Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Bartok's Mikrokosmos - genesis, pedagogy and style

by Benjamin Suchoff

The Scarecrow Press, 2002


ISBN: 0810844273


AmazonUK  £30.50 AmazonUS $39.50


Benjamin Suchoff is a distinuguished authority on Bartok with at least four books on the subject to his name. He has been an office bearer with the Bartok estate and archive. He was awarded the Bartok diploma and memorial plaque in 1981 for his great contribution to the understanding of the Bartok oeuvre.

This book comes then with the highest authority and this certainly shows.

Bartok's Mikrokosmos is a an anthology of 153 graded pieces collected in series according to diffficulty. Written between 1926 and 1939 there are six volumes in all.

After two semi-biographical chapters on Bartok as pianist and Bartok as teacher comes a treatment of the background and development of the set. This completes part 1 - i.e. the Genesis of Mikrokosmos

Then comes part 2 Pedagogy. After an introductory chapter there is a chapter for each of the volumes. Each chapter isfurther divided into a section for each piece. The sections deal with technique, musicianship. Bartok's comments togeter with performance suggestions from Mr Suchoff.

Part 3 addresses style. After some general scene setting there are separate chapters for each of the volumes. This time the music is related to other Bartok works, folk influences and musical analysis. There are notes but these are collected as end notes from pp.161 - 173.

This book forms another practitioner's guide and will understandably be snapped up by musicians and those many for whom Bartok is one of the most original and sophisticatedly beguiling voices in the 'last century'.

Rob Barnett



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