Bartok, suffering ill health and almost in poverty, whilst living and working in the USA, receives a commission to write a new work, one which gives him the necessary stimulus & drive to break his six year silence. The year is 19
The concerto has several notable aspects, which the composer himself declared. He called it ‘symphony-like’ and indeed it is a genuinely symphonic composition in its large scale and unity. Bartok admits that the use of the title ‘concerto’ for orchestra reflects the virtuosic nature of the orchestral writing in which nearly all of the players become soloists. He also confirms another interesting aspect of the work, its mild sense of ‘programme’. “The general mood of the work represents, apart from the jesting second movement, a gradual transition from the sternness of the first movement and the lugubrious death-song of the third to the life-assertion of the finale.” This is an appropriate way to sum-up the overall feeling and impression of the entire work but it does not convey the richness of invention, the technical resourcefulness, or the sheer verve and vitality of the music.
FORM / STRUCTURE
The overall work is arranged in 5 movements almost in a typical arch-form, which Bartok often favoured.
|Mvt 1 |Mvt 2 |Mvt 3 |Mvt 4 |Mvt 5 | |Introduzione |Giuoco delle coppie |Elegia |Intermezzo interrotto |Finale | |Andante non troppo / |Allegro scherzando |Andante non troppo |Allegretto |Pesante – Presto | |Allegro vivace | | | | | | |Chain with trio |Chain with prelude & | | | |Sonata form |abcde T a’b’c’d’e’ |postlude (pABCp) |...
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