Spyros Samaras, Manolis Kalomiris and Nikos Skalkottas. A reexamination of their relations under the light of historical evidence
This paper focuses on the relations between some important representatives of Greek music life in the first half of the 20th century. Each one of these composers belongs to a different generation, brings about a different origin and carries his special baggage as far as studies, intentions, carrier or aesthetic principles are concerned. Manolis Kalomiris was the link among them, because he co-existed with each one of them in different periods of time. The actions of both Samaras and Skalkottas have been presented by Modern Greek historiography not only independently, but also in relation with Kalomiris, a view that affected the judgement on the value of their work as composers. On the basis of controversial or non-existing proof, the view was established, that the poor acceptance of Skalkottas’ work during his lifetime as well as Samaras’ decision to turn to “commercial” music theatre (operetta) was the result of Kalomiris’ actions, which allegedly placed numerous obstacles before them, in order to secure his own primacy over Modern Greek music life. This paper tries to re-establish the question of relations among those three composers in the light of both musical and political realities of the period, and, in following, to determine the real extent in which those relations affected music life in Greece. In the end, some serious faults of historiographical method as far as these central personalities are concerned, had to be clearly pointed out.