Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok.

Last Sunday I went a fantastic concert at the local Anglican Church, of music (most of the 20th Century) for classical guitar and flute, it started with this wonderful little gem transcribed from its original version (played here). I was so entranced that I thought i would play you a bit. (there are about seven movements, so it takes about 18 minutes to play).

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries composers spent much time and energy travelling around the countryside transcribing and later still recording the folk music of there regions, they used to make in-depth notes on playing styles, costume, interactions between the performers and the audience and dancers and instrumentation. A lot of them took some of these pieces and published them as suits for various ensembles. Bela Bartok was one of the Eastern European leaders of this movement. In America, the Lomax brothers were making field recordings of the music that was to become known as the Blues, In Britain, people like Percy Granger, Ralph Vaughn-Williams and Benjamin Britten did the same. This was a very important movement, as the huge movement of village and farming people to the cities ( a  huge social trend of the twentieth century) a lot of these dances and music was being lost, and this saved many of them.

Here then with thanks to New English Conservatory and YouTube, is Tessa Lark on Violin and Yannick Rafali Manana performing  the Romanian Folk dances of Bela Bartok at the New England Conservatory on the 5th of December 2013, enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok.

    • Hi Suzy, I love this movement in music, there are many examples of it, some of the music is not very interesting or moving, but these are very good. Have been listening to a lot of music lately from 21st century orchestral music to Foster and Allan, and am reading some wonderful writing on the blogs that I am following, but also just finished Allan Ginsberg’s Plutonian ode and other poems 1977-1980, and am enjoying Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing, which includes both his art work and poetry. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

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