Skip to page content

About this Piece

Greek violinist and composer Nikos Skalkottas is well known for his diversity of musical styles and compositional methods that range from traditional Greek melodies to the use of twelve-tone serialism. Early accounts by his contemporaries describe Skalkottas as a loner who feared ridicule for his eccentric musical taste. Unfortunately, his works, which are now highly regarded by modern music scholars and artists, were relatively unknown until after his death in 1949.

Generally, Skalkottas favored twelve-tone technique in several of his works for violin, as in his “Petite Suite No. 2 for Violin and Piano.” The work was composed in 1946, the same year Skalkottas married pianist Maria Pangali. Comprised of three distinct movements, the suite contains instances of dramatic flair and virtuosic passages that make captivating impression despite being predominantly atonal. —M. Nathalie Hristov © 2011, reprinted with kind permission of Centaur Records, Inc.