Béla Bartók : composition, concepts, and autograph sources / László Somfai.

This long-awaited, authoritative account of Bartok's compositional processes stresses the composer's position as one of the masters of Western music history and avoids a purely theoretical approach or one that emphasizes him as an enthusiast for Hungarian folk music. For Bela Bartok, compo...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Somfai, László
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1996.
Series:Ernest Bloch lectures ; 9.
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Summary:This long-awaited, authoritative account of Bartok's compositional processes stresses the composer's position as one of the masters of Western music history and avoids a purely theoretical approach or one that emphasizes him as an enthusiast for Hungarian folk music. For Bela Bartok, composition often began with improvisation at the piano. Laszlo Somfai maintains that Bartok composed without preconceived musical theories and refused to teach composition precisely for this reason. He was not an analytical composer but a musical creator for whom intuition played a central role. These conclusions are the result of Somfai's three decades of work with Bartok's oeuvre of careful analysis of some 3,600 pages of sketches, drafts, and autograph manuscripts and of the study of documents reflecting the development of Bartok's compositions. Included as well are corrections preserved only on recordings of Bartok's performances of his own works. Somfai also provides the first comprehensive catalog of every known work of Bartok, published and unpublished, and of all extant draft, sketch, and preparatory material. His book will be basic to all future scholarly work on Bartok and will assist performers in clarifying the problems of Bartok notation. Moreover, it will be a model for future work on other major composers.
Item Description:Series statement from jacket.
Physical Description:xxii, 334 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-320) and indexes.
ISBN:0520084853
9780520084858