Bela Bartók (20th-Century Composers)
Last updated: 17.12.19
Printed: 1995 Author: Kenneth Chalmers
Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc ISBN: 0714831646
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Paperback - 240 pages (November 1995)
Amazon Review
The 19th century saw the flowering of modern nationalism as the various peoples of Europe who had previously been culturally silent began to make themselves heard. Along with the invigorating effects on art, nationalism also led to provincialism and occasional bigotry. Examining Bartók, author Kenneth Chalmers uncovers an intellectual whose research into folk music was genuinely nationalistic and, at the same time, broad-minded. Bartok's research covered not just Hungarian sources; it also reached out to other European ethnic groups--even as far as North Africa. Just as Bartok's nationalism managed to be cosmopolitan, his compositions served as a contemporary idiom that escaped the sterile orthodoxy of serialism. Chalmers's portrait of this proud and withdrawn man captures his single-minded commitment to his music and explains why Bartok's works are among the most accessible contemporary scores to enter the repertory after WWII.