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Published on Aug 23, 2008
The music you hear is produced by the spanish group "Atrium Musicae de Madrid" and you can find it in a cd under the title Musique de la Grèce Antique. Three or four of the pieces in the cd are original and drawn from ancient scripts without many additions.
The one heard here comes from the first "stasimon" (when the chorus has finished entering the stage) of Euripides' Orestes (written in 408 BC). The chorus of women from Argos are mourning for the ill fate of Orestis. The music was written by Euripides himself (usually the writer was the composer as well) and the fragments of the papyrus were found in Egypt (Hermoupolis), while today they are kept in Vienna (Vienna Papyrus G 2315)
The lyrics go like this (ofcourse almost nothing is understood by modern greeks, since the spanish choir sings it with an erasmian pronunciation):
κατολοφύρομαι κατολοφύρομαι ματέρος αίμα σας ο σ' αναβακχεύει ο μέγας όλβος ου μόνιμος εν βροτοίς ανά δε λαίφος ως τις ακάτου θοάς τινάξας δαίμων κατέκλυσεν δεινών πόνων ως πόντου λάβροις ολεθρίοι σιν εν κύμασιν.
and they mean this:
I cry, I cry, your mother's blood that drives you mad, great happiness in mortals neverlasting, but like a sail of a swift ship, which a god shook up and plunged it with terrible troubles into the greedy and deadly waves of sea (From my friend utubevangelis)