Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More 'Life Is Elsewhere': Bela Bartok, Western Art Music, Eastern European (Magyar) Folk Music, And Ethnomusicology

... "A chance encounter with the folk music of his country – having overheard a Transylvanian-born maid singing a folk song while working in an adjacent room – awoke within Bartók a profound desire to explore the indigenous music of his own culture. (His efforts differed markedly from those of Liszt, whose concept of Hungarian music – i.e., as exemplified in his Hungarian Rhapsodies and other “nationalistic” works – was erroneously based on that of the Romani, or gypsies, and only rarely on actual Magyar folk music.) The exhaustive research undertaken by Bartók in this area had a profound affect on the compositions that he began to produce, which fused the precepts of Western art music with the indigenous music of Eastern Europe, resulting in an original and vital means of musical expression. Had Bartók not proceeded to produce one of the most significant bodies of musical compositions of the twentieth century, he would nevertheless still be remembered as one of history’s greatest ethnomusicologists, and one whose depth of scholarship remains a revered example even today." ...

All-Bartok evening of music at the Library of Congress October 25, 2011 [Program in .pdf file]


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