The Isles of Greece


Catalogue No: DDA 25010
EAN/UPC: 5028117501024
Artists: , , , , , ,
Release Date: July 1999
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 77:41

As a composer Donald Swann was more prolific, more varied, than might be imagined from those who only know him as half of the Flanders and Swann comedy duo. Fascinated by the Greek islands and particularly Casos, on which he found both peace and disquiet, he used Greek folksong and popular melodies as the basis for these joyful yet thoughtful songs, orchestrated by John Jansson.

BONUS: The Casos Sonnets, which form a separate subset, were never performed in Donald’s lifetime. We are very fortunate to have secured a tape of these pieces, made by Donald for his own use on his beloved Bluthner piano at his Battersea home, and this CD includes this rare and valuable recording.

Track Listing

    Donald Swann:

  1. Casos Sonnet No. 1 – Far,far off in a dstant southern sea (2:45)
  2. Samiotissa (1:31)
  3. Miranda (3:04)
  4. Pes Mou Ti (1:18)
  5. Casos Sonnet No. 2 – I’ve always feared the night (2:08)
  6. The Women of Souli (2:56)
  7. Casiot Journey (3:26)
  8. The Favours (3:17)
  9. Casos Sonnet No. 3 – With only a red night light for my pen (2:33)
  10. Anatoli (5:17)
  11. Nanourisma (3:53)
  12. Casos Sonnet No. 4 – When shall I land on you (2:12)
  13. Militsa (3:57)
  14. Nikotsaras (3:32)
  15. Casos Sonnet no. 5 – Casos, today I’m writing you a letter (1:25)
  16. The Shepherdess (3:20)
  17. Idle Tears (5:13)
  18. Casos Sonnet no. 6 – So far you’re licking me, Casos, for real (2:36)
  19. The Isles of Greece (4:36)
  20. Casos Sonnet no. 7 – Everywhere is Casos (3:25)
  21. I. The Casos Sonnets − 1 Far far off in a distant southern sea (1:30)
  22. II. The Casos Sonnets − 2. I’ve always feared the night (2:03)
  23. III. The Casos Sonnets − 3. With only a red night light for my pen (1:55)
  24. IV. The Casos Sonnets − 4. When shall I land on you, distant island (1:39)
  25. V. The Casos Sonnets − 5. Casos, today I,m writing you a letter (1:23)
  26. VI. The Casos Sonnets − So far you’re licking me, Casos, for real (1:41)
  27. VII. The Casos Sonnets − 7. Everywhere is Casos (2:53)
  28. VIII. The Casos Sonnets − 8. I love you still (1:43)


Classic FM Magazine

Bewitching -Modern Music RECORD OF THE MONTH March 2000

” —Malcolm Hayes
British Music Society Newsletter

this is a very fine disc and well worth seeking out – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

” —Rob Barnett

Donald Swann (1923-94) is particularly remembered for his shows with Michael Flanders (At the Drop of a Hat, etc.) but his genius was many-sided and this CD will extend the knowledge of his music for many people. Swann got to know the Greek islands at the end of the Second War, especially Casos in the […]

” —Phil Scowcroft

In [the Casos Sonnets] the island is personified, and the eight sonnets constitute a questioning, probing and existential dialogue between the island and Swann. They are, collectively, the key to his whole experience and to the rest of the music on this release. I suggest that you turn first to the last eight tracks, where […]

” —William Zagorski