Recorded on 05/29/2013, uploaded on 01/16/2014
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Bartók had a deep and abiding interest in Hungarian and Romanian folk music, spending several years of his youth engaged in traveling through the countryside, recording and cataloging folk tunes. Later in life, as his international reputation as a composer and pianist grew, the pieces written with these folk influences became increasingly popular. In 1928, Bartók had a number of performances planned with famous Hungarian violinists, and he wrote this piece alongside other chamber works to play on tour. The Rhapsody performed today follows the pattern of Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsodies which Bartók knew well: it is in two sections, Lassú (slow) and Friss (fast), which string together a collection of Romanian, Hungarian and Ruthenian folk tunes. The first movement begins with a powerfully rhythmic figure, which becomes singing in a contrasting middle section. The second movement starts with a dance-like figure that gradually accelerates to great speed, building up excitement and eventually breaking down in chromatic chaos. The piece ends with a brief restatement of the first tune and a virtuosic flourish. Francesca Anderegg
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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