Symphony No. 5 by Dimitris Dragatakis | Première broadcast

When 18/12/2020
Time 09:00-11:00 (CET) / 08:00-10:00 (UTC) / 10:00-12:00 (GR)
Where On radio or online
Country GR


Ensemble: National Symphony Orchestra of the Greek Broadcasting Corporation
Conductor: Yiorgo Moutsiaras
Programme: Dimitris Dragatakis – Symphony No. 5

Specific information

Première broadcast of the première recording of the 5th Symphony by Dimitris Dragatakis.

Presented by the broadcast “Ola ta proina tou Tritou” (All mornings of the Third (program)” with presentor D. Mallouchos.

Listen to it on the radio station “Trito Programma ERT” or “ERA3”, live on radio from Greece on 90.9 FM or 95.6 FM or via internet at the webradio platform of ERT .

A few words about the piece

The title “Symphony” has nothing to do with the structure of the classical Symphony. The character of the piece is more like this of a Symphonic Poem. The work has three movements but is played without interruption between them. The 5th Symphony by Dimitris Dragatakis was written between 1979 and 1980 and was influenced by the myth of Acheron*, which refers to the redemption and salvation of the soul.

The musical writing style of this music material does not follow already established specific styles or systems. The intention of the composer is to describe and reveal human emotions. The main technical elements that connect the movements (the parts) of this piece with each other are a) various sustained low tones, mostly presented by lower string instruments, and b) a distinctive interval of a third, regularly repeated.

In the first movement, “Andante” (considered as the introduction to the “Drama”), the main musical material is presented right at the beginning. In addition to that, new microforms are constantly added to reach a rhythmic intensity via various musical contrasts.

The second movement, “Allegro Vivo”, in which – as echoes – elements from the Greek musical tradition are inserted, is rather a reminiscence of the past, before the “Drama” takes place.

In the third movement, “Largo-Adagio” (seen as the dramatic climax of human tragedy), a cut is made in the middle of the movement for a strong rhythmic Allegro with two characteristic alternations to be heard. The section has more the character of the Chorus of an ancient Greek tragedy with continuous invocations from the brass instruments. In the epilogue, musical themes and schemes of the first movement are returning and being heard again.

The symphony was awarded the First Prize for Composition in the section of symphonic repertoire at the First Music Competition for Composers by The Ministry of Culture of Greece in 1981.

*Acheron: In ancient Greek mythology, Acheron was known as the "river of woe". 
In ancient times it was believed that Acheron was the river crossed by the "psychic transmitter", Hermes. 
He was the one to hand over the souls of the dead persons to Charon, 
in order to end up in the kingdom of Hades, 
the kingdom of the underworld.