10 Treurenberrg, 1000 Brussels
On the occasion of the birthday of Béla Bartók (25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945), Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist, we present a concert of the Hungarian National Philharmonic in collaboration with the MÜPA.
Bartók: Two Pictures, op. 10 Sz. 46, BB 59
Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3, Sz. 119, BB 127
Bartók: Four Pieces for Orchestra, op. 12, Sz. 51, BB 64
Bartók: Dance Suite, Sz. 77, BB 86
In keeping with tradition, the colourful programme for the Hungarian National Philharmonic's 2016 season-opening concert features works by Béla Bartók, this time almost providing a cross-section by showing the composer's different faces, so to speak, at various stages of his life. Representing his youthful mature works is 1910's Two Pictures, evocative of his sprawling nature music and, in its details even this early on, of the rustic sounds of Dance Suite, as well as the rich, often Late Romantic-sounding but at the same time Gallic in its lush colours, Four Pieces for Orchestra, an undeservedly underplayed cycle of incomparable beauty among its kind in the symphonic literature. In Dance Suite, premiered in 1923, Bartók positioned the typical motifs from the folk music of the peoples of the Danube region one against the other as a personal profession of faith - although he did end up replacing the Slovak passage, which he felt didn't measure up, with an arabesque.
He wrote the classically restrained Piano Concerto No. 3, his last completed work, in New York, for his wife. It is interesting to note that the slow movement, subtitled The Recovered Patient's Song of Gratitute in a Lydian Key and reminiscent of a movement from a Beethoven string quartet, features bird calls that Bartók had collected. Dezső Ránki is one of very few artists around who can speak the musical language of this late masterpiece as if it were his mother tongue.
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