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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2013


In his writings on music Hans Keller includes Skalkottas among the few great twentieth-century composers of ‘symphonic thought’, and considers him to be the only ‘symphonic genius’ after Schoenberg whose ‘genius’ remains to be discovered. Although during the time of his writings, Keller was in a minority in his appreciation of this relatively minor composer in the Western art music canon, he did not analyse any of Skalkottas's music in support of his views, as he did with the works of other composers who, although important to him, are not elevated to such a high plane. This paper first gives an overview of Keller's approach to and understanding of symphonic thought, as presented in his various writings and exemplified in his analyses of Schoenberg's music. Subsequently, it examines certain of Skalkottas's 12-note works and the compositional techniques he applies to construct them, which exhibit these characteristics of symphonic thought defined by Keller, and which might be used to substantiate his unexplained but intuitively correct assertions.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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