Friday, March 13, 2015

Sapphics

The New Yorker has a fine review-article coinciding with the publication of Diane Rayor's new volume of Sappho translations (Diane is an old friend and it's been an intellectual adventure and aesthetic pleasure to be able to watch her shape and re-shape her Sappho over decades.)  The reviewer, Daniel Mendelsohn, has also attached an article about trying to recover the music in Sappho's poems, here, including a recording of a Sappho "performance" by the late Columbia classicist Stephen Daitz. With all respect to Prof. Daitz, while we get an exaggerated version of the pitch accent of spoken Ancient Greek, I don't think his recitation actually recovers much music. Much better is something like this reconstruction by Douglas Leedy which actually dares to compose a melody that complements the natural pitch accent of the Greek:




1 comment:

Sara Loren said...

Thanks friends, for providing such enlightening data.

Bethany Kapell