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On 15 November 1997, 20 years will have passed by since the death of Alexandra Trianti the singer of Lied who appeared to unanimus applause in concert halls throughout Europe from the end of the 1920s until the beginning of the 1950s.

Coming of the wealthy Athenian family Kotzias and gifted with many talents, she studied music, and especially singing, from an early age.

She studied singing at the Athens Conservatory with Kimon Triantafyllou, and was granted her diploma with distinction in 1921. Her career in Greece was active since she participated in several concerts with the orchestra of the Athens Conservatory under the direction of D. Mitropoulos and A. Marsick in the 1920s.

In search for better tutors she left Greece for Vienna, where she studied with Philip Forsten, who had pushed forward a lot of singers in Europe. After arduous studies, her european career started at the beginning of 1927 in the Volkshaus of Vienna. In December 1928, she appeared for the first time in Berlin with Michael Raucheisen, who accompanied her at the piano. Then follow innumerable recitals in all the great centers of Europe, the Hague, Paris, Leipzig, Stockholm, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Madrid, Malaga, Bilbao, Barcelona, Milan, New York (1953) and other places. Alexandra Trianti was considered to be one of the main singers for the Lied.

She satisfied a large audience with the expression, the color, the simplicity and the perception which she introduced to that kind of song, in which the melody and words are combined to transfer the listener to another world. Her duets with Maria Ivoguen caused a special sensation in Europe and received the best critism.

A. Einstein wrote in the Berliner Tageblatt on 14 March 1933:

‘M. Ivoguen and Alexandra Trianti succeeded in the domain of vocal music something which until now had been achieved only in the domain of instrumental music... It is about the acme of musicality and euphony, about an art which has turned into second nature...’

A critic of De Maasbode of Amsterdam wrote on 29 November 1929:

‘A noteworthy phenomenon ... (Alexandra Trianti) can do everything, the art of singing has no secrets from her any more, she sings the most difficult parts with no sign of tension and she has a rare pianissimo up to the highest notes and the most difficult passages...’

And Eric Bloc wrote for the Birmingham Post in 1934:

‘Mme Trianti first caprivated Germany as a superb interpreter of that country’s great song writers. An outstanding musical personality ... her voice is superbly beautiful, her managment of it capable of responding to any expression or inflection she chooses to produce and she has an endless fund of them... Let it now be said that what she cannot do in the way of song interpretation is not worth doing and that it is always, without exception, done most beautifully. As for the phrasing, it was sheer perfection. But the wonder was that with so such purely musical beauty went an ifinite range of expretion.’

She had a very broad repertoire from which she could make up wonderful programs for her recitals. She excelled in the interpretation of works which are performed rather rarely, as well as in the presentation of whole “cycles” of songs such as:
Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte
Schubert: Schoene Muellerin, Winterreise
Schumann: Dichterliebe, Frauen Liebe und Leben, Liederkreis
Brahms: Maedchenlieder, Magelonen Lieder
Wolf: 6 Lieder fuer eine Frauenstimme, Mignonlieder
Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Ravel: Histoires naturelles, Scheherazade
Poulenc: Le bestiaire

Alexandra Trianti represented the classical song. Having perfect knowledge of this fact, she did not deviate at all from its tradition. She seldomly included adaptations of folk Greek songs in her recitals, in particular Rinaki, Roumba-Roumba and O Aitos.

Her activities include recordings of Lieder by Hugo Wolf, which were done in London by The Hugo Wolf Society.

At the end of the 1950s her career as a singer came to an end, and then she turned her activity to teaching singing. She was even teaching free of charge to anyone who she foresaw that he or she had special musical abilities.

Alexandra Trianti’s contribution to the musical development in Greece continued during her term of office as Vice-president (1957-1968) and then as President (1968-1977) of the Friends of Music Society. She was one of the leading individuals who worked hard for the establishment of the Athens Concert Hall. Her optimism and her persistence for the completion of this project were decisive.

Her brilliant career, her passion for the musical development of Greece and her great contribution to this cause distinguish her and place her among the most eminent Greek musicians.

Stephania Merakos

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