BARTOK, BELA. (1881-1945). Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist; creator of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Concerto for Orchestra, and other 20th-century masterpieces. Signed program. (“Bartok Bela”). 7pp. Large 8vo. Budapest, May 7, 1937. In Hungarian.

The mid-18th century reorganization of the Hapsburg Empire into separate Austrian and Hungarian states fomented a Hungarian nationalism that deeply influenced Bartók and his music. Beginning in the early 1900s, he began to employ Hungarian folk music in his compositions, and the 1904 Budapest performance of his symphonic poem Kossuth, which memorialized the father of Hungarian democracy, Lajos Kossuth, brought him much acclaim. It was not unusual for composers to model their work on popular folk tunes, but Bartók strove towards something more authentically Hungarian. Despite his great attachment to his native culture, Bartók, as early as 1931, was protesting the Hungarian government’s descent into fascism. He forwarded his archive for safekeeping to London in 1939 and immigrated to the United States in 1940.

Our program from a “Singing Youth Movement” concert includes the premiere of 11 easy piano pieces from Volume V of Mikrokosmos, including Alternating Thirds [#129], Staccato [#124] and Chords Together and in Opposition [#122] and five more difficult piano pieces including Free Variations [#149], From the Diary of a Fly [#142] and Minor Seconds, Major Sevenths [# 144]. Bartok’s Mikrokosmos consists of 153 separate piano pieces composed between 1926 and 1939, published in six volumes. Arranged according to technical and musical difficulty, the pieces range from beginner to professional. Bartok initially developed the first two volumes as a teaching tool for his son, Peter. Building upon the skills learned from the previous pieces, the final two volumes were intended for professional pianists.

Signed on the front cover which is separated from the rest of the program. Folded with reinforced file holes in the left margin. Some age toning and wear. In satisfactory condition. [indexMusic]

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