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Skalkottas’ music

by Taf Taf

” In music the passions enjoy themselves. ” – Friedrich Nietzsche


Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949) was one of the greatest composers of the 2oth century classical music – I personally place him next to Kurt Weill and Igor Stravinsky. It’s a shame that nowadays most people (especially here in Greece) don’t know his work. Here’s the wikipedia page about him:



I should write what are the names of the compositions and the songs in this video and where the photos in it are taken.

36 Greek Dances

00:00 – 01:23 Epirotikos – photos from the region of Epirus in Greece.

01:24 – 03:22 Kleftikos – photos of various Greek mountains.

03:22 – 05:16 Tsamikos (An Eagle) – photos of various Greek mountains again, but this time during the winter, so they’re all full of snow.

05:16 – 06:38 Cretikos – photos from the island of Crete. At 06:19 we see Castello a Mare (castle of the sea) or Castel di Candia (castle of Candia), which was build by the Venetians (Crete was under Venetian/Italian rule for many centuries).

06:38 – 08:22 Syrtos Dance – photos from the castle of Mistras, situated at mt. Taygetos in the Peloponnese (it’s near Sparta). This castle was build by the Franks (during the crusades, Peloponnese was under Frankish rule) and later the Byzantines (or, to be more precise, Eastern Romans) conquered it, that’s why we see a lot of churches there. The statue that we see at the end of the song is of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine IX Palaeologus.

08:22 – 10:12 Island Dance – photos of various islands in Greece. The first one is from the island of Santorini.

10:12 – 12:03 Mazochtos Dance – photos of various ancient sites. More explicitly:

10:16 – reenactment of the ancient Olympic games ceremony at ancient Olympia.

10:28 – photo of the Knossos palace on the island of Crete.

10:40 – I have no idea which temple is this, probably the Aphaea (or Aphaia) temple on the island of Aegina.

10:51 – Again, no idea. Probably the temple of Apollo in Corinth (it’s impossible for me to know all the archaeological sites in Greece, there are too many of them).

11:03 – Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens.

11:14 – Temple of Poseidon at cape Sounion (it’s near Athens).

11:25 – Sanctuary of Athena in Delphi.

11:37 – Temple of Apollo on the island of Delos.

11:48 – The Lion Gate at Mycenae in Peloponnese.

12:01 – same as the photo at 10:16.

The Sea

12:03 – 15:26 The Trawler – photos of the sea.

The Maiden and Death

15:26 – 18:25 Andantino (Tempo di Valse) – photos of statues/sculptures/graves from the First Cemetery of Athens.

Piano Concerto No. 1

18:26 – 19:50 – photos of various buildings in Athens.

Bolero for Cello and Piano

19:51 – 21:57 – photos from Germany (whoever made this video put them in, because Skalkottas studied music in Germany).

The Return of Ulysses (Overture)

21:58 – 24:01 – photos of refugees and immigrants, not only in Greece, but in various places of Europe.

Double Bass Concerto

24:01 – 26:00 Allegro Vivo e Molto Ritmato – photos of various ancient Greek statues.

Largo Sinfonico

26:00 – 27:25 – photos taken during the Nazi occupation of Greece (1941-1944). At 26:46 and 27:04 we see the ”saltadoroi” (jumpers): these were small kids who jumped on German trucks and were stealing food to eat. At 27:13 we see Greek partisans. The last photo was taken in Athens on the day the Germans left the city.


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clipped-wings 9/15/2018 - 10:25 pm

Taf Taf, I am grateful for the time you take to explain all of this! You are a very thoughtful man. I wish I could listen to it but I lack internet at my cabin. I have been here since the end of August. I must head home in a few days for a dreaded dr. Appt. so I will want this music then.
Thank you again.

Taf Taf 9/16/2018 - 7:05 am

Thank you clipped-wings. 🙂 I thought that most people won’t know what are these pictures, that’s why I tried to explain them. When you’ll listen to the music, keep in mind that it’s classical, so sometimes is very calm and relaxing, other times very passionate, and sometimes very ”experimental”.

Also, I have to say good luck to you at your appointment with the doctor. I really hope this appointment to be helpful to you, 🙂

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