Mikis Theodorakis, The Very Best Of Mikis Theodorakis

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The changing politics of Greece have transformed Mikis Theodorakis from a political outcast who composed wonderful music, into a national treasure whose music speaks of — and to — the very soul of the Greeks. The inimitable "Zorbas," which opens this album with its crisp bouzouki lines, draws from Greek folk music, and the sounds of the villages and tavernas, essentially summing up the Greek countryside in one composition. Greece's rustic side runs throughout this disc, as on the gorgeously aching "Vrechi Sti Ftochoguitonia." But there's also a more cosmopolitan — yet equally wistful — side to Theodorakis, as on "To Treno Fegvui Stis Otko," where the light and shade of a city evening flits through the music. To single out the pieces here as his very best perhaps sleights the rest of his impressive work, but it makes for a graceful introduction rife with loving beauty.