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Memoirs (Anglais) Relié – 11 octobre 2007

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Book by Mouskouri Nana

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Amazon.com: 11 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Nana, what a life! 22 juin 2009
Par Joann L. WHITE - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Would recomend this book to anyone who loves Nana's beautiful voice. Knowing her story makes the music even more wonderful. She has had a most extrodinary and interesting life.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The extraordinary story behind one of the most iconic singers of all time 6 juillet 2011
Par hgrimek - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book tells of Nana Mouskouri's triumphs and heartaches during her almost fifty year career. Her road to superstardom was often difficult, but it almost seemed that there was a destiny at work in her life. Nana's childhood occurred during very turbulent times in Greece including the German occupation. Her father's addiction to gambling resulted in family discord and economic hardship. Nana enjoyed singing even at a very young age, and because of her beautiful voice, her parents enrolled her at the Athens Conservatory. However, because of her father's habitual gambling they could not continue to pay her tuition. Her music teacher, an old German woman by the name of Frau Kempers, felt that Nana needed to sing and allowed her to continue to study opera free of charge. Frau Kempers died before Nana could complete her studies. Her new professor discovered that Nana was singing jazz and popular music in the taverns and nightclubs of Athens and expelled her from the Conservatory. Nana then concentrated on jazz and popular music. Nana's talent impressed the Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis and Greek poet Nikos Gatsos, and they wrote the songs that started her on the road to success. Louis Hazen, the director of Fontana Records, upon hearing Nana sing some of the Hadjidakis and Gatsos compositions felt that she had great potential and signed her to Fontana. Hazen began to promote Nana, and many new horizons opened for her. She experienced many triumphant tours in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan, and her records began to go gold and platinum. Nana developed friendships with many other stars including: Melina Mercouri, Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Charles Aznavour, Serge Lama, Julio Iglesias, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Nana married in 1961 and had two children but found it difficult to reconcile her career with her role as a wife and mother, and her marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Nana married her long time artistic director and record producer Andre Chapelle in 2003 when she was 68. Chapelle had been appointed as her artistic director by Louis Hazen in about 1966. Early in her career, Nana was haunted by self doubt and issues with her appearance. Nana, however had an overwhelming desire to sing, and Hazen and Chapelle played major roles in transforming her into an iconic international superstar who could sing everthing from jazz to operatic arias in more than six languages. Nana became an UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1993 and served as a Greek representative to the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999. This book is written in an enjoyable manner and contains many pictures taken at various points in Nana's life. It should should appeal to fans of Nana Mouskouri, as well as to people with an interest in the history of popular music.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Greek nightingale 26 juillet 2011
Par Sasha - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
General perception of this talented Greek singer is as of someone who succeeded in spite of her dowdy looks,kind of European version of Barbra Streisand.
Just like Streisand,Mouskouri eventually managed to polish her act and to actually look very pretty in her own way,but unlike Streisand,Mouskouri was never forceful or assertive personality - where Streisand bulldozed her way through industry,her Greek counterpart always appeared meek and apologizing,softly spoken and polite,letting music speak for itself while she stayed in the background.

What is surprising about her autobiography is how much was Mouskouri always aware of her looks - she is firm in her claim that older sister had much more talent and looks (and charm) than she ever had - most of today's stars appear to always had narcissistic streak and believed in themselves,while Mouskouri had such a big,traumatic problems with her looks that she explains her enormous success as succession of lucky breaks and collaboration with talented people who believed in her. That is why the early part of the book is the most memorable and interesting because it is really intriguing how overweight,myopic and unattractive Greek girl from nowhere managed to enchant first the local,than European,than World audience - there are some harrowing memoirs of second world war in Greece,with people starving on the streets and general chaos surrounding her childhood,than slowly music came as salvation though it didn't went smoothly because first her singing in the bars of Athens resulted in banishing her from Conservatoire where she studied classical music and occasionally she would lose a gig because elegant ladies in the audiences complained about her looks. It took a series of talented composers, aggressive promoters,producers and agents to finally break her into big time and still Mouskouri always sang with her eyes closed, letting that pretty voice out to touch audience's hearts,almost apologizing for her intrusion.

