Author Topic: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)  (Read 110093 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3324
  • 396 CCs
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2009, 03:34:54 PM »
Oh my god - just heard bartok's Divertimento for strings for the first time - what a score! Perfection!!  ;D ;D  :-*

I find that I much prefer Bartok that is more raw and explicity folk inspired than some of his more dryer, more formal sounding pieces are - this piece, the violin rhapsodies, string quartets, Viola concerto are my faves - desert island music for me all. The music for strings, percussion and celesta I like but don't love, same with the piano concertos, and quite why the concerto for orchestra (his dullest piece?  :o) gets so many outings is completely beyond me when there are so many other fantastic works by him. Of course Bluebeard's Castle is another favourite of mine... maybe my most favourite opera of all...
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #81 on: May 06, 2009, 04:29:23 AM »
. . . Of course Bluebeard's Castle is another favourite of mine... maybe my most favourite opera of all...

Some words on that very opera.

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6694
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #82 on: May 06, 2009, 07:10:59 PM »
complete solo piano music. To my taste, a lot of the folk-inspired or folk-tune music doesn't rise up beyond a ditty. There's a simple seven note phrase and then a seven note response, and that's the melody, and a lot of the time there isn't any kind of rhythmic interest to support it. Sometimes, this can be charming, but other times it isn't to my taste.

If you're talking about the Mikrokosmos, it was written as graded exercises for piano students.  For students they are really a breathe of fresh air compared to the usual exercises.  But I think only the more advanced of them may rise to the level of concert pieces.  The same is true of the 44 Duos for Violins.




Offline Nick

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #83 on: May 07, 2009, 06:06:28 AM »
A lot of the Mikrokosmos is like that, to me. But then there are pieces in the Mikrokosmos that I like a lot.

In particular, For Children and First Term at the Piano don't really do it for me although to me this quality exists in some of the other piano music as well. Among other major solo piano works, the Rhapsody is no favorite here though I consider this to be akin to Stravinsky's Sonata in F sharp minor or Prokofiev's Sonata for Piano No. 1, Op. 1.

Still, a lot of his solo piano music like Out of Doors, Four Dirges, Piano Sonata, etc. is brilliant to me, and there is much of the solo piano music that I do like.

Offline Nick

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #84 on: May 07, 2009, 07:20:52 AM »
It's somewhat surprising to me how much a lot of early Prokofiev piano music sounds like Bartok's. Many of the works in Prokofiev's Four Pieces, Op. 3; Four Pieces, Op. 4; Ten Pieces, Op. 12; and Sarcasms, Op. 17 especially sound like Bartok's solo piano music in many respects.

It's all the more remarkable when you consider that Bartok and Prokofiev rubbed off on each other not a bit. Peter Laki couldn't recall if they'd met each other, and I don't recall Harlow Robinson mentioning any particular influence of one on the other.

This is kind of why I find this business of talking about "which composer is more influential" and "who influenced who more" to be kind of silly. Tracking innovations and ideas chronologically to see who came up with what when is foolish when you consider that composers often went the ways they did irrespective of others. And maybe they had the same responses to something much much earlier. It seems like there are better ways to value and appreciate music.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #85 on: May 31, 2009, 01:31:35 PM »
It's all the more remarkable when you consider that Bartok and Prokofiev rubbed off on each other not a bit. Peter Laki couldn't recall if they'd met each other, and I don't recall Harlow Robinson mentioning any particular influence of one on the other.

It just doesn't seem that they ever moved in the same circles, not at the same time.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2009, 02:54:27 AM »
. . . I'm very fond of the concertos too (especially the viola concerto, even if it is the weakest...)

I doubt it would have been, if the composer had had time to finish it to his own liking.  That's a piece I need to get to know better, 'struth.

Offline Nick

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #87 on: July 07, 2009, 11:21:18 AM »
This is the Bartok solo piano music I'm most drawn to. There's no order here. I really enjoy these.

Three Burlesques, BB 55; Three Studies, BB 81; Four Studies, BB 58; Piano Sonata, BB 88; Out of Doors, BB 89; Two Elegies, BB 49; Suite, BB 70; Three Hungarian Folk Songs from the Csik District, BB 45b; Fourteen Bagatelles, BB 50, and much of the other music.

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #88 on: July 08, 2009, 06:57:59 AM »
Thanks James for sharing that, it's such beautiful music! :)

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #89 on: July 09, 2009, 02:23:15 AM »
The Contrasts is les genoux de l'abeille!

