Bartók’s Bulgarian Dances and the order of things

Vikárius, László (2012) Bartók’s Bulgarian Dances and the order of things. Studia Musicologica, 53 (1-3). pp. 53-68. ISSN 1788-6244

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Bartók’s “Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm,” the only formally self-contained set within the Mikrokosmos, is the crowning series of pieces in this huge compendium of the composer’s later piano music. Since Bartók recorded all six of them in 1940, they are ideal for an investigation of performance issues. The recordings from the Mikrokosmos, although relatively late, are fortunately close to the composition of most of the pieces, which makes these recordings all the more “authentic.” The essay, however, focuses on the concept of the series as a series revisiting the compositional manuscripts, discussing the evolution of the individual pieces and the emergence of the idea of the set (first intended to comprise only five pieces) and Bulgarian rhythm as a pedagogical issue within the series. The “Six Dances” also bear a somewhat enigmatic dedication to the British pianist of Jewish descent, Harriet Cohen, obviously not an accidental choice. The dedication might be considered with what Bartók said in an interview in 1940 about the “hibridity” of national musical types in his “Bulgarian” pieces as well as with his article “Race Purity in Music” (1942) in mind. The significance of order and ordering in Bartók’s creative work, a hitherto little discussed common central element in the various fields of his activity, collecting, performing and composing, are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music / zene, szövegkönyvek, kották > M1 Music / zene
M Music and Books on Music / zene, szövegkönyvek, kották > M1 Music / zene > M10 Theory and philosophy of music / zeneelmélet, muzikológia
Depositing User: Endre Sarvay
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 12:23
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 12:23

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