National Geographic Music Traveller: Greece

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Sony
PERFORMER: Various artists
CATALOGUE NO: 989853 2

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The genre has left its stamp on most subsequent Greek styles. As you play the Greece CD from a National Geographic/Sony series that appears to emulate the Rough Guide compilations, echoes of rebetika are everywhere.

The CD restricts itself to the Sony back catalogue, but this is capacious enough to give a strong and varied selection which is particularly hot on voices of power and lyricism, many of them classically trained though they ply their trade in popular-traditional areas.

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It begins with the over-familiar strains of ‘Zorba’s Dance’, but the performance is a brilliant one and there’s plenty of instrumental variety later, including a shawm-like solo reed player and a Macedonian brass band. The issue includes a map and a CD-ROM travel guide, in case anyone feels moved to book a holiday.