Béla Bartók emigrated to the United States of America with his family in 1940. Escaping the perils of war at home, the composer hardly made a dime in the subsequent years, and needed lengthy hospital treatment due to a serious illness. His admirers and friends rallied to help him, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra commissioned him to write an orchestral piece. The task energised Bartók and he wrote the Concerto in just six weeks. "It is in the greatest poverty that he writes most happily, and his most spiritedly song-like compositions. Bartók's last works, which bade Europe farewell and were created in America, are simply flooded with peaceful and calming harmony, the joy of homecoming and ascension, melodious richness. He never wrote as tunefully and accessibly than at this time, perhaps he was never filled with as much love for harmony and empathy than at this time, and he was never more capable of encapsulate all the achievements of his life into one monumental synthesis than at this moment in time. His large-scale works subsequently united the greatest contradictions once again: the symphonic Concerto is a eulogy to homesickness and solitude, embracing sparklingly grotesque episodes and a tempestuous folk festival,” writes musicologist Bence Szabolcs. Anyone wishing to get to know the artistry of Bartók more closely would do well to start with the Concerto. You will be helped in this quest by the outstanding music advocate and conductor, Gábor Hollerung.
Age: 10-14 year
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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