2/4/13: Bartok in the Delta

2/4/13: Bartok in the Delta

When I was a kid, I played many pieces from Bela Bartok’s six volume pedagogical work for piano, Mikrokosmos. Some of them are quite dry, other’s whimsical, a few quite beautiful—from very easy to pretty damn hard. The theme of this little piece, and it’s contrapuntal treatment reminds me of many of those pieces. The Delta part of the title (as in Mississippi) refers to the bluesy way it develops. Was Bartok ever in the Delta? I have no idea, but I do remember reading a story about him where he, his wife, and a friend took off all their clothes and ran butt naked up some hill, possibly in North Carolina, though it may have been in Europe. That story changed my opinion of him—for the better.

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