Bartok Violin Concerto

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BARTOK VIOLIN CONCERTO

Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 In B Minor, SZ 112, BB117. (1937-1938)

1. Allegro Non-Troppo
2. Andante Tranquillo
3. Allegro Molto

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist, and was one of the most profound musicians of the twentieth century. A smallpox inoculation gave the infant Bartók a rash that remained with him until he was five years old. As a result he spent his early years detached from other children and people and spent many hours listening to his mother play the piano, which would have resulted in early musical stimulation. Bartók showed early musical aptitude and began to compose dances at the tender age of nine. Born in Romania, his mother, Paula moved the family around quite a bit after his father’s death in 1888, something that was partially motivated in order for Bartók to acquire the best musical training possible, studying with some of the great teachers of the time. 1 Bartók was close friends with Zoltán Kodály, another great Hungarian composer. They both shared a strong passion for what later was called ethnomusicology- defined as ‘the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts’ by Carole Pegg in ‘Ethnomusicology’ on Grove Music Online. Bartók ‘s music was accentuated by the themes, modes and rhythmical patterns of Hungarian and other worldly folk music traditions. Bartók was very interested in folk traditions, and he looked into the folk music of the Romanians, Slovakians, Serbs, Croatians, Bulgarians, Turks, and North Africans and the Hungarians. He amalgamated these folk traditions with influences from his era into his own recognizable style, a synthesis of folk music, classicism and modernism. After graduating, from the Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary in 1903, Bartók began a career as a concert pianist. During his adult life Bartók performed in 630 concerts in 22 countries. He was brought up as a roman catholic but he later wrote in a letter. ‘By the time I had completed my 22nd year, I was a new man—an atheist.’ Bartók was also fascinated by nature, which came through in his music. Bartók was said to be unsociable and pessimistic, and as an after-effect was described to be a lonely man. In 1909 he married Márta Ziegler. Their son, Béla Jr, was born in 1910. In 1923 Bartók and Márta were divorced. He promptly married a piano student, Ditta Pásztory. Their son, Péter, born in 1924. On September 26, 1945, Bartók died after suffering from Leukemia in a New York hospital with Ditta and Péter holding one of his hands. He was buried in 1988 in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York.2 -------------------------------------------------

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1 <http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/bartok.html>, Béla Bartók: COMPOSER, by Peter Hughes, Editor of the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography.

2. <http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/belabartok.html>, Béla Bartók, Article by Peter Hughes <http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/bartok.html>, BÉLA BARTÓK: COMPOSER by Peter Hughes
, Editor of the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography

Bartók ‘s musical dialect may be approached from either of two points of view, one in which the notations and terminology are originated from folk-music sources, or in which the notations and analytical tools are originated from certain progressions in the contemporary art music of the time. 3 -------------------------------------------------

Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, was composed between 1937 and 1938. Zoltán Székely commissioned Bartók to write a violin concerto for him in 1936; Bartók suggested that he compose a large work in the...
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