Béla Bartók
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1881-03-25
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/fd14da1b-3c2d-4cc8-9ca6-fc8c62ce6988
Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók Biography (BBC)

Without doubt the greatest Hungarian composer of the 20th century, Bartók was also a formidably accomplished pianist and a renowned collector and arranger of folk song from Hungary and beyond. And, of course, he taught.

Bartók learnt the piano and began composing at a very young age. He went on to study at the Budapest Academy of Music but was slow in developing his own musical language. His most accomplished pre-Academy works show the influence of Brahms and Schumann; those of his student years betray the marks of Richard Strauss. The subject matter of the early symphonic poem Kossuth was already unmistakably Hungarian, but it wasn’t until 1904 that Bartók heard his first genuine Hungarian folk song. The deep acquaintance with his native folk music resonated in his own work. He had found his real musical identity and proved as much in a sequence of hugely accomplished scores: the First and Second String Quartets (1909 and 1914–17), the one-act opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (1911), and the ballets The Wooden Prince (1914–17) and The Miraculous Mandarin (1918–19).

His fame as both composer and pianist spread fast. Between 1926 and 1931 he wrote the first two of his three piano concertos as vehicles for his own playing. Typically, though, he resisted adopting the life of a touring composer-virtuoso. He continued with his folk-music studies and with developing his own musical language, exploring the nature of variation, the viability of symmetrical forms and a whole array of novel sounds in pieces such as the Third, Fourth and Fifth Quartets (1927, 1928, 1934), the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936) and the Sonata for two pianos and percussion (1937). His later music veers towards a more diatonic sound-world, though formal process and proportion always remained important issues.

Bartók fled to the USA in 1940. Although he found work lecturing and giving concerts, he failed to re-establish his reputation. Depression, financial worries and severe health problems followed. He died in New York on 26 September 1945 from leukaemia, leaving his Third Piano Concerto 17 bars short of completion and his Viola Concerto still in sketch form. Thanks to a far-sighted commission from the Koussevitzky Foundation, though, he had in 1943 completed his Concerto for Orchestra, a masterpiece that betrays no sign of the distress that this sensitive, reluctant émigré was suffering.

Profile by Stephen Pettitt © BBC

Béla Bartók Biography (Wikipedia)

Béla Viktor János Bartók (25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Béla Bartók Audio & Video


Béla Bartók Performances

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Béla Bartók
Romanian Folk dances (Sz.56) arr. Szekely for violin & piano
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Romanian Folk dances (Sz.56) arr. Szekely for violin & piano
Béla Bartók
4 Hungarian folk songs for chorus (Sz.93) (1930)
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4 Hungarian folk songs for chorus (Sz.93) (1930)
Béla Bartók
Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 5: Nos. 132-135. Major 2nds Broken and Together. Syncopation. Studies in Double Notes (1,2,3)
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Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 5: Nos. 132-135. Major 2nds Broken and Together. Syncopation. Studies in Double Notes (1,2,3)
Béla Bartók
Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 5: Nos. 122-123. Chords Together and Opposed. Staccato and Legato (a,b)
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Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 5: Nos. 122-123. Chords Together and Opposed. Staccato and Legato (a,b)
Béla Bartók
Concerto Sz.116 for orchestra
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Concerto Sz.116 for orchestra
Béla Bartók
Excerpts from 44 Duos for two violins Sz.98
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Excerpts from 44 Duos for two violins Sz.98
Béla Bartók
6 pieces from Mikrokosmos arr. Bartok for 2 pianos
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6 pieces from Mikrokosmos arr. Bartok for 2 pianos
Béla Bartók
Hungarian Folksongs Nos 1 & 2 from The Csik District Sz.35a
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Hungarian Folksongs Nos 1 & 2 from The Csik District Sz.35a
Béla Bartók
Rhapsody No. 1 For Violin & Orchestra
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Rhapsody No. 1 For Violin & Orchestra
Béla Bartók
3 Hungarian folksongs from the Csik district Sz.35a for piano
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3 Hungarian folksongs from the Csik district Sz.35a for piano
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No.2 (Second movement)
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String Quartet No.2 (Second movement)
Béla Bartók
Quartet for strings no. 1 (Sz.40)
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Quartet for strings no. 1 (Sz.40)
Béla Bartók
Romanian Folk Dances Sz 56 Nos. 2-6
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Romanian Folk Dances Sz 56 Nos. 2-6
Béla Bartók
Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
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Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
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Playlists featuring Béla Bartók


Past BBC Events

Prom 08 Winter Proms 1935–6
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ec95v2
Queen's Hall
1936-01-07T08:20:01
7
Jan
1936

Prom 08 Winter Proms 1935–6

20:00
Queen's Hall

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