An amazing presentation of Skalkottas’s music: “Five Greek Dances”
Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Silas Huff conducting.
No. 1 Epirotikos (from the northwest Greek region of Epiros and south Albania)
No. 3 Tsamikos
The dance follows a strict and slow tempo not emphasising on the steps, but more on the “attitude, style and grace” of the dancer. The dancers hold each other from each other’s hands, bent 90 degrees upwards at the elbows. It takes a sturdy hand, especially if you are supporting the first or last person of the line (or circle) who will lean on you to perform high acrobatic leaps …
No. 5 Kleftikos
Klephts (Greek: κλέφτης, which originally meant just “brigand”) were self-appointed armatoloi, anti-Ottoman insurgents, and warlike mountain-folk who lived in the countryside when Greece was a part of the Ottoman Empire. They were the descendants of Greeks who retreated into the mountains during the fifteenth century in order to avoid Ottoman oppression. They carried on a continuous war against Ottoman rule and remained active as brigands until the nineteenth century.
Dedicated to Aris Radiopoulos, a musician who I knew from Thessaloniki and meat again coincidentally in the underground in Düsseldorf. I discover some two years after I already lived in the city that he was living there studying music and investigating his PhD over the rebetiko music. (He made me even a member of the Nikos Skalkottas club of Düsseldorf “the friends of Nikos Skalkottas’s music society” I helped him to make the logo and the stamp of the club).