Listener's Notebook

Ah....the joy of actually having time to REALLY listen to something great!  Today was the ever amazing Mr. Bartok and his Concerto for Orchestra.  On top of that, the Philadelphia Orchestra to boot!  Just intense and great moments to be heard.

What can be said about Bela Bartok that has not already been said.  The man did so much for music.  People either HATE him or LOVE him.  I happen to be of the latter opinion.  I think that he is on the level with that of Beethoven and Bach.  Maybe not just for his contributions to compositions, but also to his efforts in musicology (like inventing the discipline), and that of the music of his native Hungary.  No one else can really say that GAVE as much to music as artok, either than the earlier mentioned demi-gods Beethoven and Bach.

What say you?

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  • I was very into Bartok at a time.  It started in undergraduate music history class when the professor played the Allegro Barbaro for us and I was like "Get outta town!", for I was familiar with Emerson Lake and Palmer's rendition and thought that was one of their original songs.  Then I delved more into his music and wrote a paper or two on him for classes.  A few years later, studying for my masters, another professor talked about how Bartok for him was too overtly symmetrical, as if everything was constructed rather than felt (paraphrasing here).  Listening to his music from that perspective made me just about agree with him.  I haven't listened to Bartok much in the years since, but hells yeah, I do still enjoy his music, particularly the Allegro Barbaro for some reason....  As for either Loving or Hating him, I would say I fall somewhere along that continuum, never hate for sure though, some love definitely.

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