Béla Bartók

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Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was one of the most prominent innovators of the twentieth century. Beginning his career as a concert pianist and composer of light music, his life was changed in 1908 when he made a journey with fellow Hungarian Zoltán Kodály into the villages of eastern Europe to record folk music. He discovered music that bore little resemblance to most Western classical music, in form, rhythm, or harmonic content, and from then on he developed in his own compositions a unique musical language based on what he had found.

His most-often played works are the Music for Strings, Celesta, and Percussion (1936), the Concerto for Orchestra (1944), and his pedagogical six-volume piano work, Mikrokosmos (1926-1939). His six groundbreaking string quartets are also often performed, and he authored an opera, three piano concerti, one violin concerto, and a viola concerto as well.

Bibliography

Gillies, Malcolm (ed.), Bartók Remembered, 1990.
Gillies, Malcolm (ed.), The Bartók Companion, 1993.
Moreux, Serge, translated G. S. Fraser and Erik de Mauny Béla Bartók, 1953.
Stevens, Halsey, The Life and Music of Béla Bartók, second edition, 1964.
Wilson, Paul, The Music of Béla Bartók, 1992.

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