Bartók, Béla (1881-1945)

Béla Bartók

born: 25 March 1881
died: 26 September 1945
country: Hungary

Born in 1881 in Hungary, Bartók began piano lessons with his mother at the age of five. He studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, where he created a number of works that echoed the style of Brahms and Richard Strauss. After graduating, he discovered Austro-Hungarian and Slavic folk music, travelling extensively with his friend Zoltán Kodály and recording countless ethnic songs and dances which began to influence his own compositions. Kodály also introduced him to the works of Debussy in 1907, the year in which he became Professor of Piano at the Budapest Conservatory.

Bartók established his mature style with such scores as the ballet The Miraculous Mandarin and his opera Bluebeard’s Castle. He revived his career as a concert pianist in 1927 when he gave the première of his First Piano Concerto in Mannheim.

Bartók detested the rise of Fascism and in October 1940 he quit Budapest and travelled to the USA. At first he concentrated on ethno-musicological researches, but eventually returned to composition and created a significant group of ‘American’ works, including the Concerto for Orchestra and his Third Piano Concerto.

His character was distinguished by a firm, almost stubborn refusal to compromise or be diverted from his musical instincts by money or position. Throughout his working life, Bartók collected, transcribed and annotated the folk-songs of many countries, a commitment that brought little financial return or recognition but one which he regarded as his most important contribution to music.

from notes by LSO Live © 2014

Albums

Bartók & Rózsa: Viola Concertos
CDA67687
Bartók: 44 Duos for two violins
CDH55267Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Bartók: Divertimento; Tchaikovsky: Serenade
Studio Master: LSO0752Download only NEWStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
Studio Master: SIGCD372Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bartók: Sonata, Contrasts & Rhapsodies
CDH55149Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Bartók: String Quartets
CDD220032CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Tchaikovsky: Serenade; Bartók: Divertimento
Studio Master: LSO0752Download only NEWStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
For Children
CDH55194Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Homage to Paderewski
CDA67903
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 9
CDA67228Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted
Rózsa & Bartók: Viola Concertos
CDA67687

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

44 Duos for two violins, Sz98 (Bartók)
A Fairy Tale: Molto tranquillo  
A Rhythm Song: Allegretto – Meno mosso  
Andante  
Arabian Song: Allegro  
Bride's Farewell: Lento rubato  
Burlesque: Allegretto – Un poco più tranquillo – Tempo 1  
Comic Song: Allegro scherzando – Meno mosso  
Contrasts, Sz111 (Bartók)
Counting Song: Allegramente  
Cradle Song: Lento  
Dancing Song from Maramaros.Allegro giocoso  
Divertimento for string orchestra, Sz113 (Bartók)
Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Op 11 (Bartók)
Evening in the country  
Fast dance  
For Children (Bartók)
Harvest Song: Lento – Più mosso, parlando – Tempo I – Tempo II  
Haymaking Song: Lento religioso  
Horn dance  
Hungarian March 1: Tempo di marcia, allegramente – Più mosso  
Hungarian March 2: Tempo di marcia  
Hungarian Song 1: Moderatamente mosso  
Hungarian Song 2: Allegretto, leggiero – Meno mosso  
In one spot  
Jest  
Limping Dance: Allegro non troppo – Più mosso  
Maypole Dance: Andante  
Menuetto: Moderato  
Midsummer Night Song: Risoluto  
Moderato  
Mosquito Dance: Allegro molto  
New Year's Song 1: Adagio – Molto tranquillo  
New Year's Song 2: Tempo giusto  
New Year's Song 3: Allegro – Meno mosso – Tempo I  
New Year's Song 4: Allegro non troppo  
Pillow Dance: Allegretto  
Pizzicato: Allegretto  
Play Song: Allegro non troppo  
Prelude and Canon: Lento – Un poco più lento – Molto tranquillo – Risoluto, non troppo vivace – Allegro molto  
Rhapsody for violin and piano No 1, Sz86 (Bartók)
Rhapsody for violin and piano No 2, Sz89 (Bartók)
Romanian polka  
Rumanian Folk Dances, Sz56 (Bartók/Herrick)
Rumanian Folk Dances, Sz56 (Bartók/Székely)
Rumanian Whirling Dance: Allegro  
Ruthenian Kolomejka: Allegro – Meno mosso – Tempo I  
Ruthenian Song: Andante  
Sash dance  
Scherzo: Vivace  
Serbian Dance: Allegro molto  
Slovakian Song 1: Molto moderato  
Slovakian Song 2: Andante  
Soldier's Song: Maestoso  
Sonata for solo violin, Sz117 (Bartók)
Sorrow: Lento, poco rubato  
Stick dance  
String Quartet No 1, Sz40 Op 7 (Bartók)
String Quartet No 2, Sz67 Op 17 (Bartók)
String Quartet No 3, Sz85 (Bartók)
String Quartet No 4, Sz91 (Bartók)
String Quartet No 5, Sz102 (Bartók)
String Quartet No 6, Sz114 (Bartók)
Swineherd's Song  
Teasing Song 1: Andante  
Teasing Song 2: Scherzando  
Ten Easy Pieces (Bartók)
The Bagpipe: Allegro molto – Variation on No 36: Allegro molto  
Three Hungarian Folk-Tunes, Sz66 (Bartók)
Transylvanian Dance 'Ardeliana': Allegro moderato – Più moderato  
Viola Concerto, Sz120 (Bartók/Serly)
Walachian Dance: Comodo – Più lento – Tempo I – Più mosso  
Walachian Song: Allegro moderato  
Wedding Song: Adagio