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Romanian Folk Dances

Béla Bartók

  1. Joul cu bâta (Molto moderato) Stick Dance
  2. Brâul (Allegro) Sash Dance
  3. Pe Loc (Moderato) Stamping Dance
  4. Buciumeana (Andante) Horn Dance
  5. Poarga româneasca (Allegro) Romanian Polka
  6. Maruntel (L'istesso tempo) Fast Dance
  7. Maruntel (Allegro vivace)

An important element in Bartók's musical personality was his respect for what he recognized as a disappearing art; that of central European folk music, which had been irrevocably disrupted by the First World War.

The composer had made numerous collecting expeditions in Romanian villages between 1909 and 1913, and was thus able to capture the memories whilst they were relatively fresh when he composed these short dances in 1915, originally for piano solo, but with a version for chamber orchestra following two years later. They remain among his most popular and accessible works.

Bartók pays tribute to the original peasant melodies by attempting no more than to set them in the simplest possible forms. Exotic in their modalities and full of rhythmic surprises, the dances steadily gather in momentum with the last three being played without a break.

By Richard Thompson. Used with permission of The Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra of Bristol, UK

Submitted By Richard Thompson
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Create Date March 30, 2021
Last Updated March 30, 2021

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