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Thread: Skalkottas

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Nikos Skalkottas. Perhaps I just missed it but, if not, the situation needs to be rectified. A fine composer, a student of Schoenberg who fell out with his teacher for being ... er ... inventive with Schoenberg's ideas, and an unduly neglected master. I guess the composers of the middle of the 20th century who followed (broadly) Schoenberg's method got left behind while their teacher was himself very controversial with audiences. Consider the case of Humphrey Searle. This is all a great shame as some of the followers developed very distinctive voices and wrote music that is immensely rewarding. Skalkottas wrote some fine quartets, three excellent piano concertos and violin concerto and much more. I feel sure there are others on TC who know and enjoy his music.

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    I can honestly say I've never heard of Nikos Skalkottas prior to this.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Me neither, tried the 5 Greek Dances for String Orchestra, that's enough, sorry Enthusiast.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Maybe tomorrow I'll randomly choose one or two of his pieces to listen to. I'm not sure where I'd start, or whether he'll be found on Youtube at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...kos_Skalkottas

    He seems to have had an active composing career of 25 years, from 1924-1949, although several of his earlier have been 'lost'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Me neither, tried the 5 Greek Dances for String Orchestra, that's enough, sorry Enthusiast.
    You need to aim at a more major work. He wrote stuff that was more or less tonal and somewhat Greek. But he also wrote some interesting and attractive serial works and it is these that I enjoy and feel are worthwhile. You may still not like it but at least you'll be sampling the music he might be remembered for.

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    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Nikos Skalkottas. Perhaps I just missed it but, if not, the situation needs to be rectified. A fine composer, a student of Schoenberg who fell out with his teacher for being ... er ... inventive with Schoenberg's ideas, and an unduly neglected master. I guess the composers of the middle of the 20th century who followed (broadly) Schoenberg's method got left behind while their teacher was himself very controversial with audiences. Consider the case of Humphrey Searle. This is all a great shame as some of the followers developed very distinctive voices and wrote music that is immensely rewarding. Skalkottas wrote some fine quartets, three excellent piano concertos and violin concerto and much more. I feel sure there are others on TC who know and enjoy his music.
    I have every single work of him. The man is GREAT composer. (he and Kalomiris are the Locomotives of the Greek classical music) Thanks for the thread, my dearest!
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I gather the third and fourth string quartets are interesting - even Gramophone deigned to review them years ago, if memory serves.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    ^ I love them!

    skalkottasSQs.jpg

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Me neither, tried the 5 Greek Dances for String Orchestra, that's enough, sorry Enthusiast.
    I think I may kind of like the 5 Greek Dances, but I am a bit too distracted at the moment to give them full attention.

    Edit: But just no to Concertino per oboe e pianoforte and no to Suite for violin and chamber orchestra

    Edit2: I might consider his folk ballet: The Sea (of which I also found some samples)

    Edit3: I have ordered CDs for the 36 Greek Dances and The Sea. (I hope that what I get returns my relatively modest investment)
    Last edited by JAS; Jul-10-2020 at 12:26.

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    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    My suggestion for Skalokotas, Kalomiris & Varvoglis. Philips (Holland) N 00247 L

    Skalkotas.jpg

    (includes: Short Variations Of A Theme Of Southern Character With Characteristic Dissonances (signature work) & The Four Greek Dances For Violin And Piano (very nice work))
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    I think I may kind of like the 5 Greek Dances, but I am a bit too distracted at the moment to give them full attention.

    Edit: But just no to Concertino per oboe e pianoforte and no to Suite for violin and chamber orchestra

    Edit2: I might consider his folk ballet: The Sea (of which I also found some samples)

    Edit3: I have ordered CDs for the 36 Greek Dances and The Sea. (I hope that what I get returns my relatively modest investment)
    I think it was my "problem" also, but we have time on our hands.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    My latest Skalkottas acquisition is the Cello Works & Piano Trios on the BIS series. The Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1936) is purely dodecaphonic. I like Skalkottas, because, in some way, he seems easier to listen to than Schoenberg. There is no literary or Viennese baggage; just 12-tone ideas. The performers do an excellent job here.

    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jul-10-2020 at 15:00.

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    A composer on my list to investigate further, when I have the opportunity.

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    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    My latest Skalkottas acquisition is the Cello Works & Piano Trios on the BIS series. The Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1936) is purely dodecaphonic. I like Skalkottas, because, in some way, he seems easier to listen to than Schoenberg. There is no literary or Viennese baggage; just 12-tone ideas. The performers do an excellent job here.

    In every case! Also, many of his works, which are based on the Greek traditional music, are VERY melodic and with tones of nostalgia and Greek sun. Nikos, in my consciousness, is a dancing violin, a singing baglamas, some times a light zeibekiko. An East/West Rondo with a lot of classical and modern music and a pinch of folklore.
    Last edited by Dimace; Jul-10-2020 at 19:21.
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

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