Great Mario Concert CD And Wonderful Greek Songs, April 16, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan
I ordered "Fengari Erotevmeno" (FE) when Mario's "Sometimes I Dream" (SID) quickly became my all-time favorite. I am very impressed that at the age 35, Mario is already a seasoned musician and actor. He has performed in Music Theater, opera, Greek tragedy; won high level singing competitions; and trained for opera singing at Jiulliard School of Music and with the late opera singer Alfredo Kraus. I had confidence to buy FE because I found "Ton Eafto Tou Paidi" in SID a very beautiful Greek song and one of the best in SID.
I'd describe the style of the 21 Greek songs as between folk and contemporary Greek art-songs. Lots of them sound more folk than Ton Eafto Tou Paidi. They are contemporary songs or modern classics. Some lyrics are written by great poets, including a Nobel Prize-winning poet. These Greek songs are very refreshing to me. Some of them are soft and thoughtful. Some are powerful and passionate. And some tell a story. Mario handled every song with the touch of a real master.
I love Mario's version of the two Broadway songs (CD2, Tracks 1 & 2, refer to listing below). No doubt we think of the original cast when we listen to them. For me, there is room for interpretations by other great artists. Mario has performed Raoul in "Phantom of the Opera" and Marius in "Les Miserables" and more leading roles in other musicals in a cast as well respected as the Broadway cast. Mario is often picked to portray romantic roles and is very good at it. I would not compare Mario with other great Music Theater performers in the original cast. Each of them is great in their own ways. Listen for yourself.
FE is definitely a challenge since it's ALL GREEK to me. Luckily, I got help from some very gracious Greek ladies who posted explanations and lyric translations on Mario's Sony forum.
I put together some statistics and track listings, since I had a hard time finding them myself.
By song count:
2 CDs and
4 in English,
1 in French,
1 in Spanish,
4 in Italian, and the rest
21 in Greek.
23 Mario (MF) solos.
5 Mario/Deborah (MF/DM) duets and
3 Deborah Meyers (DM) solos.
Miscellaneous information and advice in case you are looking for them:
1. The key is that you like Mario as a vocalist well enough to want to know his earlier works in Greek. FE is not a "classical crossover" CD as SID is.
2. If you are open to music from other culture, like the sound of Greek in "Ton Eafto Tou Paidi" (Track 7, SID), and you have an ear for folk songs, you got a good starting piont.
3. A life concert CD does not have the sound quality of studio recordings, but you can hear the cheers of the crowd. And you can hear them sing along in the last song.
4. I would not buy the 31 songs for the 9 non-Greek tracks, or the 4 English songs, although I like them quite well.
5. Complete lyrics are provided in the liner. But they are in original languages and not translated into English. FE is an import and not an international release. Your resources are Mario's official forum and interest groups.
6. The two songs also in SID ("Ton eafto tou paidi" and "Canzone Arrabbiata") are quite different in FE. It's up to you to decide which version you like better.
I gave FE high marks because the Greek songs are very well written and because Mario gave life to them. I can recognize a few Greek words here and there from the CD by now. I owe my thanks to a special Greek friend who I got to know because of Mario's beautiful music.
1. Granada - MF, Spanish
2. Con te Partiro - MF/DM, Italian
3. To domatio (The room) - MF, Greek
4. Spente le stelle - DM, Italian
5. Mia poli magiki (A magic town) - MF, Greek
6. T'asteri tou Voria (The North Star) - MF, Greek
7. O Kemal (O Kemal)- MF, Greek
8. Tin ikona sou (Your image) - MF, Greek
9. Omorfi Poli (Beautiful Town) - MF, Greek
10. Anigo to stoma mou (I open my mouth) - MF, Greek
11. Dromoi Palioi (Old streets) - MF, Greek
12. S'akoloutho (I follow you) - MF, Greek
13. Fata Morgana (Fata Morgana) - MF, Greek
14. Vosporos (The Bosphorus) - MF, Greek
15. Mikri patrida (Small country) - MF, Greek
16. Selida lefki (Blank Page) - MF, Greek
17. Ton eafto tou paidi (Himself as a child) - MF, Greek
1. The Phantom of the Opera - MF/DM, English
2. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables - MF, English
3. Summertime - DM, English
4. Canzone Arrabbiata - MF/DM, Italian
5. Ne me quitte pas - MF, French
6. Ebben? Ne andro lontana...- DM, Italian
7. I ballada tou Ouri (Uri's ballad) - MF, Greek
8. O Karagiozis (Karagiozis) - MF, Greek
9. To Karadi (Karadi) - MF, Greek
10. Fengari Erotevmeno (Moon in love) - MF, Greek
11. Marrakesh night market - MF/DM, English
12. Na me thymasse (Remember me) - MF, Greek
13. Ohi, den prepei (No, we shouldn't) - MF/DM, Greek
14. Sto 'pa kai sto xanaleo (I told you before and I'm telling you again) - MF, Greek