English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. A product of Hungary’s political ferment at the start of the twentieth century, Béla Bartók’s works combine determination to participate in Western art movements was coupled with an enthusiasm for the folk traditions of a disappearing world. In this introduction to Bartók’s stage works, Julian Grant describes the score for Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, a symbolist version of the Bluebeard myth. Included in this volume are also his ballet scenarios, and discussions of the choreographic potential and musical qualities of the scores. Ferenc Bónis indicates the appeal for Bartók of the natural world, against the cataclysm of the First World War. Together, these works give an insight into issues of sexuality, humanity and creativity.
Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
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