Grece - 5 Euro, Vassilis Tsitsanis, 2015 (en blister)
VASSILIS TSITSANIS (1915-1984). Vassilis Tsitsanis, a leading composer, songwriter, bouzouki virtuoso and singer, was born in Trikala in 1915. He was to become one of the greatest representatives of a style of Greek popular song known as laïko. With hundreds of songs to his credit, he gained popularity throughout Greece thanks to his recordings and to memorable performances at music taverns like Harama in Kaisariani, where he never failed to enthrall his audience with “magical nights”, the title of one of his more famous songs. Tsitsanis brought the laïko song style, associated till then with urban outcasts, into the mainstream, innovating its form and interpretation. He also elevated the previously banned bouzouki to a prominent position within the laïko band, combining it with western European instruments such as the accordion. In 1980, on an initiative of UNESCO, a double album entitled “Harama” was released, featuring a collection of his classics and solo bouzouki improvisations. The French edition of the album earned Tsitsanis a posthumous award from the Charles Cros Music Academy in 1985. The songs of Tsitsanis have appealed to generations of Greeks for their genuine expression of the suffering and aspirations of the common people. As Tsitsanis himself said, “I put what I feel into words and music, and give it life and wings with my bouzouki and baglamas. The lyrics and notes are the expressions of my soul. They are my very life, the life of all people with its sorrows and joys.”
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