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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: SKALKOTTAS on July 07, 2007, 10:35:29 AM

Title: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 07, 2007, 10:35:29 AM
A Mozart of our time. . .”1, “. . . a miracle that happened in this country (Greece). . .”2, “. . . a volcanic talent”3, “. . . of the hundreds of my pupils, only a few have become composers: Webern, Berg, . . . Skalkottas . . .
What about skalkottas my friends? I think skalkottas is one of the greatest composers! his piano concerto no.2 is the greatest 20th century piano concerto in my opinion! what about this miracle?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Brewski on July 07, 2007, 10:58:51 AM
There was a short Skalkottas thread on the old board, here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2665.0.html)  While I don't know much of his music, friends who do rave about him.  Do you have specific recordings to recommend?

--Bruce
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 07, 2007, 11:05:25 AM
yeah! check the bis records site.  http://www.bis.se/index.php?sokTyp=namn&sokText=skalkottas&Skicka=Search%21
espesially the piano concerto no.2 recording from bis with bbc orchestra!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Maciek on July 12, 2007, 02:46:16 AM
I've got his The Sea and The Return of Ulysses Overture waiting to be listened to. I'll report back when I finally get to it.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: BachQ on July 12, 2007, 03:09:50 AM
I enjoy AK 11.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2007, 03:26:28 AM
Skalkottas wrote a bass concerto, so he must be good. I would like to hear that piano concerto. Can you post some clips?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: BachQ on July 12, 2007, 03:28:50 AM
Skalkottas wrote a bass concerto, so he must be good.

Careful ......... Saul wrote a bass concerto ..........
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2007, 03:31:24 AM
Really?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 12, 2007, 10:43:50 AM
click and listen a sample!   ;)  here : http://www.bis.se/naxos.php?aID=BIS-SACD-1484
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2007, 10:45:43 AM
Thanks for the link, but these clips are so massively compressed, I don't want to listen to them. Can you rip and upload a few samples for us in flac or higher res mp3?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 12, 2007, 11:14:51 AM
yes! i understand! but i think that sound of that half time clips is good! sorry!  i dont have any mp3 to upload! only return of ulysses but is gigantic! 28 minutes!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2007, 11:29:10 AM
But you do know how to rip files to mp3, right?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 12, 2007, 11:38:27 AM
i dont think so! i tried to convert audio cd tracks to mp3 but without results! give me your email to send you attach with some music
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2007, 11:45:24 AM
Well, it would be better if you would share some clips with all the people here. Attaching longer clips to emails often doesn't work and is deadly slow.

You can easily rip tracks from CD and convert them to mp3 with a number of programs. You probably have Windows Media Player. That can that, too, it'only a few easy steps. You can look that up in WMP Help.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 12, 2007, 12:31:12 PM
http://www.esnips.com/web/GMnoob/
go here and listen the third movement from sonatina for cello and piano (1949)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 12, 2007, 12:35:38 PM
There was a short Skalkottas thread on the old board, here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2665.0.html)  While I don't know much of his music, friends who do rave about him.  Do you have specific recordings to recommend?

Bruce - thanks for that link above - I even had one post & was planning to obtain some discs but never responded again - however, I did pick up a few CDs, and wanted to obtain more but the two below (both recommended) are the ones I own currently, so looking forward to other recommendations:

(http://www.skfe.com/aifs/aifs/photos_aifs/skalkottas_bis1244.jpg)  (http://www.mmb.org.gr/files/skalkottas/ixografima%20104.jpg)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 12, 2007, 01:09:52 PM
2 new tracks by skalkottas (fox-trot for quartet and second movement from little suite for strings)
here: http://www.esnips.com/web/GMnoob/
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Drasko on July 14, 2007, 11:06:24 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/7357261.jpg)

Here are two randomly chosen dances from the first book, if anyone wants to sample

http://rapidshare.com/files/41751624/Tsamikos.zip.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/41751624/Tsamikos.zip.html)

 
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: paul on July 15, 2007, 01:56:03 PM
Skalkottas wrote a bass concerto, so he must be good. I would like to hear that piano concerto. Can you post some clips?

The bass concerto isn't one of my favorites, but still quite good and worth a listen. The main problem is that the orchestration is so heavy that I imagine that it would be impossible to hear the DB in a live setting without considerable amplification. The situation is much like that of Eduard Tubin's concerto, but even worse. The recording I have with Vassilis Papavassiliou and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Nikos Christodoulou on BIS is very well played, but it's not always easy to hear Papavassiliou over the ISO.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: SKALKOTTAS on July 15, 2007, 02:19:48 PM
This is a truly great concerto that repays careful listening! the problem of balance(of sound) is not by skalkottas writing but  of a conductor's job ! its very dificcult concerto and dont forget that is a world premiere recording! opinions :) sorry for my english!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 15, 2007, 03:17:40 PM
paul - can you post the recording of the Skalkottas concerto? I have seen the music, but I have never heard it played, live or on disc.
BTW, I saw your thread with the interesting bass recordings, but didn't really get to listening to much of that and participating - but I have it earmarked and will take a closer look some time later.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: paul on July 15, 2007, 04:32:50 PM
paul - can you post the recording of the Skalkottas concerto? I have seen the music, but I have never heard it played, live or on disc.
BTW, I saw your thread with the interesting bass recordings, but didn't really get to listening to much of that and participating - but I have it earmarked and will take a closer look some time later.


Sure, here you go: http://www.sendspace.com/file/xaxyp7 In case the files in my thread expire, I can upload them again.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: paul on July 16, 2007, 05:42:06 PM
This is a truly great concerto that repays careful listening! the problem of balance(of sound) is not by skalkottas writing but  of a conductor's job ! its very dificcult concerto and dont forget that is a world premiere recording! opinions :) sorry for my english!

Maybe, but the double bass does not project as well as other string instruments due to its register and timbre and sometimes composers forget or ignore this. I recently attended a performance of Koussevitzky's concerto and what I noticed was that only the high frequencies of the bass's sound could be heard in certain passages with orchestra. It's as if the floor would occasionally fall out from under the soloist's feet and the bass would be missing part of its sound. I think that this is due to clumsy orchestration (It's said that Gliere orchestrated Koussevitzky's DB concerto from the bass and piano part, or at least helped him with it which I think I believe given the similarities that are found in Gliere's horn concerto, the number of which I'm forgetting now). There were also passages where I couldn't hear the bass that well and I was in the fourth or fifth row. There are things that can be done to help the bassist balance out against the orchestra such as reducing the size and having sections mark tutti and solo passages, but often it's the problem with the composition. I think the most successful double bass concertos in terms of performance have sparse writing for the orchestra such as the pieces by Larsson, Bottesini, Henze, Rautavaara (barely anything in the 2nd movement), and the classical Viennese compositions by Vanhal, Hoffmeister, et cetera.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: M forever on July 16, 2007, 06:41:39 PM
Exactly. That's just basic acoustics. We don't hear the lower frequencies as well as the middle ones anyway, the bass has rather diffuse, less projecting overtones than a cello or violin (to have similar acoustical properties as these instruments, the bass would have to be about 3 times as big, and even then all the limitations of the lower frequencies apply). These diffuse overtones give it its attractive, smoky nasal sound, but that simply doesn't carry that well and can very easily be covered up by higher frequencies.

The bass is a great instrument with a rich and characterful sound, but it's simply not the kind of instrument one can stand in front of a big orchestra and produce oneself as soloist. That's not what it is made for, it simply doesn't work and can get comical.

It's still a great instrument for solo and chamber music and maybe a concerto works in the context of a chamber orchestra sized ensemble, but not with a large orchestra. Gary Karr thinks he can solve that problem by sawing right next to the bridge all the time, he has a really loud and fairly punchy tone and is technically a very good player, but that gets old pretty fast and is musically rather silly.

The Koussevitzky concerto is a really nice piece, but it is best played in a chamber setting with piano. It's grandiose style has a nice old fashioned, nostalgic touch in that setting as a solist in front of a big orchestra, Rachmaninoff-style, it is pretty ridiculous.

Leopold Mozart mentions in his treatise on violin playing that the bass is a really great solo instrument because of its pleasant, warm sound, and it is no surprise that there are so many nice concertos from that era. It works very well with a small ensemble and in a room of the size typically used at the time, but the 19th century of large concert halls, big orchestras and solists producing themselves dramatically in front of a big orchestra is not the kind of musical style the bass is suited for as a solo instrument.

Thanks for the Skalkottas concerto. I looked at the music and practiced it a little at one time, long ago, but I never played or heard it. I had a personal connection to Greece at that time, so I thought it was a good idea to play it, also because it is a good piece and too little known even among bass players, but I never found the time for that.
It is definitely totally overorchestrated. It is obvious that the soloist needs a lot of help from the balance engineer in this recording, and even then he sometimes is hard to hear. I think I met that gentleman once when I was in Athens, he is the principal of the National Opera there. Very good player, pretty agile, but to add to the problems, it doesn't seem like he has that much sound. The bass sounds a little cardboardy in this recording. He doesn't have all that much bite and sustain either. I guess he plays French bow, that's another problem. That simply doesn't work so well.
Especially with material like this. All the fast passages and double stops, that is very hard to make speak quickly and crisply, especially with the French bow, and even if it does, that kind of material is very easily drowned out by the accompaniment. Longer notes have a better chance to make it through, but this stuff doesn't. This should have been scored for a chamber ensemble, not an orchestra.

And that's not the conductor's fault at all. Nor the bass player's.

One weird thing: it sounds like the bass is shifting perspective all the time, especially in the first movement. I don't remember too much details about the piece, that was 12 years ago that I looked at it, and I never saw the full score. Is that a dialog with the principal bass in the orchestra? Or did they simply edit takes together in which the bass player was in two different places? It sounds more like the latter, especially with headphones.

Still, nice piece, but a little on the pointless side.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Hector on July 17, 2007, 05:05:28 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/7357261.jpg)

Here are two randomly chosen dances from the first book, if anyone wants to sample

http://rapidshare.com/files/41751624/Tsamikos.zip.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/41751624/Tsamikos.zip.html)

 

The beloved Beeb did a comprehensive review of these discs when they were first issued (probably because it is their orchestra) and found that the performances lacked the rawness of a previous selection recorded by a body called the Urals SO, I think.

By that time I had already bought the discs.

He seems to have taken a lot of trouble over them and the discs contain a number of supplements.

The orchestration is quite distinctive but I do not recommend listening to the complete set in one sitting.

The 'Return of Ulysses' is about half-hour in length and is seriously serial.

He might be the greatest of Greek composers but, let's face it, there is not much competition.

Recommended.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Dax on November 15, 2008, 03:37:39 AM
This thread from r3ok may be of interest.
http://r3ok.myforum365.com/index.php?topic=1935.0
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Dax on December 08, 2010, 09:10:58 AM
And here are a few old recordings of Skalkottas from another forum.
Get to them quickly!

http://www.r3ok.com/index.php/topic,917.msg93112.html#msg93112

2 years since the previous post. Blimey.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Dax on October 29, 2011, 09:56:45 AM
This thread from r3ok may be of interest.
http://r3ok.myforum365.com/index.php?topic=1935.0

This forum folded some time ago, but the Skalkottas thread can be accessed at

http://ded.increpare.com/r3ok_rescued/20thCentury/T1935_0.htm

If anybody is interested in any of the old radio recordings referred to, I could post them.

For some time I've been after Danae Kara's account of the 3rd piano concerto but without success. Any hot tips from anybody. I know that Geoffrey Douglas Madge has recorded it, but if the playing is of the "read-through" standard demonstrated in his account of the 2nd concerto, then it won't really be worth searching out.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 17, 2014, 03:34:21 PM
Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread -

Just bought these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SrlxY5VBL.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515116RK4FL.jpg)

(http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/47855719/Skalkottas+Violin+Concerto++Largo+Sinfonico++Greek.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Edf8NDQ79IQ/UIApkrSmQyI/AAAAAAAA8R4/w0Gt1-_DJyg/s1600/skalkottas+portada.PNG)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xH15RHntL.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A4fP2VszL.jpg)

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/070/MI0001070451.jpg?partner=allrovi.com) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MtTPn3D3L.jpg)

Really looking forward to exploring this composer's music. Again, like Roslavets, he was a name I've known for many years but just haven't gotten around to him yet.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Cato on March 18, 2014, 04:20:10 PM

Really looking forward to exploring this composer's music. Again, like Roslavets, he was a name I've known for many years but just haven't gotten around to him yet.

Quite an investment!

The music of Skalkottas I have often compared to the middle and (some) later works of Ernst Krenek, in that they took Schoenberg's ideas on construction and used them in their own idiosyncratic ways.  ( Krenek jumped ship every decade or so, abandoning one style for another!)

So, yes, have fun with Skalkottas whose music should be better known!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 18, 2014, 04:54:31 PM
Quite an investment!

The music of Skalkottas I have often compared to the middle and (some) later works of Ernst Krenek, in that they took Schoenberg's ideas on construction and used them in their own idiosyncratic ways.  ( Krenek jumped ship every decade or so, abandoning one style for another!)

So, yes, have fun with Skalkottas whose music should be better known!

Cool, Cato! 8) Thanks for you feedback. I've been curious about Skalkottas for many years now. The BIS series seemed like the only way to go really.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: San Antone on March 18, 2014, 05:22:04 PM
The recording with the piano trios and cello works is very good, imo.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vvzmACGaL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

And the chamber music, too

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zFIPrdQwL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 18, 2014, 05:33:04 PM
The recording with the piano trios and cello works is very good, imo.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vvzmACGaL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

And the chamber music, too

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zFIPrdQwL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Thanks, SA. Usually, what I do is go for the orchestral music first and then check out their chamber music next, although, for Roslavets I made an exception as several chamber works caught my ear first.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 18, 2014, 06:35:46 PM
I get the feeling that Skalkottas is closer to Schoenberg and Berg than Webern, would this be accurate?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on March 18, 2014, 11:26:59 PM
Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread -

Really looking forward to exploring this composer's music.

Better late than never!  8)

Regarding the Concerto for 2 violins on one of the CD's you ordered (a brilliant work, one of his best concerti and a great favourite of mine), bear in mind that Skalkottas died before orchestrating it. The orchestration on that recording is the work of one of the performers (Demertzis, a well-known Skalkottas scholar). If you want to listen to this brilliant work as the composer left it in its original guise for 2 violins and 2 pianos (in my view, much more potent and authentic), I very highly recommend this:


Great music and sizzling performances.

Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on March 18, 2014, 11:29:10 PM
The recording with the piano trios and cello works is very good, imo.
And the chamber music, too.

Ditto.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: amw on March 19, 2014, 12:15:00 AM
Hmm. The first 'essential Skalkottas' recordings I'd recommend someone are the 32 Piano Pieces (Nikolaos Samaltanos's recording) and the String Quartets 3 & 4 (New Hellenic Quartet). After that probably the Violin Concerto/Largo Sinfonico and the cello works/piano trios.

I've not found GDM's Piano Concerto 3 very satisfactory and would also be interested in hearing the Kara recording, so Dax, if you do happen to find it at some point do sendspace it. (I've located copies in the Theodore R. McKeldin Library at U of Maryland, as well as the Juilliard School, but both are over 8000 miles from my current location so I'm not sure how practical requesting an inter-library loan would be :P)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2014, 07:19:53 AM
Better late than never!  8)

Regarding the Concerto for 2 violins on one of the CD's you ordered (a brilliant work, one of his best concerti and a great favourite of mine), bear in mind that Skalkottas died before orchestrating it. The orchestration on that recording is the work of one of the performers (Demertzis, a well-known Skalkottas scholar). If you want to listen to this brilliant work as the composer left it in its original guise for 2 violins and 2 pianos (in my view, much more potent and authentic), I very highly recommend this:


Great music and sizzling performances.

Excellent! Thanks for the suggestion, Wanderer. :)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 19, 2014, 07:57:24 AM
Yes, indeed, Tasos!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Cato on March 19, 2014, 08:27:38 AM
I get the feeling that Skalkottas is closer to Schoenberg and Berg than Webern, would this be accurate?

Oh yes: one of his conflicts - or simply differences - with the original ideas of Schoenberg is his use of multiple sets of rows, rather than reducing a composition to variations on only one row.

This idea allows Skalkottas to develop a unique style.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: amw on March 19, 2014, 08:35:19 AM
I tend to think of him as Schoenberg + Bartók to an extent. 12 tone perhaps but with tremendous energy and joie de vivre (at least when it's played anywhere near the right tempi—thus why String Quartets 3 & 4 are a good place to start) that sets it apart from all the introspection and neurosis of Berg for instance.

I think Schoenberg was quite positive about Skalkottas's music actually, but they wouldn't have had much contact anymore after he returned to Greece.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 19, 2014, 08:38:57 AM
I think Schoenberg was quite positive about Skalkottas's music actually, but they wouldn't have had much contact anymore after he returned to Greece.

I've been reading (with great pleasure) Malcom McDonald's book on Schoenberg, and so this does not surprise me in the least.  In contrast to the impression given by some of the fervent composers after, Schoenberg happily allowed other composers entire liberty. (Though he was not one to suffer writers of tripe gladly  ;) )
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Cato on March 19, 2014, 01:01:09 PM
I've been reading (with great pleasure) Malcom McDonald's book on Schoenberg, and so this does not surprise me in the least.  In contrast to the impression given by some of the fervent composers after, Schoenberg happily allowed other composers entire liberty. (Though he was not one to suffer writers of tripe gladly  ;) )

From various sources I have usually seen mention of a "rift" between Skalkottas and Schoenberg, but now have been finding other sources claiming no such rift existed.

So yes, given the quality of Skalkottas' music, it makes more sense that they simply lost contact due to the terrible disruptions at that time.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on March 19, 2014, 01:33:26 PM
I've been reading (with great pleasure) Malcom McDonald's book on Schoenberg, and so this does not surprise me in the least.  In contrast to the impression given by some of the fervent composers after, Schoenberg happily allowed other composers entire liberty. (Though he was not one to suffer writers of tripe gladly  ;) )

Schoenberg allowed??

See how easy it is to tick me off? ::) :laugh:

Just be thankful JdP isn't here!

Schoenberg allowed... indeed. Hmrmph!! >:D
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2014, 05:14:00 PM
Oh yes: one of his conflicts - or simply differences - with the original ideas of Schoenberg is his use of multiple sets of rows, rather than reducing a composition to variations on only one row.

This idea allows Skalkottas to develop a unique style.

Fascinating, Cato. Can't wait to hear his music.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Dax on March 20, 2014, 02:09:47 AM
I attended a Skalkottas concert at the Royal Academy of Music in London a few weeks back. The event turned out to be not quite as advertised. It was billed as a performance of the 4th Quartet together with quartet versions of 5 of the Greek Dances. What we got was the first movement only of the Quartet plus the Greek Dances plus an hour-long talk; much of the talk I found to be of particular interest although not everybody else in the room did.

The presentation was given by George Zacharias, a violinist who played the solo violin sonata and the Duo for violin and cello in a programme 6 years ago (gosh - that long ago) at the same venue (Royal Academy of Music). Paulos Carvalho, the cellist on that occasion, reappeared as a member of the quartet: all decent players who could have perhaps lived rather more dangerously than they did. The 1st movement of the 4th Quartet is marked Allegro molto vivace with a dotted crotchet at a pretty impossible 120. Zacharias's quartet delivered it at dotted crotchet slightly above 60, pretty accurate, but woefully slow. The issue of tempos in Skalkottas has come up before (see also the Skalkottas thread from the old r3ok board here). The recording on BIS by the New Hellenic Quartet lasts 8'21": the Zacharias Quartet managed 12'45" (!). It was instructive to hear the 5 Greek Dances in the composer's own resourceful versions although the speeds again were a bit on the dreamy side.

The talk was often fascinating if one ignores moments like the section on "family connections" - I imagine that a good number of us musos could boast that they're [great-great-?] grand pupils of Brahms (reminiscent of many Brits being descended from William the Conqueror), but it's usually of little or no significance. Of rather more relevance may be that Skalkottas was brought up on an island which, unusually, contained a organ (found in Catholic churches rather than Orthodox) and later studied with Tony Schulze (from a German family of organ builders). So his violin sound was apparently influenced by the organ (!): seems unlikely, but the point was made most persuasively. Zacharias was also at his interesting analysing the the first couple of pages of the 4th Quartet. The ins and outs of twelve-notery have never particularly grabbed me, but the workings he explained illustrated some pretty detailed thinking on the part of the composer especially regarding "multi-dimensional serialism". In short, this works both vertically and horizontally; each instrumental part starts with its own note-rows, shapes and rows getting mixed up thereafter; interval sequences and aspects of durational serialism being notable elements; and so on. Considering the whole quartet (c.40 minutes worth) was written in a month and Skalkottas was not in the habit of making too much in way of sketches (so it would appear), one was left with a certain sense of wonderment.

Zacharias probably lost the attention of some of his listeners through all of this, but I for one was glad of it. There were certainly some who unimpressed with the unannounced change of programme. One entertainingly nerdish chap gave Zacharias a bit of a wigging at the end for not performing the rest of the quartet as advertised.
I asked Zacharias if he (or anybody else) was planning any performances of Skalkottas in the forseeable future. Apparently it's enormously complicated to programme Skalkottas for fear of alienating your potential audience. Cripes! I thought that kind of thinking went out 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 20, 2014, 04:27:53 AM
See how easy it is to tick me off? ::) :laugh:

Schoenberg allowed... indeed. Hmrmph!! >:D

Schoenberg was no Putin . . . .
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 20, 2014, 04:35:13 AM
Very interesting, thank you!

. . . The ins and outs of twelve-notery have never particularly grabbed me, but the workings he explained illustrated some pretty detailed thinking on the part of the composer especially regarding "multi-dimensional serialism". In short, this works both vertically and horizontally; each instrumental part starts with its own note-rows, shapes and rows getting mixed up thereafter; interval sequences and aspects of durational serialism being notable elements; and so on. Considering the whole quartet (c.40 minutes worth) was written in a month and Skalkottas was not in the habit of making too much in way of sketches (so it would appear), one was left with a certain sense of wonderment.

Well, by then he was a composer with a great deal of experience.  And (as I learn in the MacDonald book) Schoenberg wrote his twelve-note pieces without bother to chart out a "magic square," i.e. the row and its forms were internalized during the process of composing.  So I am prepared to be impressed by, but not astonishedat ;) , Skalkottas's working without sketches.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on April 14, 2014, 06:48:32 AM
Where can I get that Philips/Holliger disc for less than $1000?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Scion7 on December 07, 2015, 11:41:44 PM
I've not found GDM's Piano Concerto 3 very satisfactory and would also be interested in hearing the Kara recording...

It's posted on YouTube in 3 parts.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Scion7 on December 07, 2015, 11:47:15 PM
Actually, there may indeed have been some sort of 'problem' between Skalkottas .... and Schoenberg, and everyone else.  His ex-live-in lady said he was pretty much impossible to live with, and later in life he apparently developed some sort of personality disorder - being very morose and isolated (not that he was the most cheerful of chaps to start with).  I think it was probably all on Skalkottas' part, not Arnie's.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on December 18, 2015, 11:30:38 PM
The "problem" you are referring to is probably Schoenberg being critical of Skalkottas fashioning his own individual system of serialism (e.g. using multiple tone rows per piece, which he continued evolving in Greece) but their relations were not hostile and Schoenberg thought very highly of and actually spoke very favourably of Skalkottas in later years, long after they lost contact (Schoenberg in the USA, Skalkottas trying to make ends meet in WWII ravaged - and hostile to musical modernism - Greece).
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on June 15, 2016, 06:23:33 AM
any interest?
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Cato on June 15, 2016, 02:53:51 PM
any interest?

Yes!  Skalkottas is one of the greats of the 20th century!

https://www.youtube.com/v/GszotAj1JWo
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Ken B on June 15, 2016, 03:39:06 PM
Yes!  Skalkottas is one of the greats of the 20th century!

https://www.youtube.com/v/GszotAj1JWo

Didn't he have an acrimonious parting with he who should be deleted?

This is how I imagine it.

AS: Do you hate the audience?
NS: No.
AS: Begone!

 ;)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on June 15, 2016, 07:03:27 PM
Yes!  Skalkottas is one of the greats of the 20th century!

https://www.youtube.com/v/GszotAj1JWo

All I have is the 5 Greek Dances played by the President's Own... I'll whip it out here in a minute, hold on!
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on June 15, 2016, 11:39:00 PM
Yes!  Skalkottas is one of the greats of the 20th century!

No argument there.

https://www.youtube.com/v/eDXhVoLk-_8
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on June 15, 2016, 11:50:25 PM
This is how I imagine it.

AS: Do you hate the audience?
NS: No.
AS: Begone!

 ;)

This would make a great movie.  8)
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on September 19, 2017, 04:57:35 AM
*bump*
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas CYCLE-CONCERT
Post by: snyprrr on October 25, 2017, 02:05:34 PM
I finally have the Philips CD of the 'Cycle-Concert', with Holliger&Co. The Sonata Concertante for bassoon and piano is the centrepiece, flanked by two Concertinos, and then two small "jazzy" buts. Well, I've had problems with Skalkottas in the past, but I've always had this album in mind.

It's pretty overwhelming!

Skalkottas is sort of "better than Schoenberg" in a way, you'd have to hear it. I really have a hard time with his bigger ensembles, but this recital is perfect! And exhausting!

I've tried a few items today, and before, and I just come away feeling that there's just too much unrelieved intensity, but here, with the instrumentation, all things become clear, as of a mesh that these items are. Sooo many notes!!

whew!!


I'd say this is a Masterpiece concert.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on October 26, 2017, 03:39:59 PM
Where can I get that Philips/Holliger disc for less than $1000?

It's just incredible... anyone/

I'm in shock
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 27, 2017, 03:38:38 AM
I finally have the Philips CD of the 'Cycle-Concert', with Holliger&Co. The Sonata Concertante for bassoon and piano is the centrepiece, flanked by two Concertinos, and then two small "jazzy" buts. Well, I've had problems with Skalkottas in the past, but I've always had this album in mind.

It's pretty overwhelming!

Skalkottas is sort of "better than Schoenberg" in a way, you'd have to hear it. I really have a hard time with his bigger ensembles, but this recital is perfect! And exhausting!

I've tried a few items today, and before, and I just come away feeling that there's just too much unrelieved intensity, but here, with the instrumentation, all things become clear, as of a mesh that these items are. Sooo many notes!!

whew!!


I'd say this is a Masterpiece concert.

So! You found it for less than $1,000!

So have I, this morning, so I have pulled the trigger.  You can be a deplorable influence, you know.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on November 03, 2017, 06:08:58 PM
So! You found it for less than $1,000!

So have I, this morning, so I have pulled the trigger.  You can be a deplorable influence, you know.

For some reason I'm thinking with your Wuorinen connections, this music might be right up your alley.  If you're not ready, you may be shocked at the invention of this "modern Mozart". LISTEN TO THE WHOLE DISC IN ONE SITTING as it is meant. Exhausting and vitally alive and wholly marked by the hand of Skalkottas. Maybe listen to Atherton Schoenberg to warm up...
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 04, 2017, 07:47:11 AM
Oh, indeed, I do love it.
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: snyprrr on November 06, 2017, 07:54:42 AM
Oh, indeed, I do love it.

I really need to know what you think here because his process seems soooo different  than anyone else... I can actually hear what the commentator meant when he said Skalkottas was a modern day Mozart. Mozart, of all people, but, I get it. Huh!!

Bruno Canino is a monster here, AND did you noticed the beautifully tucked piano recording that renders all those chunky and clanky piano parts as if they were ambrosia? Had the recording suffered from a too-bright and aggressive piano image, this recording might actually be hard to listen to, but, it is simply one of the best Philips piano images I've ever heard (and 'live' at that!), much different than the Philips/Kocsis sound, which is also drool worthy.

ahhhhhhhhhh...
Title: Re: Nikos Skalkottas
Post by: Wanderer on April 30, 2021, 09:39:12 PM
Cross-posting from the WAYLT thread.

Staying on Mediterranean shores, but moving eastwards from Italy to Greece, with Nikos SkalkottasString Quartets No. 3 & No. 4 (played by the New Hellenic Quartet).

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rSSl5EMzL.jpg)

Oh, this is stunning. Here’s a composer of dodecaphonic music which brims with humanity and passion, doesn’t sound labored or mechanical and gives this often thorny language an acutely expressive, poignant, multi-layered voice, particularly rewarding repeated listening. In his dodecaphonic works, he did not adhere to strict Schoenbergian orthodoxy, but developed over the years his own style which explored the idiom more freely and widely (e.g. he used more than one tone rows per composition). His violin concerto was written on the same year as Schoenberg’s (by that time, it had been years since their last contact) and his piano concerti predate Schoenberg’s by several years. A unique voice well worth exploring and did I mention that these quartets are stunning? I did? Good. 😎