I still remember the very first impression of hearing Mouskouri's voice on some collection of her early recordings - "Paper Moon" (Hartino to fegaraki) was so heartfelt and honest that I felt almost embarrassed for her. Sure,it was a pretty voice but what was the most unusual about it was its lack of mannerisms that so many other singers always use,this was someone who sang shyly from the heart,pleading to be loved.This is more or less the tone of the whole book. Mouskouri is never boasting about her amazing success or gossiping about colleagues,hers is not a typical show-biz autobiography because her life was not a typical star life. As a child she noticed that audience in her father's cinema often seemed changed after the movie and she cleverly connected this experience to what happens when audience on her concerts really liked the music,transforming them somehow into different people. Perhaps the most constant theme of her book is the power of the art (in this case,music) and how beautiful and strong this power is,overpowering everything else that happens behind the scene (failed marriage,problems with sulky children right after the homecoming concert). In today's world we are taught to be tough and pushy but Mouskouri example shows that things can be done differently,with elegance and natural grace.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Eyes wide shut 25 novembre 2011
Par Mr. D. James - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Nana Mouskouri, Memoirs

This Nana Mouskouri memoir (written in conjunction with Lionel Duroy and translated from the Greek) tells of the great singer's poverty-stricken childhood in Nazi-occupied Greece, her aborted singing career at the Conservatory, and her eventual rise to international fame. Beginning as a nervous teenager, performing folk songs in tavernas and nightclubs in Athens, Mouskouri's passion for music eventually prevailed against her deprived background, her father's compulsive gambling and promoters' prejudice against her lack of chic. Torn between her love of classical music and her addiction to popular songs, she kept a foot in both camps and had repeated tours throughout Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan. On the way up she was encouraged by such luminaries as Maria Callas, Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Bob Dillon and Yves Montand.

This story of innocence rewarded is told simply, as childlike as Mouskouri's favourite book, The Wizard of Oz. That her rise to fame was an uphill struggle is an understatement. Fat, bespectacled and so terrified of audiences that she sang with her eyes closed, the singer had only her golden voice to recommend her. However, the voice alone was enough to cause the director of Never on Sunday to consider dubbing it over that of the film's star actress Melina Mercouri, for Nana, who lacked stage presence, had a voice to melt all hearts.

Infinitely adaptable, Nana was to learn and sing in English, French and German in order to please her hosts. Once she becomes an international celebrity, Nana's life becomes a hectic sequence of engagements - in New York, Paris, London, Geneva, Barcelona, Sydney and, of course, Athens. Her frantic life of jet-setting, hotel bookings, interviews, try-outs, performances and recordings inevitably puts a strain on her family relationships. Unsurprisingly, her marriage to George the traditional Greek husband ends in divorce and family disapproval.

But, in keeping with this simple and humble account of a life devoted to music, Nana Mouskouri's final tribute is to the audience (often literally unseen) who changed her from an ugly duckling into an enchanting princess. Here are her last words to her fans: `I didn't want to know what you thought of me as I first came on stage in my lace dresses and my butterfly glasses. So I shut my eyes tight, in exactly the same way I turned away from myself in the mirror... I would wait for the applause before I dared open my eyes, and what I then sensed from your expressions was like a miracle to me every time, like an apparition. You seemed moved, touched, sometimes even dazzled. Never mind my glasses, my figure - now it was as though you no longer noticed them! You loved me for what my voice said about the woman I am, you quite simply loved me, and little by little (I can say it to you today) it was through your eyes that I learned to love myself. You gave me the desire to live. You rescued me!'
a good read 2 septembre 2013
Par Larry K. Milton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I found this book very interesting not only because I love Nana's music, but also I learned a lot about recent Greek history. Not too much is known by the average American about how the governments and borders of other countries were formed, and who did the forming. The book is a bit long with a lot of detail about the different periods in her life, but I would be at a loss to say what I would remove. Both my wife and I found it hard to stop reading until we had finished it.
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