Stelios Petrakis respects tradition in his music, but the introspection that is a feature of Eastern or Ottoman modes is here replaced by a very clear sound, produced by the deep voices and the subtle interlacing of the strings, supporting the spirit of the dance.
Cretan music, which has been shaped by many influences (Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman) belongs to the Eastern Mediterranean family of modal musical traditions. Differing in many ways from the Greek music of the continent, it is characterized by the predominant use of the three-stringed bowed instrument, known as the lyra, accompanied by the Cretan lute, or laouto.
Petrakis’ love and admiration for Cretan music led him to form the Cretan Quartet, with which he focuses on the great musical traditions of Crete, with a repertoire consisting of traditional pieces and also his own tradition-inspired compositions. The outstanding musicians of the Cretan Quartet were selected by Stelios Petrakis for their mastery of the island’s music and for their very open outlook onto the world.