Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reflections on Bartok

Last week we recorded Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, a 20th Century masterpiece. Bartok used folk elements in his music; he combined them with an amazing mathematical sense for structure. Bartok is rarely "easy listening." The first time I heard a Bartok string quartet I thought it was noise. The music becomes intelligible when the listener can grasp some of the unusual harmonies through repeated hearing. Marin showed Bartok's connection to Eastern European folk music and its harmonic language by having the group Harmonia perform on stage before the BSO played the Bartok.

The Concerto, like most music Bartok wrote, is a very difficult piece. I think that, with lots of good practice and four performances, we were able to do it justice. In June we will record another piece by Bartok, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste. Eventually we will release those two pieces together on a CD.

This week Jack Everly returns for his always entertaining Pops programs. The program this week is "Hollywood: The Epics," and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society will be performing with us.

Come have fun with Jack and us this weekend!

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