Duo for Violin and Cello

Composer: Nikos Skalkottas (b. 1904 - d. 1949)
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Composer: Nikos Skalkottas (b. 1904 - d. 1949)

Performance date: 30/06/2023

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1947

Duration: 00:22:45

Recording Engineer: Gar Duffy, RTÉ

Instrumentation: vn, vc

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Artists: Jonian Kadesha - [Violin]
Vashti Hunter - [Cello]

Duo for Violin and Cello [1947]

  1. Allegro ordinario e un poco agitato
  2. Andante molto espressivo
  3. Scherzo
  4. Finale: Allegro vivo

Skalkottas began as violinist, earning a scholarship to study in the Berlin of the Twenties when he was only seventeen and paying his way by busking and playing in cinemas, cafés and hotels. Only later he moved to studying composition under Kurt Weill and Schoenberg. So his music became a strange combination of his Greek heritage, Berlin cabaret and the Second Viennese. He had to leave Berlin in 1933 but his music was rejected in his homeland and ended up on the back desk of the 1st violin section in the Athens State Orchestra. Much of his music is only now being unearthed.

Greek folk music is present throughout this work, especially in the last two movements, while the opening Allegro also has tremendous drive though clearly signaling the Second Viennese influence. The Andante is indeed molto espressivo with strong hints of cabaret style. The Scherzo and Finale burst with energy and life, a homage to the folk music of the country who rejected him.

Francis Humphrys