Magdalini Kalopana

Opposition and Symbiosis: Avant-garde and Traditional Greek Elements in the Works for Solo Instruments of Dimitris Dragatakis: An Analytical Perspective

Dimitris Dragatakis (1914–2001), one of the most important Greek composers of the second half of the twentieth century, had as primary musical source the tradition of his homeland, Epirus. Yet he progressively incorporated contemporary, modernistic elements in his music, thus forming his personal idiom. His output consists mostly of symphonic and chamber music, while some of his solo works are of great importance in defining Greek modernism. From 1960 onwards, apart from structural modifications of traditional classical forms, Dragatakis constructs his music using mainly minimalistic motives. These are based on specific groups of notes (predominantly trichords and tetrachords) and have modal or atonal conception. Similarities and differences, natural maturation and evolution of his style, and new, unexpected, choices reveal the personal route of Dragatakis’s musical thought, relating also his personal techniques with pitch-class sets. This paper explores the various ways Dragatakis uses and amalgamates Greek traditional with avant-garde music elements in his works, and it also considers the influence and application of avant-garde material throughout his works for solo instruments (with or without accompaniment), with particular reference to his Violin Concerto (1969), Piano Concerto (1977), Monologue No. 3 for violin (2001), Monologue No. 4 for piano (2001) applying, among others, the analytical method of set theory.