Naxos 8.572210
Time: 55:32
Apostolos Palios, piano
Loris Margaritis
  1. Etude No. 1 (1901) 1:26
  2. Greek Rhapsody (1902) 3:11
Youth, Op. 4 (1908-1921)
  3. I. Scherzo 2:04
  4. II. Sketch 1:23
  5. III. Carnival, "Letter from Munich" 3:38
  6. IV. In Tuning, "Humoreske" 2:05
  7. V. Triptych: Morning Twilight 1:42
  8. V. Triptych: Intermezzo 0:26
  9. V. Triptych: Evening 1:55
10. VI. A Few Drops Orsay 0:27
11. VII. Benedictine 0:46
12. VIII. Lullaby 1:33
13. Piano Sonatina, Op. 5 (1922) 6:41
Verses, Op. 10 (1923)
14  No. 1. Concert Study, "North Wind" (Boreas) 2:28
15 No. 2. Ray of Hope 2:06
16 No. 3. Wakening 1:06
2 Greek Pastorals, Op. 18 (1927)
17 No. 1.  2:42
18 No. 2.  2:33
Felix Petyrek : 6 Greek Rhapsodies (1927)
19. No. 1. Athens 1:21
20. No. 2. Euboea 2:14
21. No. 3. Complaint 3:03
22. No. 4. Dance around the Hobbyhorse 3:00
23. No. 5. Delphian Rhapsody 3:19
24. No. 6. Serenade of the Robber Band 4:23

Loris (Lykourgos) Margaritis (1894–1953) was born in Aigion, Achaia, Greece. He was a distinguished Greek composer, performer and music-educator. As an infant prodigy he won fame playing his own piano compositions at the age of nine in the Richard Wagner Concert Hall in Munich. Loris studied in Berlin and Munich and had associations with important personalities of the time, including Bernhard Stavenhagen, Joseph Joachim, Felix Mottl, Robert Kahn and Bruno Walter. After his return to Greece around 1915 Margaritis collaborated in Thessaloniki with Aimilios Riades, a pupil of Maurice Ravel, in the consolidation of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki and its Symphony Orchestra. Loris Margaritis cultivated a new spirit of music—universalism, reinvestigating the delicate balance between German romanticism, impressionism, and a disengaged modernism in a multi-layered sound poetical context. He amalgamated the Hellenic experience of nature and European idealism with the universal demand for the expression of bucolic roots, dreamlike nostalgic rootlessness and a nexus of dramatic timelessness.

In 1925 Margaritis married in Thessaloniki his student Ida Rosenkranz, an orphan Austrian-Jewish girl. Together they created a piano duo and performed to great acclaim across Europe. Their house in Thessaloniki was the centre of contemporary musical activities and the host of inspirational musical events. In 1928 Loris Margaritis taught the piano at the Mozart Summer Academy in Salzburg and later became a jury-member of the Fryderyk Chopin, Vienna Music Academy and Geneva International Piano Competitions. In 1930 he received recognition with a prestigious award from the Vienna Welt Musik und Sangesbundes for his commitment as a composer, performer and educator.

Margaritis’s music legacy has much to gain from this venture, especially when you consider that the composer, who was born in Aigio, Achaia, in 1895, remains largely unknown in his home country. When Thomas Mann heard him play the piano in Munich, Margaritis was only 8 years old. So impressed was the German writer by the youngster’s performance, that Margaritis became the inspiration behind Mann’s short story “The Infant Prodigy.”
Following studies in Berlin, Margaritis taught at Salzburg’s Mozart Summer Academy during the summertime and at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki in winter. In 1931, his “Epic Symphony,” a work based on Homer’s “Odyssey,” was presented at the Vienna Opera. During WWII, in Greece, he was persecuted by the Nazis, who destroyed many of his works. After the Nazi invasion of Thessaloniki on 9 April 1941 Margaritis and his wife faced serious problems with the Gestapo, accused of having contacts with the Greek partisans. In 1942 they escaped to Athens. There they found protection from prominent intellectuals. After the end of the war Loris and Ida never returned to live permanently in Thessaloniki.

He died in Athens in 1953.

Felix Petyrek was born in the city of Brno (Moravia) on 14 May 1892, then move and grew up in Vienna, Austria. He received his basic musical training from his father, August, a concert organist. He studied at the Vienna Music Academy under Leopold Godowsky and Emil von Sauer (piano), Franz Schreker (composition), and at the Philosophy Department of Vienna University with Guido Adler. During his military service (1915–1918) as a guard in a prisoner-of-war camp he collected folksongs from different East European traditions, published by Universal Edition. After his graduation with honours in 1919 he became a teacher at the Salzburg Mozarteum Music Academy. After moving in 1921 to Berlin and later to Aclesheim in Switzerland, Petyrek moved to Abbazia (Opatija, Croatia) and founded there and in Salzburg summer courses for piano and composition. There he met Loris Margaritis, with whom he developed a deep friendship.

Petyrek had already composed many works for piano, chamber music, stage works and compositions for vocal ensembles, and until 1926 he gave many concerts in Germany, where he was associated with the musical avant-garde. In summer 1926 he was invited to teach piano and composition at Athens Conservatory. With his friend from his Berlin days, Dimitri Mitropoulos, he organized various concerts in Athens and Salzburg in the following years. From 1930 to 1950, after his Greek adventure, Petyrek taught successively at the Music Academies of Stuttgart, Leipzig and Vienna. In 1950 he was awarded the Austria State Prize of Music. He died on 1 December 1951.

On 1 June 1927 Petyrek wrote to his friend Hans Reinhart: “I composed at the end of May six Greek piano pieces in a quite modern style by using local scales and structural principles. Some people describe them as my best work. I would like them to be published very soon”. The world premičre took place with the composer himself as pianist in September 1927 at Dornach in Switzerland. In Germany the Greek Rhapsodies were first performed in Berlin on 9 April 1930 by the Greek pianist Marika Papaioanou. In Athens these new compositions had been already presented at the Conservatory concert hall in December 1929. The Greek music press described the work as ‘extremely interesting’: “His new composition is based on Greek and Russian themes, but on the other hand they sound very modern” (Chronics).

Monday February 7, 2011
Nikos A. Dontas
For more information, visit