Harry Stafylakis


Kritikos Horos
for 6 players
flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion (2010)
13 minutes

Conducted by Carl C. Bettendorf.

Performed by Martha Cargo (flute), David Bridges (clarinet), Emily Westell (violin), Alexandra Jones (cello), Yuxi Qin (piano), and Cesare Papetti (percussion).

Recorded by H. Stafylakis and Nina C. Young on May 10, 2012 in Shepard Hall, New York.

Score and parts available for purchase (PDF or hard copy). Send an inquiry through the Contact page.

Program Notes

Kritikos Horos, or “Cretan Dance”, is a concert music reimagining of traditional dances and song forms originating from the Greek island periphery of Crete. In each movement, traditional thematic material is at first presented in recognizable form before undergoing stresses and procedures that gradually cause it to be subsumed into - and eventually obscured by - concert music idiom.

Drawing on the source material’s historical origins, the work traces an abstracted narrative of the life of a Cretan Resistance fighter during WWII:
I. Maleviziotikos, a sprightly courtship dance for village youths;
II. Erotokritos – "the judge of love" – a song type with mature overtones that logically follows from the more innocent dance preceding it;
III. Pentozali, a fast war dance used to keep soldiers fit for battle;
IV. Syrtos represents the warrior’s philosophical contemplation before engaging in war, and;
V. Tsakonikos, a labyrinthine war dance that depicts the myth of Theseus slaying the Minotaur.