Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Bela Bartok: A sonata in two movements | The Economist

Bela Bartok: A sonata in two movements | The Economist:

A musical biography with something for everyone

Apr 25th 2015

"Bela Bartok. By David Cooper. Yale University Press; 436 pages; £25. To be published in America by Yale in June.

ALONG with Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok, who died in 1945, is regarded as one of Hungary’s greatest composers. Many consider his six string quartets, completed between 1908 and 1939, to be second only to Beethoven’s.

Though not as atonal as the work of many of his contemporaries, such as Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, Bartok’s compositions can be heavy-going, combining influences from Hungarian folk, jazz and Arabic music. In this weighty tome, David Cooper of Leeds University digs into Bartok’s life, interlacing his discussion of the compositions with wider discussions of politics and culture."

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