Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bartok Plays Bartok From Volume 6 of the Mikrokosmos

140, Free variations
141, Subject & reflection
142, From the dairy of a fly
143, Divided arpeggios
144, Minor seconds, major 7th

A long time ago I posted a recording of the first five pieces of volume 6 of the Mikrokosmos as played by someone else.  I'd known that Bartok recorded a number of pieces from the collection, as I recall I had it on an LP on the flip side from him and his wife, Ditta, playing the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.   I believe it was a recording of a live performance from a radio broadcast, which explains one hesitation I noticed in the second of them.

I'm going to have to buy them on CD, they are a revelation into what a great pianist Bartok was as well as a great composer, the delicacy of the slower and quieter passages bring out a range that you often don't hear in people playing his music.   Especially #144 but also in the others.  I don't know of any better way to get the right way of playing this music than listening to the composer play it.

And I may as well post him playing the last six of the volume, the often played Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm.  If they don't excite you, you should check your pulse for signs of being dead.

I had to change the way I played the first of these when I heard this recording,  the passage at  about 1:23. I didn't really get how it fit into the rest of the dance until I heard him play it.  Even the youtubes show you so much more than you can get by even a careful study of the score and sticking to what it says. 

I'd better stop because I'll fill the page with cue numbers with all the points that could be made about these.  A hazard of having taught them a number of times, I guess. 

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