Franco

  • Guest
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #90 on: October 23, 2009, 10:59:38 AM »
I'm going to bump this thread a bit because I was listening today to the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Gyorgy Sandor & Co. (my only recording) and was hoping to find other recs. - there were a couple, Kocsis and Argerich, but if anyone has a rave suggestion by others, I'd be interested in hearing about it (Arkiv lists 22 recordings). 

Also if anyone has heard Bartok's own recording of this work, tell me about it.

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13189
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #91 on: October 23, 2009, 11:35:07 AM »
The only one I have is with Argerich and Kovacevich on Phillips (in its original issue) which I like, but I'd be interested in other recommendations as well.

--Bruce
Even Beethoven's 5th was new once. Imagine being in that first audience

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10413
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #92 on: October 24, 2009, 10:50:17 AM »
I'm going to bump this thread a bit because I was listening today to the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Gyorgy Sandor & Co. (my only recording)
Also if anyone has heard Bartok's own recording of this work, tell me about it.

I own the Sandor/Reinhardt recording and the Bartok/Bartok recording. I always have preferred the former, which I find very authoritative and exciting. And I like the dark hue of the sound and the close miking. Of course the sound is dated (ca 1960), but the sound of the Bartok x 2 recording is dated too. I have not listened to this but twice (a long time ago), and it did not do much for me.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3324
  • 396 CCs
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #93 on: November 08, 2009, 04:55:56 PM »
I absolutely adore Bluebeard's Castle (which I am seeing staged on Thursday) and know the story well, but what is Bartok trying to tell us? The prologue tells us that this could be interpreted as being all in the mind - how does this make sense?

Theories and suggestions please, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3324
  • 396 CCs
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #94 on: November 15, 2009, 10:10:33 AM »
An astonishing ENO production, so so dark. It's set in Joseph Fritzl's basement (or something like it) - fantastic staging, great singing and the orchestra are just superb - equally so in the staged ballet of the Rite of Spring that followed 9which was great fun!)

I am absolutely astonished that Bartok was just 21 when he wrote this. How is that possible?
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Wendell_E

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1135
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #95 on: November 15, 2009, 11:35:11 AM »
I am absolutely astonished that Bartok was just 21 when he wrote [Bluebeard's Castle]. How is that possible?

Because he was actually 30?   :D
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3324
  • 396 CCs
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #96 on: November 15, 2009, 04:37:30 PM »
Ah, haha, phew! I was ready to give up any artistic pursuit whatsoever. The programme had his birthday printed as 1890.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Novi

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1206
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #97 on: November 16, 2009, 12:34:22 PM »
I absolutely adore Bluebeard's Castle (which I am seeing staged on Thursday) and know the story well, but what is Bartok trying to tell us? The prologue tells us that this could be interpreted as being all in the mind - how does this make sense?

Theories and suggestions please, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Bluebeard's Castle – the opera in which nothing happens, seven times (to paraphrase a Beckett critic). :P Silliness aside, I do like it very much but have often wondered how one would go about staging something so static. The drama is psychological rather than action-driven, so for me, it’s a question of how to make a fully staged production sufficiently different from a concert performance.

I think the Prologue (deliberately and suggestively) equivocates between the 'within? without?' but it sounds like the ENO production gestured more towards the 'without' with the nod to Fritzl-esque horrors. I've never really thought about this issue; perhaps 'within' in terms of a psychological exploration of desire. Not sure...
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den der heimlich lauschet.

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3324
  • 396 CCs
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #98 on: November 16, 2009, 06:23:49 PM »
Bluebeard's Castle – the opera in which nothing happens, seven times (to paraphrase a Beckett critic). :P Silliness aside, I do like it very much but have often wondered how one would go about staging something so static. The drama is psychological rather than action-driven, so for me, it’s a question of how to make a fully staged production sufficiently different from a concert performance.

I think the Prologue (deliberately and suggestively) equivocates between the 'within? without?' but it sounds like the ENO production gestured more towards the 'without' with the nod to Fritzl-esque horrors. I've never really thought about this issue; perhaps 'within' in terms of a psychological exploration of desire. Not sure...

Nothing much happens physically, but the drama derives from the interaction of the characters, Judith becoming ever more shocked by her Husband's hidden aspects (with him internal/external are the same). I didn't feel bored once (how could one with such beautiful music!) It's actually a strength of the opera that it is so focussed on character and not situation. The ENO production very cleverly combined both "within" and "without", as surely all good productions of the opera must. Can't recommend it enough.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13189
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
« Reply #99 on: January 28, 2010, 02:05:59 PM »
Alex Ross has posted a link to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which has digitized Bartók's folk music collection and put it online.  He also offers tips on using the Academy's search engine.

--Bruce
Even Beethoven's 5th was new once. Imagine being in that first audience

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY