Yannis A. Papaioannou – Ion Zottos: teacher and pupil put to music the poetry of C. P. Cavafy
Υannis Andreou Papaioannou marks the beginning of the later period of his creative development in the year 1966. At this period of time Ion Zottos begins his studies near to the great teacher and composer. In the meanwhile Zottos studies literature at the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham and teaches literature at the English Language Department of the University of Athens. The common element of both teacher and pupil was the love for literature, which gave birth in their compositional work to plenty of melodic verses of important Greek and foreign poets.
The present paper attempts a parallel global approach to the putting the poetry of C. P. Cavafy to music by Y. A. Papaioannou and Ion Zottos, aiming to formulate general conclusions in relation to the role of the instrumental part, the modifications of the metric indications, the tempo, the way of putting the poetry to music and the structure of the works. Furthermore, the present paper tries to define the timeline of the performances and the elements regarding the life and the complete work of the composers. Finally, it attempts to formulate the different, but also the common compositional principles, which were adopted by the two creators to render the poetry of C. P. Cavafy. Demonstrative examples of the various conception of the Cavafian work by the teacher and the pupil are: a) the work Cavafian Sonorous Gravures by Ion Zottos, in which the composer does not put to music poems of Cavafy, but creates a vertebrate composition for piano, inspired from seven different poems, in comparison to Papaioannou, which did not compose an equivalent exclusive instrumental composition, and b) the lyric-dramatic scene The Self Talking Poet, in which Zottos combines texts of poetry and prose by Cavafy; the conception of putting various poems to music for the composition of a three-song-cycle is also adopted by Papaioannou, yet with the difference that he did not attempt the coexistence of poetry and prose.