Nana Mouskouri, |
Ode to Joy
If Artemis had a voice and a recording contract, she would be made flesh in Nana Mouskouri. Picture it: A huntress, wise and smart, lovely as quicksilver in the moonlight, singing for joy and glorying in the beauty of the night. This CD is magic, and Nana Mouskouri is myth made real.
Mouskouri starts the CD with Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and segues from there to songs spanning time and place, such as F. Sartori/L. Quarantotto's "Con te partiro" to the traditional "Blow the Wind Southerly," and then onto Lloyd Webber's "Love Changes Everything" and Don McLean's "And I Love You So," winding throughout 20 songs of equal force and passion, from different periods, countries and composers, all unique and so very right.
In the late 1970s, I was in college, and went with a Greek friend of mine to see Mouskouri perform. Ionna came from a family that was quite prominent in Greece, had partied with then bachelor King Juan Carlos of Spain, and was a perfect accompaniment to that concert because she was able to translate for me the Greek, Spanish and French songs that Mouskouri sang. Ionna also shared with me the incredible waves of love and joy emanating from the singer and her legion of fans. Mouskouri has been around for some time, and her voice has not weakened or become distorted. It has instead mellowed like a very fine wine, becoming richer and fuller.
In reading the liner notes for this CD, it is pointed out that Mouskouri is a classically trained musician, but chose to venture into different waters than those charted for her by her parents and her teachers. Once upon a time, she was a crossover artist, and is still reaching out to continue to grow and interpret music in different ways. In a career spanning more than 40 years, through a myriad of happenings, wars, global tastes and rhythms, this compassionate singer has traveled throughout the world working toward helping children through UNICEF, and through her art. She does not rely on gimmicks, a la a nasty kiss on MTV, nor on a small voice emanating from a big mouth. Instead, Mouskouri, like Diana the Huntress, is a voice and a spirit that will be with us long after plastic princesses have torched their last toke, and entered the realm of has-beens. It is that real.