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Album Review: Generations
George Skaroulis
Cover image of the album Generations by George Skaroulis
George Skaroulis
2000 / Evzone Music
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Generations is the original theme music composed to accompany “The Generations Music and Photography Exhibit,” which featured historical family photographs taken in the 1920’s by George Skaroulis’ grandfather,Theo Patronis. Patronis was born in Greece in 1897 and came to the US in 1913. With his camera, Patronis documented the family history as well as the old and new worlds he called home. The photography exhibit opened in Patmos, Greece in July 2000, and then had its premiere in the US in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2001. Pianist George Skaroulis’ music captures an appreciation of life’s simplest moments, as do the photographs in the 8-page booklet that accompanies the CD. For the most part, the music is quiet and peaceful. Some of the tracks have additional instrumentation, but the album is gentle and serene, and some of the pieces are breathtaking in their simple elegance and heartfelt emotion.

“Hopes and Dreams” opens the CD with piano and oboe in an almost wistful duet that sets the tone of the album. “Photographia” is a beautiful piece with a simple melody that mirrors the poignance of the photos. As the title implies, “Nostalgia” is a reflective, bittersweet piece, remembering times gone by. The title track begins with a variation on Chopin’s Prelude in Cm, and evolves into a wonderfully flowing piece that includes flute and strings along with piano; this is one of my favorites on this album - very soulful and emotional. “Dreams of Children” captures a gentle innocence along with a moving forward. “Se Ymnumen” is another favorite - a very minor piece full of passion. It was inspired by a liturgical piece heard often in Greek Orthodox church services. (It was also on Skaroulis’ debut CD, “Homeland.”) “Melodia” is a simple, compelling piece that is reflective and very poignant.

A self-taught pianist, George Skaroulis doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles in his music, and none are needed. The messages are clear and straightforward, and Skaroulis is one of the more expressive pianists on the contemporary scene. Another exceptional album by an exceptional artist. Very highly recommended! Generations is available from amazon.com and evzonemusic.com.
May 5, 2000
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