To listen only a few times to Trojan Women may not be enough to reveal all its depth and width, yet you will realise immediately that you are in front of one of the most important recording events of the year, even though we are still at the beginning of it. What Karaindrou ventured to do here was very attractive from the start, albeit undoubtedly difficult, perhaps even quite risky from the creative point of view. In other words, she had to use her very rich education from classical music only as a base, retaining the manner of organising and constructing the composing resources she commands, but introducing different types of development and expression, from the orchestration point of view and more.If you exclude the harp, there are no more string or other symphony orchestra instruments, as was usual in her previous works. Instead, there are exclusively traditional instruments, which, however - and here is where her composing and orchestrating genius lies - she uses in a way that is everything but...traditional! Here, Karaindrou makes music which is unadorned, inner, lyrical, sotto voce dignified, monumental but not "monument-like". She lets herself be carried to the heart of sound and doesn't allow it to possess her with its power. She only keeps its essential elements and drops all unnecessary ones. She "plays" with the silences (there are moments close to minimalism, if only in feeling) continuously maintaining an underlying sense of intensity. She compassionately leans over the tragic poetry and listens to the pain it contains, allowing it to emerge through the decent, noble sorrow her notes engender in us. Small musical phrases, like fragments of a distinct sound poetry, bittersweet "unknown words" of a strange "dialect" which springs from the heart and addresses the open spirit of those who possess such a thing, in order to accept and comprehend it...It is a work beyond the accepted (or not) title of "post-modern", classical in essence and beyond time in values while being totally modern at the same time, music which leaves you with the sensation of a distant and somehow forsaken, yet vaguely familiar, feeling.
S. Mantzanas, AVGI (Greece)
Karaindrou, better known for her film scores, uses a chamber group of instruments indigenous to Greece and the Mediterranean (lyra, kanonaki, suling, santouri) for her beautiful live score to K.H. Myris's modern Greek translation of "Trojan Women"... Using the mythological fall of Troy as his analogy, Euripides's anti-war tragedy about the captured women of Phrygia who teach their Greek conquerors moral values, was written in 415 BC following the violent fall of Melos to the Athenians. The hypnotic sounds, which emerge from the delicately arranged instruments together with the chorus are unique and deeply meditative in their mystical resonance.
Tarik O'Regan, The Observer
Wieder diese grandiose, hoch emotionale Musik, diesmal geschrieben für Chor, Sopran und traditionelle Folklore-Instrumente. Eine sinnliche Offenbarung zur klassischen Antikriegstragödie. Heimatverlust, Ruinen - die Männer getötet, die Kinder in die Sklaverei entführt, die Frauen als Beute der neuen Herrscher. Dazu ein weiteres Mal eine Musik, die eine Ahnung davon vermittelt, dass die wahre Bedeutung hinter den Worten beginnt.
Ulrich Steinmetzger, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
An exquisite musical fresco in black and white. This is how we can characterise and describe Eleni Karaindrou's musical work, which has emerged out of Antonis Antypas' theatrical interpretation of Euripides' "Trojan Women". The play was presented in Epidaurus in 2001 and is still intensely moving both for Easterners and Westerners. In the production the music accompanies and assists the drama as a faithful friend and companion. Now, in the recorded version, it is the drama which assists and serves the music as a faithful friend-companion. The thirty brief musical moments from the performance which form the discographic unit, thirty vibrations of sound and rhythm, umbued with the scent of genuineness, transform the grandeur of the drama in an awesome way, resurrecting memory and igniting imagination. A timeless anti-war cry, an incessant lament: this is what Euripides' tragedy is.
George B. Monemvasitis, Echo & Artis
Earthy and tragic, at times melancholy and nostalgic, Eleni Karaindrou's music springs by itself from within. It knows well that a compositon next to Euripides' play is not a simple case of creating an atmosphere. The tragic action doesn't need a simple musical accompaniment, it doesn't need explaining, it doesn't need an extra carrier, there is nothing it lacks and nothing is superfluous in it. Anything added would be exaggeration. Her sounds carry the same message as the poet. Gifted with modesty and devoted to serving music, she creates masterpieces in "sotto voce". ... A precious acquisition to our cultural inheritance.
Liana Maladrenioti, diphono
Au premier abord, la simplicité de la musique d'Eleni Karaindrou pourra surprendre; la sensualité mélodique, parfois mièvre dans certaines pièces pour orchestre à cordes, est compensée ici par l'utilisation d'instruments traditionnels, aux sonorités à la fois tendres et mystérieuses. Les choeurs, chantés par les acteurs de la pièce d'Euripide (pour laquelle cette musique a été écrite) ponctuent l'action avec une austérité statique assez fascinante, installant un climat enveloppant, comme une berceuse élégiaque, une procession sans but. Simple et touchant: profondément humain.
Bertrand Dermoncourt, Classica