Uploaded on Feb 7, 2010
Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949)
Seven Greek Dances (1931-36)
1. Epirotikos; Moderato
2. Kretikos; Allegretto moderato (2:00)
3. Tsamikos; Allegro moderato (3:38)
4. Thessalikos; Allegro vivace (5:55)
Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nikos Christodoulou
Skalkottas composed his thirty-six Greek Dances, one of his best known and most important works, between 1931 and 1936. He worked at revising it periodically until the last year of his life, completing three full manuscripts with orchestral revisions and, in a few of the dances, changes in the composition. He also did several transcriptions of individual dances for various combinations of instruments. The posthumously published version for strings soon became popular.
The Greek Dances show both harmonic and formal originality. Skalkottas's exploratory use of the Greek folk material is inspired - a landmark in Greek music.
The titles of the dances refer either to regions of Greece and their music - e.g. "Epirotikos" (Epirus), "Kretikos" (Crete), "Thessalikos" (Thessaly), "Ardikos" (Arcadia, Peloponnese), or to a type of folk-dance - e.g. "Tsamikos, Kleftikos", or sometimes to the title of a folk-song, such as "Mariori mou". In Kretikos, Tsamikos and Mariori mou Skalkottas uses traditional folk melodies. In Epirotikos, Thessalikos, Arkadikos and Kleftikos the composer invents his own thematic ideas.