Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The windmill in Anemomylos finally got its sweeps!

  Recently, one of the sights of our island, the windmill in Anemomylos got sweeps. Being built by the corfiot port authorities back in 1998 as a reconstruction of the old one existed at the very same point until 1895. So, after 12 years of its incompleted existence, the new mill is hopefully almost finished. Only one more thing is missing, its sails, which I hope they will be placed soon.

  Below there are two photos of the windmill's prior and recent state. Now the site looks better than before, at last it looks like a real windmill.

The mill in May 2008
The mill in December 2010
  The interior of the building is quite small but it is used like a temporary exhibitions gallery. The area around it is a beloved walk by the local residents, especially in the summer when people want to get some fresh air.

Monday, 20 December 2010

"Corfu Museum" - a new bilingual site dedicated to the rich Corfiot history

  A reader of this blog, Ioannis Petsalis, made a site about our local rich history, He named it "Corfu museum" (http://www.corfu-museum.gr/index.php)  and, like its title says, has an historic context. In its pages, old rare photos and documents from his personal collection could be found, as well as articles about local historical matters and personalities

Screenshot of "Corfu Museum" homepage

  I highly suggest visiting and bookmarking this bilingual site. It is being updated regularly with more material with the intention of becoming a rich interactive Internet-based virtual museum. You can also become a member by hitting the "register" button at the bottom left of the main page. Becoming a member, you can also publishg your article or posting old Corfu pictures from your archive.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

An amazing Christmas concert by the Filarmonic Society of Corfu symphonic orchestra

  Yesterday I went to the Ionian Academy to watch the annual Christmas concert given by the symphonic orchestra of Filarmonic Society of Corfu, conducted by Alkis Baltas. The concert should had taken place in the Municipal theatre but, due to yesterday's national strike, it took place in the smaller auditorium at Ionian Academy.  
The venue soon was full of people waiting impatiently for the concert to start. Around 20.30, the members of the orchestra took their seats, then the conductor entered and they started perfoming their first piece, the three german dances by W.A. Mozart. "Simfonia da caccia" by Leopold Mozart followed and next, four religious music pieces by G. Caccini, Franz Liszt, M. Reger and M. Praetorius. All of those four featured solo singers and the last one even had a local vocal assemble called "Camerata Vocalis", consisted mostly by students of the Ionian University music department.

  The second part was exclusively dedicated to greek composers. Two small melodic pieces written by corfiot composer Alexander Grec were performed first, followed by three other pieces of dance music by another corfiot composer Iosif Kaisaris. Last but not least was "Elliniká Kálanta", an upbeat selection of greek carols arranged by the conductor himself, Alkis Baltas.

  Overall, the concert was amazing. Being now the only symphonic orchestra this island has, it should be supported by the local people. Many of the musicians are amateurs but this does not mean the result is "amateurish". In my honest opinion, this orchestra can compete even with some professional orchestras.
After all, the word "amateur" doesn't mean "love for the art"?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Corfu in detail 9: Another neoclassical building on Donatou Dimoulitsa street

  Opposite the old psychiatric clinic, there is an old early 20th century neoclassical building. Hopefully it survived the era of the apartment block massive construction and nowadays it's ground floor is being occupied by a hairdresser and the upper floor by a social club. 

  The building's windows are simplistic. Right down of every window there are decoratives elements which, like the rest of the building, are fundamental.

  I can't tell if that building is listed, but if not, there should be. Constructions of this style could be found in other greek cities too and reflect an era when building was more an art than a necessity.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Christmas time in Corfu - brand new christmas lights in Annunziata square

  Christmas time is here and Corfu town has been decorated with million of lights. This year, there's a enormous lighting scheme embracing the (newly baptised) Annunziata square. It hangs above the useless little roundabout at the front of the old campanile. People stop to stare and admire the new addition, so much needed in the grey economical times our country is going through.

Let's now remember how the older Christmas lights had been:
Christmas 2007: http://johncorfuworld.blogspot.com/2007/12/corfu-towns-high-street-christmas.html
Christmas 2009: http://johncorfuworld.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-in-corfu-how-central-streets.html

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A visit to the new "Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros" music museum

  Our town acquired a brand new museum dedicated to the island's most popular art, the music. The new music museum is housed in the first floor of the Old Philarmonic Society's building on Nikiforou Theotoki street, behind the Liston complex. It's main theme is the foundation's 170-year-old history, the oldest of its kind in Greece. Its first director, Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros, dedicated its life to teach and promote the art of music with no personal profit.
  The museum is divided in five sections: 1) the foundation, administration and organisation, 2) educational activities 3) the concerts 4) the wind band and 5) the people and their work. All those sections take up four rooms. Although it is quite small, it is rich and the visitor can learn a lot about the music heritage of our place. There is also a multimedia unit in which documentary videos and sound archives can be seen and heard.
  The museum was funded by the European Union and it was organized by Konstantinos Kardamis, a professor of musicology in the Ionian University.

Let's do now a little tour of the museum. These are some photos from the biggest room which house the sections decicated to the philarmonic's people and the band. There are some old instruments behind a glass panel some of which date from the mid-19th century. The rest of this big room is full of old partitures, including some handwritten ones by Mantzaros and Samaras.

The next room is smaller and dedicated to the concerts. There is an old Bernstein piano and some old paintings. There are  a bassoon cleverly being hold by a metallic stand which resembles a bassoonist and a cello which is exposed in a similar way.

  The space dedicated to the band's foundation and organisation history is housed in the aisle at the museum's first floor entrance. The founding proceeding, some administration documents, the musicians' registry and some statues could be found. All those documents are invaluable and witness the foundation's early history.

  The last room houses some educational material. An old Bogs & Voigt piano can be admired and next to it few old instrumental methods and programmes of pupils' concerts. A big book with all the pupils' registries are exhibited as well.

  If you will ever pass by the philarmonic's building, you can get a billingual leaflet with the museum plans and a short history. I scanned it for you and I post it here for those who can obtain it.

   I highly suggest visiting this museum. It's unique in its kind and the visitor can learn a lot about the island's rich music tradition. There is a free entrance and it is open from Monday to Saturday 09.30 to 13.30

- The museum's official site: http://www.fek.gr/museum/index.htm