Hi everybody. Good work on our first read-through of Bartk's Romanian Folk Dances.
First, a few words about the composer: Béla Bartók, from Hungary, lived from 1881 to 1945. He is one of the most important composers of the 20th Century, and arguably the most important Hungarian composer ever (next to Liszt, perhaps). He was a huge fan of folk music from different parts of the world. Some people say he was the first "ethnomusicologist." Read more about him here.
Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances were written originally for piano solo, based on popular tunes from... you guessed it: Romania. The pieces have been transcribed for lost of different ensembles, including the arrangement by Arthur Willner that we are playing. Read more here.
Violinists: like I told you in rehearsal, if you're interested in auditioning for the 2nd and 3rd movement solos, the audition will take place on February 13 right before the full orchestra rehearsal. More details on this later.
There are many audio and video recordings of these pieces. Here's a live performance that I like:
Also, just for fun, watch this other video. It's a version for strings and 2 clarinets, but the really cool thing is what happens between the movements. Let me know what you think on Saturday: