Sylvia Parker's article entitled Béla Bartók's Other Microcosmos is found in the September 2014 issue of MTNA e-Journal. It is about Bartók's Petite Suite and includes sound clips of his field recordings of peasants singing and playing, the Violin Duos from which the Suite is derived, and Bartók himself performing.
Petite Suite for piano is the last among Béla Bartók’s many settings of authentic folk melodies. A rarely played hidden gem derived from 44 Violin Duos, it is within reach of the intermediate/advanced pianist. In addition to providing engaging performance repertory, it provides also a microcosmos of Bartók’s work with peasant music. This article offers an opportunity to compare directly Bartók’s research, composition and performance inspired by the peasant music that shaped his musical thinking. Here his notations of authentic folk melodies appear alongside the scores of his piano arrangements thereof. Here his field recordings of peasants singing and playing appear alongside the Violin Duos and his own piano performance of Petite Suite. The author provides background context along with brief discussion of each movement. Juxtaposing the sound recordings of these folk melody “jewels,” as Bartók called them, brings them to life as no verbal description can.....
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