Música para cuerda, percusión y celesta

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Music for Strings, percussion and celesta
Béla Bartók

Ricardo Padilla Muñoz 3rd in Bachelor

Indice

1.- Introduction.

2.- Historic context. Brief biography of Bartók. Axis system.

3.- General aspects of the piece.

4.- First Movement: Macroanalysis.

5.- First Movement: Microanalysis.

6.- Second Movement: Macroanalysis.

7.- Second Movement: Microanalysis

8.-Conclusion.

9.- Bibliography.

1.- Introduction.

I´ve chosen the Music for strings, percusión and celesta of Béla Bartók for several reasons. First of all is the fascination I have with the Bartók´s language. Specially, the way he uses the clasic material. On the other hand, because the Bartók´s language is one of the most decisive language of the XXth century. And finally because I know the factto analyze this piece will give me a lot of tools as a composer, and I think that´s the goal of this work. I´ll focus this work to more specific analysis of the first two movements, because the most important thing is to see how the harmony works.

2.- Historic context. Brief biography of Bartók. Axis system.

The music for string, percussion y celesta was commissioned by Paul Sacher tocelebrate the tenth anniversary of the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the score is dated September 7, 1936. The work was premiered in Basel on January 21, 1937 by the Basel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sacher, and it was published the same year by Universal Edition. Béla Bartók was born in the Hungarian town of Nagyszentmiklós (now Sînnicolau Mare in Romania) on 25 March 1881, and received his firstinstruction in music from his mother, a very capable pianist; his father, the headmaster of a local school, was also musical. After his family moved to Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia) in 1894, he took lessons from László Erkel, son of Ferenc Erkel, Hungary’s first important operatic composer, and in 1899 he became a student at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, graduating in 1903. Histeachers there were János Koessler, a friend of Brahms, for composition and István Thoman for piano. Bartók, who had given his first public concert at the age of eleven, now began to establish a reputation as a fine pianist that spread well beyond Hungary’s borders, and he was soon drawn into teaching: in 1907 he replaced Thoman as professor of piano in the Academy. Béla Bartók’s earliest compositionsoffer a blend of late Romanticism and nationalist elements, formed under the influences of Wagner, Brahms, Liszt and Strauss, and resulting in works such as Kossuth, an expansive symphonic poem written when he was 23. Around 1905 his friend and fellow-composer Zoltán Kodály directed his attention to Hungarian folk music and, coupled with his discovery of the music of Debussy, Bartók’s musicallanguage changed dramatically: it acquired greater focus and purpose – though initially it remained very rich, as his opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (1911) and ballet The Wooden Prince (1917) demonstrate. But as he absorbed more and more of the spirit of Hungarian folk songs and dances, his own music grew tighter, more concentrated, chromatic and dissonant – and although a sense of key is sometimes lostin individual passages, Bartók never espoused atonality as a compositional technique.

His interest in folk music was not merely passive: Bartók was an assiduous ethnomusicologist, his first systematic collecting trips in Hungary being undertaken with Kodály, and in 1906 they published a volume of the songs they had collected. Thereafter Bartók’s involvement grew deeper and his scope wider,encompassing a number of ethnic traditions both near at hand and further afield: Transylvanian, Romanian, North African and others. In the 1920s and ’30s Bartók’s international fame spread, and he toured widely, both as pianist (usually in his own works) and as a respected composer. Works like the Dance Suite for orchestra (1923), the Cantata profana (1934) and the Divertimento for strings (1939),...
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