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BELA BARTOK (1881-1945)
Hungarian composer and pianist

Bela Bartok, one of the great pilars of 20th century music, was a phenomenal pianist.  Most of the recordings below are of the composer playing his own music. 

However, we have several examples of Bartok playing works for piano by other composers, and there are some real surprises here.  His Scarlatti is extraordinary, the fragment we have of his playing of the Chopin Nocturne is transcendental, and the prize is the most amazing performance of the Brahms B minor Capriccio that I know.

There are some examples of Bela Bartok performing chamber works as well.  If you listen to anything, listen to the first movement from the first Debussy violin sonata and try imagine him playing Debussy's Preludes, if you dare.

And finally, Bela Bartok himself speaking in a radio interview from 1944.



Bartók  from Two Romanian Folk Dances (1910), Op 8a
1 Allegro vivace

recorded in 1929




Bartók Allegro Barbaro (1911) Sz 49, BB 63




Bartók  Sonatina (1915) Sz 55, BB 69




Bartók  Romanian Folk Dances (1915) Sz 56, BB 68
1 Jocul cu bata - 2 Braul - 3 Pe loc - 4 Buciumeana - 5 Poarga romaneasca




Bartók  Suite (1916), Op 14, Sz 62, BB 70
i Allegretto - ii Scherzo - iii Allegro molto - iv Sostenuto

recorded in 1929




Bartók  from Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sz 71, BB 79
7-10, 12, 14-15 Regi tancdalok (Old Dance Tunes)



Bartók 
5
"Evening in Transylvania" from Ten Easy Piano Pieces
6 "Ballada" from Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs





Bartók  from Ten Easy Piano Pieces, BB 51
5 Evening in Transylvania
10 Bear Dance




Bartók  Petite Suite Sz 105, BB 113




Bartók  from Mikrokosmos Volume IV, Sz 107, BB 105
97 Notturno

recorded in 1940




Bartók  from Mikrokosmos Volume V, Sz 107, BB 105
125 Boating - 126 Change of Time - 128 Peasant Dance - 129 Alternating Thirds - 130 Village Joke
131 Fourths - 133 Syncopation - 136 Whole-Tone Scale - 138 Bagpipe - 139 Merry Andrew

recorded in 1940




Bartók  from Mikrokosmos Volume VI, Sz 107, BB 105

recorded in 1940


140
Free Variations - 141 Subject and Reflection
142 From the Diary of a Fly - 143 Divided Arpeggios - 144 Minor Seconds, Major Sevenths



Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm (148-153), dedicated to Harriet Cohen




Bartók  Hungarian Folk Songs
Mária Besilides, soprano - Béla Bartók, piano


18 "Kádár Kata"



7 "Cockricoo!"



8 Zoltán Kodály  The heartless wife A rossz feleség




Bartók  Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Sz 110, BB 115
Bela Bartok, Ditta Pásztory-Bartók, pianos - Henry Baker, Edward Rubsam, percussion

recorded in 1940


i Assai lento - Allegro molto



ii Lento, ma non troppo



iii Allegro non troppo




Bartok  from Seven Pieces for Two Pianos from Mikrokosmos, Sz 108, BB 120
Bela Bartok, Ditta Pásztory-Bartók, pianos




Bartók-Szigeti   Hungarian Folk Tunes (For Children)
28 Parlando - 18 Andante non molto - 42 Allegro vivace
33 Andante sostenuto - 6 Allegro - 13 Andante - 38 Poco vivace
Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded in 1940




Sonata 2 for violin and piano (1922), Sz 76, BB 85
Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded in 1940


i Molto moderato



iia Allegretto



iib Allegretto




Bartók  Rhapsody 1 for violin and piano (1928)
Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded in 1940




Bartók  Contrasts, Sz 111, BB 116
Trio for clarinet, violin, piano (1938)
Benny Goodman, clarinet - Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded in 1940




Scarlatti Sonatas
K 427 (L 286) - 1:02 ➢ K 212 (L 135) - 2:46 ➢ K 537 (L 293) - 4:13 ➢ K 70 (L 50)

recorded in 1929




Chopin  Nocturne 7 in C♯ minor, Op 27~1 (fragment)

recorded in 1939




Liszt  Sursum Corda, 7 from Années de Pèlerinage, Troisième année

recorded in 1936




Brahms  Capriccio in B minor, Op 76 No.2




Beethoven  Sonata in A major 9 for violin & piano "Kreutzer"
Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded live in 1940


i
Adagio sostenuto - Presto - Adagio



ii Andante con variazioni



iii Presto




Debussy  Violin Sonata 1
Joseph Szigeti, violin - Béla Bartók, piano

recorded live in 1940


i
Adagio sostenuto - Presto - Adagio



ii Interméde: Fantasque et Léger



iii Finale: Trés anime




Bartók  1944 Interview from the Ask the Composer radio broadcast series










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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