Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók, 1881 - 1945

1907: Another folklore discovery gave birth to the Three Hungarian Folk Songs from Csík (BB 45b, 1907): Bartók's first trip to the Székely Hungarians in the mountains of Transylvania made him acquainted with the old style of folk songs in pentatonic scale. Among others he phonographed three vocal songs in a richly embellished instrumental performance played by an old man on a rustic flute. Soon after he returned to Budapest, Bartók arranged them in a very simple but inspired setting for rustic flute and piano (BB 45a), then edited the set in a piano version.

1909-1910: Bartók composes 2 Roumanian Dances (BB 56, Sz 56)
The two Roumanian Dances are "completely Roumanian in character"
The Roumanian peasant music, discovered in Transylvania in 1909, openend up new vistas for Bartók. (...) No. 1 was the favourite in the composer's recitals (he even orchestrated it later as the Roumanian Dance, BB 61)

1916: Bartók composes Op. 14 (BB 70). He disclosed that movement III had been influenced by Arab music he collected in 1913 in Algeria.

1917: Bartók writes a version for salon orchestra of his Romanian Folk Dances (Sz 68).

1918: Bartók composes Three Studies (BB 81). "Op. 18 is famous for being Bartók's most radical step towards atonal music".

1939: Divertimento for string orchestra (Sz 113). Bartók wrote his Divertimento during just 15 days in August 1939, when he was guest of the Sachers in Saanen, Switzerland. - "Un esprit joyeux s'y mêle à l'angoisse générale ressentie à la veille de la guerre qui devait éclater deux semaines plus tard".

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