathos [of the music] will win over many listeners, and I recommend it accordingly. The booklet gives a good picture of the composer and her times. Other production values, such as recorded sound are also good.

” —David DeBoor Canfield