This week you will be listening to the music of Bela Bartok, an Hungarian composer and pianist who lived from 1881-1945.  Bartok’s influence on 20th c. music cannot be overstated and his interest in and his recording, cataloguing and analyzing of native folk melodies from Hungary and surrounding areas were the beginning of ethnomusicology.

Bartok showed musical talent at an early age and by the time he was eleven years old he had begun performing.  He studied at the conservatory at Budapest and while there met Zoltan Kodaly, another Hungarian composer who shared his interest in the folk music of Hungary.  Bartok also greatly admired the music of Claude Debussy and Strauss and others, but he eventually found his own voice and many of his compositions incorporate the folk melodies of his native country.  He also was a teacher and wrote a “piano method book” for his son called Mikrokosmos which is still used today.

Hilary Hahn, violin  Valentina Lisitsa, piano playing Roumanian Dances

Lili Kraus (student of Bartok) plays the Roumanian Dances