Bartok Violin Concerto Essay

1534 Words Mar 12th, 2011 7 Pages
BARTOK VIOLIN CONCERTO

Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 In B Minor, SZ 112, BB117. (1937-1938)

1. Allegro Non-Troppo
2. Andante Tranquillo
3. Allegro Molto

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist, and was one of the most profound musicians of the twentieth century.
A smallpox inoculation gave the infant Bartók a rash that remained with him until he was five years old. As a result he spent his early years detached from other children and people and spent many hours listening to his mother play the piano, which would have resulted in early musical stimulation. Bartók showed early musical aptitude and began to compose dances at the tender age of nine. Born in Romania, his mother, Paula moved
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The suggestion did not meet with Székely’s approval, and he insisted that the work must be a bona fide concerto in three movements. Bartók accommodated and completed the concerto on the last day of December 1938. Székely played it the following April in Amsterdam under the baton of the Dutch conductor, Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951). He was thrilled with the work, even after Bartók pointed out that while it presented itself to be written as a bona fide concerto, he had – as a little private joke – pleased himself by making it the variation work he was wanted to originally compose. Compared to the second concerto, the first concerto’s ‘ basic motives are by no means so readily discovered as those of the second concerto this work being somewhat less economical and its architecture less compactly integrated’. 4
3 Elliott Antokotetz, The Music of Béla Bartók, A study of tonality and progression in twentieth-century music, California, University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. 1984, 1

4 Halsey Stevens, The Life and Music of Béla Bartók, Revised Edition Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 1993 228

When Székely commissioned the work, he had no idea that Bartók had already written a Violin Concerto in 1907, at age twenty-six, nearly thirty years before. And the First Concerto was not known to exist until after Bartók ‘s death in 1945. Only in 1956 was the
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