The Chionistra is the beautiful Mount Olympus in Cyprus where the crocuses grow (not the one in Greece where the ancient gods ruled) ... and close to home for Greek Cypriot composer Cilia Petridou, who though she moved to England in 1965, was deeply affected by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the still unresolved partition of the island. CD1 (songs) and CD2 (Chamber works) reflect this tragedy and the loss of the city of Famagusta, contrasted with the happy memories of an idyllic childhood, in deeply felt, Romantically styled works beautifully performed - all first recordings.
“Vocal music, most of it for two sopranos and piano – a highly effective combination that more composers ought to explore. The piano part in The Siege ... sounds almost like the reduction of an orchestral texture .... part of which gives The Siege and Evtho their ritual quality. The essential honesty [of Petridou’s chamber music] and the very want of fluency gives it an innocent charm, not least since it is often very lovely. The performances are sensitive and thoughtful ... In a concert, coming between two other composers, Petridou’s atmospheric and thoughtful idiom would offer an attractive. The recorded sound is entirely natural.”