Good Music Speaks

Bartok BelaThe music of Béla Bartók is a huge influence on my musical identity.  It began in college, but strangely enough, my first exposure to Bartók was not in music school.  I can remember clearly the first time I heard the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra.  There was still a classical music station on FM radio in Detroit, and I was driving and listening to a live concert rebroadcast of an orchestra concert.  A Concerto is a piece for a solo instrument and orchestra.  I was puzzled by what a “Concerto” for a whole orchestra was going to sound like.

I was mesmerized by the opening of the work, introducing some of the musical material that was going to build the piece.  By about the two minutes and forty-five second mark, when the violin sections come screaming in, I was hooked.  I pulled into a parking space and listened to the…

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