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Béla Bartók$
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David Cooper

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300148770

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300148770.001.0001

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‘I see the beautiful sky’

‘I see the beautiful sky’


(p.345) Chapter Twelve ‘I see the beautiful sky’
Béla Bartók

David Cooper

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses Béla Bartók's concerts and other musical activities during the years 1942–1945. The bulk of the composition of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra took place between August 15 and October 8, 1943. A diverse range of folk sources is brought into play in the concerto, referencing many of the cultures from which Bartók had collected in the course of his life. At the heart of the Concerto for Orchestra lies the “Elegia” described by Bartók as a “lugubrious death-song”: an elegy arguably for his mother, for Hungary, and for humanity. This chapter analyses the Concerto for Orchestra and considers the performances of Bartók's other compositions during the period, including the Second Violin Concerto. It also reflects on Bartók's various illnesses, his depression, and his death on September 26, 1945.

Keywords:   death, Béla Bartók, concerts, Concerto for Orchestra, elegy, Hungary, compositions, Second Violin Concerto

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