Presentation on theme: "He was born Sînnicolau Mare, 25 March 1881. He began lessons with his mother, who brought up the family after his father's death in 1888. In 1894 they."— Presentation transcript:
He was born Sînnicolau Mare, 25 March 1881. He began lessons with his mother, who brought up the family after his father's death in 1888. In 1894 they settled in Bratislava, where he attended the Gymnasium (Dohnányi was an elder schoolfellow), studied the piano with Laszlo Erkel and Anton Hyrtl, and composed sonatas and quartets. In 1898 he was accepted by the Vienna Conservatory, but following Dohnányi he went to the Budapest Academy (1899-1903), where he studied the piano with Liszt's pupil Istvan Thoman and composition with Janos Koessler. There he deepened his acquaintance with Wagner, though it was the music of Strauss, which he met at the Budapest premiere of Also sprach Zarathustra in 1902, that had most influence. He wrote a symphonic poem, Kossuth (1903), using Strauss's methods with Hungarian elements in Liszt's manner.
In 1904 Kossuth was performed in Budapest and Manchester; at the same time Bartók began to make a career as a pianist, writing a Piano Quintet and two Lisztian virtuoso showpieces (Rhapsody op.1, Scherzo op.2). Also in 1904 he made his first Hungarian folksong transcription. In 1905 he collected more songs and began his collaboration with Kodály: their first arrangements were published in 1906.
The next year he was appointed Thoman's successor at the Budapest Academy, which enabled him to settle in Hungary and continue his folksong collecting, notably in Transylvania.
Meanwhile his music was beginning to be influenced by this activity and by the music of Debussy that Kodály had brought back from Paris: both opened the way to new, modal kinds of harmony and irregular metre. The 1908 Violin Concerto is still within the symphonic tradition, but the many small piano pieces of this period show a new, authentically Hungarian Bartók emerging, with the 4ths of Magyar folksong, the rhythms of peasant dance and the scales he had discovered among Hungarian, Romanian and Slovak peoples. The arrival of this new voice is documented in his String Quartet no.1 (1908), introduced at a Budapest concert of his music in 1910.
There followed orchestral pieces and a one-act opera, Bluebeard's Castle, dedicated to his young wife. Influenced by Mussorgsky and Debussy but most directly by Hungarian peasant music (and Strauss, still, in its orchestral pictures), the work, a grim fable of human isolation, failed to win the competition in which it was entered. For two years (1912-14) Bartok practically gave up composition and devoted himself to the collection, arrangement and study of folk music, until World War I put an end to his expeditions. He returned to creative activity with the String Quartet no.2 (1917) and the fairytale ballet The Wooden Prince, whose production in Budapest in 1917 restored him to public favour. The next year Bluebeard's Castle was staged and he began a second ballet, The Miraculous Mandarin, which was not performed until 1926 (there were problems over the subject, the thwarting and consummation of sexual passion). Rich and graphic in invention, the score is practically an opera without words.
In 1940 Bartók and his second wife Ditta Pásztory (he had divorced and remarried in 1923) sadly left war-torn Europe to live in New York, which he found alien. They gave concerts and for a while he had a research grant to work on a collection of Yugoslav folksong, but their finances were precarious, as increasingly was his health. It seemed that his last European work the String Quartet no.6 (1939), might be his pessimistic swansong, but then came the exuberant Concerto for Orchestra (1943) and the involuted Sonata for solo violin (1944). Piano Concerto no.3, written to provide his widow with an income, was almost finished when he died, a Viola Concerto left in sketch.
Masterpieces Rhapsody, ?1904Piano, Orch.,Op.2Scherzo (Burlesque), 1904, Piano, Orch. Suite No. 1, 1905 (revised c1920), Orch. Suite No. 2, 1905-7 (revised 1920, 1943), small Orch. Two Portraits (Két portré), 1907-11, Orch. One ideal (Egy ideális) One grotesque (Egy torz) Op.7String Quartet No.1, 1908 Two Pictures (Két kép), 1910, Orch. In full flower (Virágzás) Village dance (A falu tánca) Duke Bluebeard's Castle (A Kékszakállú herceg vára), 1911 (rev.1912,1918), Opera Four Pieces, 1912, Orchestrated 1921, Orch. Preludio Scherzo Intermezzo Marcia funebre The Wooden Prince (A fából faragott királyfi), 1914-6, Orchestrated 1916-7, Ballet String Quartet No.2, 1915-7 The Miraculous Mandarin (A csodálatos mandarin), 1918-9, Orchestrated 1923, Rev.1924,1926-31 Pantomime A Suite derived from this work also exists.
Béla Bartók lived for a while in Budapest in the second district in the green belt. (1932-1940) His house he used to live in is a museum and a concert hall now… We have visited this museum. Here are the pictures: