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Submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of Texas Tech University in
Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for
the Degree of



December, 1973


I wish to express deep appreciation to Dr. Paul F. Cutter for
the direction of this thesis and to Professor Richard A. McGowan for
his helpful criticism.






















369-370 19 6. Meas. 51-55 23 9. First Piano Concerto First Movement. Meas. Meas. 30-31 28 11. First Piano Concerto Second Movement. F i r s t Piano Concerto. Meas. First Piano Concerto Third Movement. 1-7 39 17. First Piano Concerto Third Movement. 33-34 18. 32-35 22 8. Meas. First Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. Meas. 201-206 17 5. First Piano Concerto First Movement. Meas. 38-49 14 3. Meas. 254-272 (Truncated) 32 15. First Piano Concerto First Movement. Third Movement. Third Movement. First Piano Concerto Third Movement. First Movement. First Movement. First Movement. 13-17 13 2.LIST OF EXAMPLES Example 1. Meas. 11-14 27 10c. Meas. 74-75 iv 41 . First Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. 57-62 28 12. 72-73 24 10a. 257-272 33 (Truncated) 38 16. Meas. Meas. Meas. First Piano Concerto First Movement. Meas. Second Piano Concerto. 92-95 30 14. 5-7 27 10b. First Piano Concerto Third Movement. First Piano Concerto Second Movement. First Piano Concerto. First Piano Concerto Second Movement. First Piano Concerto Second Movement. 82-85 15 4. 68-71 29 13. 5-8 21 7. Meas. First Piano Concerto First Movement. Meas. Meas. Second Piano Concerto. Meas. Second Piano Concerto.

72-73 78 35. Meas. Third Piano Concerto First Movement. 212-213 45 22. Meas. Meas. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. Meas. Second Piano Concerto First Movement. 149-156 83 37. Meas. Meas. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement. 162-164 59 29.19. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. Meas. 47-49 56 27. 427-430 87 . Third Piano Concerto Second Movement. Meas. Third Piano Concerto First Movement. 1-5 48 23. Second Piano Concerto First Movement. 196-197 60 30. Third Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. 7-14 54 25. 63 77 34. Third Piano Concerto Second Movement. Meas. 45-47 56 26. Meas. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement. 23-26 49 24. 82-83 42 20. Third Piano Concerto Second Movement. Meas. Second Piano Concerto Second Movement. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. 95 57 28. 22 66 32. 1-11 65 31. Meas. Third Piano Concerto Third Movement. Meas. Second Piano Concerto First Movement. Meas. Third Piano Concerto Third Movement. 60-61 77 33. 142-148 82 36. 99-103 44 21. Meas. Second Piano Concerto Second Movement. Second Piano Concerto Third Movement.

Indeed. throughout most of his life. the acclaim accorded him was primarily due to his extraordinary performing abilities. however. Bart6k entered the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest to study piano and composition with Istvan Thomas and Hans Koessler. so he clearly had little influence on his son's musical development. in a district which is now a part of Roumania. Hungary. in Nagyszentmikl6s. and due to such setbacks. He died when Bela was only seven years old. his activity as a pianist superseded that as a composer for several years. 1881. In 1889. respectively. his mother was a wise and prudent woman who took pains to see that her son received a satisfactory education.INTRODUCTION Bela Bart(5k is generally regarded as one of the giants of twentieth-century music. and she was a constant source of encouragement in his musical efforts. Fortunately for the young Bart6k. His indomitable spirit and his ability to absorb outside influences into a distinct and personal style allowed him to make a unique and important contribution to the literature of this century. His father was the director of a government agricultural school and was an amateur musician as well. Bart6k was b o m on March 25. . The latter was extremely critical of the aspiring com- poser's work.

He despised the very thought of teaching composition. By very painstaking means. and their fervor was to spark the investigations into authentic Hungarian folk music for which they are still renowned. During the years 1934-1940. In 1940. Zoltan Kodaly. In 1907. Percussion and Celeste (1936). a position he held until 1934. and Bartok realized painfully that . composition. Bart5k traveled to the United States to perform publicly and to observe what his circumstances would be should he decide to emigrate. and for that reason. save for a few private students to whom he taught the basic principles of notation and orchestration. The forces of Nazi Germany were penetrating deeply into Hungarian government and culture. It was indeed out of authentic folk elements that Bart6k developed a Hungarian style not only independent of German influence. but also possessed of a depth of national origin lacking in the gypsy music of Liszt and his followers. It was during this period that be brought forth several works that are considered by many to be among his most significant: Music for Strings. Both youths were highly nationalistic. Bart5k received an appointment as professor of piano at the Royal Academy. and performing tours. he never did. who was to become a lifelong friend. and the Sixth String Quartet (1939). Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (1937) . he was able to devote all of his time to folk-song research. Bartok and Kodaly recorded and transcribed thousands of folk tunes taken directly from the peasants themselves.The year 1900 brought Bartdk's first meeting with another brilliant young Hungarian.

Choate. . and on September 26. and after a grant from Columbia University ran out.. 37-38. set out to make a new home in a foreign land. and after a brief return to Hungary for the purpose of putting his affairs in order. took a definite turn for the worse. pp. 1945. No label such as "impressionism" or "expressionism" was affixed to his style by the critics. The move was difficult. which had been a constant cause for concern throughout his life. Financial support was difficult to obtain in the United States. a man of fifty-nine years with a profound love for his homeland was not able to effect such a transplant with ease. Bartok's income became dependent upon occasional concert and lecture appearances and fees for commissioned works.his creative liberty was in grave peril. 1969). he and his wife. The following is an apt description of Bart6k as man and composer: B€la Bart6k was a quiet. Yet his contribution to 20th century music was of epic proportion. shy and retiring man. His illness was diagnosed as leukemia. Music of Our Time (Boston: Crescendo Publishing Co. In the course of Nick Rossi and Robert A. he did net develop a "method" or inspire a group of ardent student followers. Ditta. a composer largely unheralded and ignored during his lifetime. In 1943 his health. he died in New York City's West Side Hospital.-'The dichotomy of Bart6k's music is perhaps most noteworthy with respect to the degree to which he drew upon outside sources while always maintaining his own unique style. The decision to emigrate was made shortly.

his work was greatly affected by Brahms. into an unmistakable and personal sound. Frescobaldi. but it was only after Bart6k had discovered them in the course of his own research that he became familiar with the works of Debussy. indeed. Liszt. Beethoven. The French master's music exerted strong influence over Bart6k throughout his life. The rhythmic element in B crt6k's music is particularly characteristic." in which he evokes the sounds and sensations of the night. but. . preceded Le Sacre by one year. as were the folk elements. Allegro barbaro. His studies in authentic folk music were also of paramount importance melodically.his life. Bart6k's strong penchant for irregular rhythms was principally a result of his folk-song research. as well as the old church modes. evidenced not only in the use of modes and pentatonic scales. was quickly assimilated to become an integral and dynamic part of his own style. Bach. From the tunes sung to him by the peasants themselves. as all outside influences. but also in the impressionistic of his "night music. Strauss. Its irregular and at times primitive nature reveals some similarities to certain passages in Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps This is not indicative of a Stravinskian influence on Bartok. Bart6k made extensive use of the pentatonic and various synthetic scales. and Debussy. a classic example of this rhythmic style. to name a few. but all were readily absorbed. These had been employed extensively by Debussy.

In the years since his death. His music is highly contrapuntal. but quietly followed his own path without the defiance of Beethoven and Wagner. the acrid harmonies hindered its general acceptance for many years. much of Bartt5k*s music has a brittle. inversion. they provide a clear picture of the composer's creative development. employing canon. textural treatment was a matter in which he relied heavily upon past masters. and stretto. because they span the years 1909-1939. From all written accounts. Because of his relatively free use of dissonance. for he enjoyed little understanding or encouragement from those around him. Other works which have gained considerable . it seems that he never lost his confidence. his motivation was necessarily an inner force. or even the despair of ever achieving popular understanding that is revealed in the writings of Schoenberg. and development sections are almost continuously contrapuntal. the intimidation of Brahms. Perhaps the works which have received the greatest amount of study and discussion are the six string quartets. As with so many creative artists. with extensive use of canon and fugal devices. percussive sound. It is extraordinary that he pursued his course with such conviction and calm assurance.Although his melodies and rhythms are commonly folk-oriented. Material is often presented contrapuntally in its first statement. many of Bartok's works have achieved and maintained wide popularity and seemingly permanent place in the repertoire. free imitation. however.

but. but consistency of compositional procedure is present beneath the outward contrasts. leaving the work. is heard very little in the standard performance of repertoire. 2. a part of the chamber repertoire. as the Rhapsody. The latter version is practically never heard. The only other work for piano and orchestra is an orchestral transcription of the masterful chamber work. and the similarities in treatment of the piano are obvious.popularity are Allegro barbaro for piano (1911). Mikrokosmos for piano (1926-1939). while the third has acquired a position of comparative popularity in the repertoire. A Scherzo. was also written for piano and orchestra. The first two of the three solo piano concertos are not among Bart6k*s better-known works. The concerto is the epitome of the composer's use of both . Besides the three concertos for solo piano and orchestra. the same year as the Sonata for piano. which was composed originally for solo piano and later scored for piano and orchestra for his entry in the Prix Rubenstein in Paris. for all practical purposes. his first published work. The distinct differences among the concertos can perhaps be attributed to the different stages of the composer's development in which they were completed. and Celeste (1936). Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion into the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. and the Concerto for Orchestra (1943). Percussion. Music for Strings. Op. however. Bartaik wrote a Rhapsody (1905). The first concerto was completed in 1926.

one of Bartt^'s most brittle and 3 "severely classical" works. after which his music gradually becomes more mellow. p. Since Debussy (London: Warburg. the farthest extreme of his unrelenting. trans. percussive style. record notes for Th^e Six String Quartets. A concern for symmetrical design is felt more strongly in this concerto than in either of the others. a concept that can be traced back to the Allegro barbaro of 1911. The second movement introduces the composer's characteristic "night music" to the piano concerto form. The third concerto was the last work completed by Bart6k. It seems that the third quartet marks a turning point in his development." The work is centrally located in Bart6k's creative development and has much in common with the Third String Quartet (1927). . revealing a characteristic of the period in which it was written. although it is still present in places. Columbia Records D3L 317. Seeker and ^James Goodfriend. This musical evocation of bird song and creatures of the night was Introduced in the fourth movement of the Out of Doors suite for piano (1926) and heard again in the central movement of the Fourth String Quartet (1928).piano and orchestra for percussive ends.. 92. By the year of the second concerto's completion (1931). It was undoubtedly this percussive use of the piano that suggested Andr^ Hodier's remark that Bart6k 2 "transformed his piano into a veritable iron tank. He was gravely ill when he began work on it. and labored desperately ^oel Burch. the winding down of Bart5k's percussive style is already felt. 1961).

But the similarities are there upon closer examina- tion. Formally. . a friend and pupil of the composer. In actuality. and the opening movement of each concerto is cast in some semblance of the Classical sonata form. one would scarcely imagine they were conceived by the same mind. Unlike the solo concerto form of Mozart. but the sketch provided a clear indication of how it was to be finished. took over the task. became standard with Beethoven. Bart6k was a classicist. is illustrated below with typical tonal levels. The calm and assurance of the work is unique among the composer's larger repertoire. Exposition Development First theme group (I) Bridge (Modulatory) Second theme group (V) Closing (V) Treatment of material in Exposition in various keys. and Tibor Serly. The chapters that follow provide detailed formal analyses of the three solo piano concertos. with its double exposition and multiplicity of themes. upon initial hearing. etc. and there is no doubt that this farewell work is the farthest extreme of the more melodious style that evolved following the Third String Quartet.8 to complete it before his death. the last seventeen measures were not completed. which in its Classical usage. Recapitulation Coda First group (I) Bridge (Non-modulatory) Second group (I) Closing (I) Sometimes in Mozart. Bartok uses the standard sonata form. contrapuntal devices. its aesthetic is so far removed from that of the first that. employing sequences.

one enjoys the musical satisfaction of hearing the material in its original form in the recapitulation. is principally that of conflict between contrasting themes. the sonata form reaches epic proportions as a harmonic and developmental vehicle. contrasting tonalities. as developed by Haydn and perfected by Mozart. The development section is the heart of the form. most commonly. provides no indication of the monumental work it will unfold. The climax of the movement is reached as the enormous tension created therein resolves into the recapitulation. the form becomes an organic whole. expanding the material by such means as sequence. In this way. With Beethoven. for example. . fugato. tonal conflict. How Bart6k regarded this form and other simpler forms and employed them in the concerto idea. After developmental treatment of the exposition themes. fragmentation. constantly developing and expanding in depth and grandeur. a combination of the two. and. always. The unassuming first theme of the Third Symphony. or. where the conflict in tonality is resolved as well. but by the end of the first movement. The return of material is even more dramatic due to Beethoven's capacity for increasing the significance of a theme in the course of a movement.The Classical idea of sonata form. the material has gained a new dimension. is the subject of the following chapters.

" Despite this inauspicious beginning. the work has gradually become accepted as an important contribution to the twentieth-century repertoire. bombast. 273 Cincinnati Enquirer. 1928. Musical America. But perhaps most difficult to accept was the concept of the piano as an instrument of percussion." The Nation.. it was greeted by such descriptive phrases as "unmitigated ugliness." "tonal chaos. 1928. according to the style in which most piano music is written. In the first piano concerto. "Music. anti-musical. For two cen- turies. A percussive sound was considered a bad sound. Bart6k's bold and biting idiom was startling. 26 Feb. and. to some listeners. 10 .CHAPTER I THE FIRST PIANO CONCERTO When Bartok's Concerto _I for Piano and Orchestra was premiered in New York in 1928.. and nonsense ever perpetrated on an audience in these environs. Bartok unashamedly features the piano as a solo percussion instrument and makes a convincing case for the idea that ^Henrietta Strauss. 126. Despite the fact that extreme dissonance was nothing new in 1928 (Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps made its appearance in 1913). this holds true." and "one of the most dreadful deluges of piffle. ^H. 7 Mar 1928. Noble. indeed. composers and performers had been concerned with the problems of lyricism and tone. attempting to create sounds on the piano that resembled those of the voice or more lyrical instruments. 28 Feb.

Halsey Stevens states that Bartok considered the concerto to be "in E minor. and he manipulates the basic elements of rhythm and intervals to create motives upon which the entire concerto is based. bassoon.11 percussion can indeed be eloquent. however. piccolo. timpani. romantic orchestra. rather than simultaneously—the movement is a bitter. exclusive of the timpani. be placed directly behind the piano. oboe. and strings. referring to the percussion section. then orchestra. relentless struggle. clarinet. In addition. but every motive is so closely related that one comes to realize that almost all the material The Life and Music of B^la Bart6k (New York: Oxford University Press. undoubtedly the major tonal level. concertare (to fight). Bart6k calls for a substantial batteria. The first movement is in classical sonata form. The members and function of this section will be discussed in connection with the second movement. 233. and bass clarinet (one of each). three trombones. There are two primary theme groups in the exposition. English horn. he reveals an amazing capacity for rhythmic expressiveness. that in his preface Bartok states that the percussion instruments should. in which they are most prominent. The work was written for a large. consisting of flute. . As always. or battery." and this is. 1967). It should be mentioned here. From the opening double pedal-point to the final chord—struck first by piano. and trumpet (two of each). p. and it conveys a literal interpretation of the Latin verb from which the term concerto is derived. if possible. four French horns.

38. As is so often the case with Bartok. Consequently. More precise analysis. The uneasy momentum stops for three measures as the brass sustain an ominous Bb-M-G#-A_ chord. particularly of the development section. it is not an extraneous motive. 1). 366-387 1st group 388-408 Bridge 409-440 2nd group 441-462 Closing Meas. £-Ab (Ex. follows. both rhythmically and intervallically. containing no extraneous material.12 is derived from one motive. 463-482 It opens with a thirty-seven-measure introduction. 1-37 Meas. 22. this time to be interrupted by a rhythmic motive in the horns based on a minor third. At m. in octaves. the bassoons. the double pedal makes a two- measure appearance. stated in the introduction. Introduction Exposition Development Meas. pitting a six-measure low B^ pedal in piano and timpani against an A in horns and trombones. the movement is very closely constructed. The pedal resumes. but one upon which almost every other principal motive in the movement is based.64 1st group 65-100 Bridge 101-130 2nd group 131-162 Closing Meas. state a . 163-180 181-188 189-233 234-248 249-269 270-333 334-366 Recapitulation Coda Meas. After six measures. The following outline presents a summary of the formal plan.

2 ) . and d_ (Ex. will be heard many more times. and the climax is reached in m. The two instruments participate in a short rhythmic dialogue. but by this time the piano has moved up to A. this time on the level of E^//-G#. and c[ is the basis for a closing of the first group in meas. and an accelerando leads the piano into the exposition and statement of the first theme group. and contains four important motives. creating an ambiguous D minor-major sound. Rhythmic compression heightens the tension as the thirds are sequenced up by step. a seemingly insignificant sixteenth-note upbeat. 82. First Movement.13 Example 1. The tonal level seems to be A. The bridge begins in m. the basic material is twelve measures long. 66. In any case. 50-65. c_. The timpani enters a final time on B^. referred to here as a_. Meas. 13-17 slightly modified version of the minor third motive. Motive b^ reveals both F_ and F// present melodically. Motive c_ is derived from the introduction motive. significantly on JB. which is somewhat confusing in the light of Bartok's description of the concerto as being in E. The woodwinds imitate the last two measures of the group. and motive ^. First Piano Concerto. . b^. with parallel thirds in the piano and motive jd used to signal each change of tonal level.

the horn providing the imitation at the distance of one measure. the piano plays rising octave triplets. 38-49 PU ^o ^ y . 82. although the scalar motion has become stepwise oscillation between two notes.^ ^ff t t^ ^ ju f r Hte H- f:^ dominant of the dominant in the key of A_. First Piano Concerto. and the passage ends in conflict—the same chord struck alternately by piano and orchestra six times. Against this.-^ f t.14 Example 2. 3).#. Already the motive is in canonic inversion. The piano revels in parallel . The rhythm of the motive is maintained at m. 94. .-. chords. This has produced the . First Movement. while the strings continue with the d^motive. Meas. The horn and trombone have the most important material at m. stating a motive that will be of developmental interest (Ex.

being a fifth above A. However. the material in meas. . Meas. 163 is definitely developmental. Thus. deleting only the closing to the first group and the central portion of the bridge. First Piano Concerto. C^. and the piano enters with a light eight-measure phrase. provide a more fitting close to the exposition. rather. which. The second group offers temporary relief from the severity of the material thus far. this time struck eight times. as the sforzando chords in alternation between piano and orchestra. but. At this point a case might be made for the beginning of the development section. and the feeling at m. Strings prepare with an E-F//-B chord.15 Example 3. 82-85 Tryj^yd 5 y J J >—A T^vfcft^r f-Vr > Tf sense of a tonal center on E^. again derived from the introduction motive. this material is not treated developmentally. is repeated almost in its entirety. 131. The piano continues with a sixteenth-note excursion in changing meter derived from motive d^ until a ritardando signals a return of first theme group material in m. would be the logical key for the second theme group in a classical sonata form. First Movement. 131-162 functions as a closing section. since the first material is present on a different tonal level.

rather than the exact inversion of the exposition. 181). 189. and Bb (m. First clarinet and second bassoon state it first. The tonal plan is not so far removed from the traditional concept as might be imagined. The piano enters with rhythmic material constructed in diminished octaves (D-Db) and major seconds (Db-Eb). The brass and woodwinds reinforce the intervals of the preceding piano material. but development continues. . The second clarinet and bassoon state the ascending bridge motive in octaves. although the texture is not dense. C (m. Intervals of diminished octave and major second are again present. The other woodwind and brass instruments contribute the head of the motive. and finally B. to Eb. The bridge motive (Ex. again treated in canon one measure apart. resolving up to A. but do not complete it. but this time in a free mirrored form between various pairs of instruments. and travels to D (m. The bridge motive reappears in m. just as the pedal B^ in the introduction moved up to the level of B at the beginning of the movement. Bb. beginning in m. The development begins on the level of G. touching on F. and the piano continues with cadenza-like figurations and glissandi. and a triple pedal-point (D-Db-Eb) gives the passage a static quality. 270). followed by bass clarinet and English horn for seven and finally oboe and second bassoon for seven measures. for seven measures. and this serves as a transition into the next section of the development. as the piano descends into treatment of the introduction motive (Ex.16 The development is principally contrapuntal. 226). This resolves down a fifth. 221. F//. 3) opens the development. 4). presumably into the recapitulation.

^J J j i j fT—^-F V'D TU\ '. In m. extending to m. 245. Beginning in m. are presented in the piano in the same rhythm as in the preceding section. the ostinato returns in the piano on Bb-Eb-Ab.17 Example 4. a C--G_ ostinato is treated in canon between the bass line of the piano and the contrabass. reinforced by the timpani. and particularly establishing the importance of the Bb level. 234-244. In meas. In m. which are derived from the opening of the bridge. The woodwinds accompany with the upbeat figure from motive d^. strings and bassoons take . accompanying the same material. 249. The material is in imitation at the ninth in the piano. At the same time. parallel thirds. and the section that began in m. l\fi n 7—^-^ ^t± t c C^l- m. 189 is transposed up to the level of GGb-Ab. The woodwinds state the bridge motive again in m.-V -J-r^ f^ _-3^ in canon at the second. 201-206 'lCLt\(. 270. 286. between the second clarinet and bassoon. First Movement. 270. a canon based on derivation of the introduc- tion takes place between piano and clarinet. Meas. First Piano Concerto. \drhpi C^ ^>^- f^ 7.

entering on an upbeat F^. Beginning in m. chords are deleted from the bridge. the piano plays a brilliant oscillating chord cluster. However. 5). Indeed. After several more measures of changing meter and fragments of the a_motive. The closing of first theme material. the trumpets and trombones slide down through motive b^. the propulsion of the development is not resolved. the motive enters sporadically on many different tonal levels. at last on the correct tonal level. horns and trumpets dramatically present the return of the motive. finally. The woodwinds state it first on D^. The piano plays the octave triplets. In bitter mockery. none of which is the original. and the parallel . A. The clarinets screech it on high Bb. with the return of motive a_. more importantly. and. piano on F#. as opposed to the descending motion in the exposition. Soloist and orchestra compete in a relentless accelerando. The piano enters immediately to play it as it was heard in the exposition and continues on with the entire first theme in essentially the original form. then the piano. 409. while the strings treat motive d_ in exciting folk rhythms characteristic of Bartok. . then strings and flute on Eb. ascending. presumably to the recapitulation. utilizing motive d_. a desperate Fx-G# entrance in the piano. it appears that the recapitulation might occur at the Tempo I in m. which lasts thirty measures. a pianissimo entrance in the strings carrying fragments of the motive in imitation. playing the F^ and F// simultaneously (Ex. 334. and. is shortened considerably.18 over the ostinato. A.

369-370 'Tr* rnlsc •'! ^ ^vifiTTr^ This breaks in m. in canon between the hands. The piano enters a measure later with the first four measures of the second group. taken from the last part of the bridge. and trombone.. recapitulation). an extended statement of the second theme is presented in meas. since its dramatic recapitulation should be left without further comment. Materials in the horns. first movement. but. after which the parallel thirds from the bridge return for nine measures. . to bring back the first theme. No key signature appears in the orchestra. trumpet. the thirds signal a return of the closing section that ended the exposition. where. nor would it have been fitting. and canon. barline displacement. First Movement. more likely. and the coda begins in m. 415 for a rhythmically compressed return of the second theme. Then. Bartok creates an enormous closing momentum. form a short transitional passage. a key signature is found. rather exceptionally. and the passage was probably written in this way to facilitate reading.19 Example 5. Fifth String Quartet. This reversal of theme recapitulation might be suggestive of Bartok's regard for symmetry (cf. employing the first four notes. Meas. 463 with an intense eighth-note pedal in the strings on £-F//-M-A//-E^. First Piano Concerto. however. It was not necessary. 425-441. Material from the second group is exploited for sixteen measures. After more chord clusters and treatment of motive d_.

The percussion is for three performers. c_. the following being most important: seconds. Once again. and gong. it relies on rhythmic and intervallic elements as opposed to harmonic and melodic. A numeral placed beside a note refers the performer to the preface. with the exception of the horns. bass drum.) and senza corde (£. To an even greater degree than the first movement. are absent from the movement. exclusive of timpani. triangle. A close examination reveals remarkable creativity in development of a simple rhythm and certain intervals. with a belated entrance by the woodwinds. Strings and brass. The central section is a polymodal episode presented by the woodwinds over a piano ostinato based on the three-note motive. two hanging. The second movement is perhaps the most extraordinary in the concerto. both major and minor. the woodwinds state the rising bridge motive in imitation at the distance of one measure. where the specific instructions are given. and Bartok provides meticulous instructions for how each note is to be played.20 At m. con corde (c. respectively. perfect and . even more directly than in the first movement.c. two to be played against one another. sists of: The battery con- two side drums. and piano.) . four cymbals. the piano is employed as a percussive instrument. its initial and concluding sections are based on a simple rhythmic motive of three eighth-notes. 474. ^-F#-£-B^. The entire first sec- tion is performed by the battery. In ternary form. one with and one without snares. fourths. or percussion section. and the entire force moves relentlessly to the final chord.

^ The movement opens with the motive of three eighth-notes in the timpani. The rhythm is maintained on beats two and three on the side drum. Bgla B a r t o k (London: Kahn and A v e r i l l . 60. Example 6. Bart6k felt that the traditional system of notation was inadequate for twentieth-century music based on a system of twelve more or less equal tones. probably have no significance tonally. Second Movement. but are used for the sake of readability. The piano enters in the fifth measure with the three eighth-notes in seconds and the dotted quarter-notes in fourths (Ex.£. First Piano Concerto. . 6). answered by three consecutive dotted quarter-notes on the hanging cymbal. Enharmonic spellings. such as a diminished octave rather than a major seventh. s_. 5-8 <a^so 8 p. This is repeated three times. E m o L e n d v a i .21 augmented. and major and minor ninths. with the number of measures assigned to the dotted-quarter note reduced by one each time. major sevenths. 1971). Meas.

while the other percussion instruments follow the phrasing of the piano.22 At irregular intervals. The bass states the first motive of the canon in inversion in m. the material is more melodic. and a three-measure unit is treated in canon at the aiagmented and perfect fourth. In meas. respectively. 7). 30-39. composed of sixteenth-notes in major sevenths (Db-C). in contrast with the brittleness of the opening material. 35. In meas. 32-35 . Meas. First Piano Concerto. Second Movement. the timpani enters with the three eighth-notes. Example 7. there is a short transitional passage in the piano. in the three upper voices (Ex. The pas- sage is flowing and rhapsodic. 1) It is contrapuntally conceived and is accompanied by echoes of the three eighth-notes in the side drums. 21-29. bearing a notable resemblance to the introduction motive in the first movement (see Ex. The lines are constructed in major and minor seconds.

. The motive returns in a clearcut form in m. s^. Meas. respectively. 51 (Ex. the latter entering with the motive on the third note of the former. five measures later.c_. 51-55 . 69. and the oboe makes the first non-percussive appearance in m. harmony is static. 39-50 with a D-F-J/Z-A chord which recalls motive b^ in the first movement (see Ex. Second Movement. although it is related intervallically to what has gone before and cannot free itself from association with the basic three-note motive. 60.23 Bartok employs his characteristic major-minor sound in meas. as well as that of the flute and clarinet four and eight measures later. 8). is treated in stretto between piano and side drum. The material in the oboe. First Piano Concerto. A third idea appears in m. 2). is again Example 8. and there is no recognizable melody. They continue the motive by alternating notes for three measures. The three-note rhythmic motive is retained in this passage. and.

24 constructed of major and minor seconds and appears to be merely a forecast of the woodwind entrances that will begin in m. 85. With the next entrance. Second Movement. This is then stated on E Aeolian in the English horn beginning in m. First Piano Concerto. followed one measure later by a free inversion in the bassoon on F// Mixolydian. which leads back to the motive. 91. with a melody on A Aeolian. two-part stretto between the hands develops into an ostinato pattern of major sevenths in m. 72-73 and again in meas. 76-77. The clarinet begins in m. In meas. 79-81. in meas. the melody begins to undergo minor Example 9. 72-73 r/'g /I o _^y ^ t_!trif-^r . 91. The motive is in four-part stretto. the piano states a two-voiced canon at the major seventh. 100. Meas. This ostinato marks the beginning of the central section of the movement and prevails throughout the section beneath a polymodal and contrapuntal web created by the woodwinds. A short. 9). in the three voices of the piano and the side drums (Ex.

in m. Seven measures later. it is thickened to five notes. In m. The oboe enters in m. creating almost continual variation or development. one measure later in the clarinet on Bb Mixolydian. The piano has by no means been uninvolved in the excitement of this section. The cluster technique may be a questionable one. but it cannot be denied that Bartok used it here in an intelligent and logical manner. oboe. After twelve measures. the point of climax is reached with the entrance of the horns and the high unison wailing of flutes. and. a major seventh. and the clusters are increased to six notes. in each hand. and clarinets. with the entrance of the English horn in m. 108 on A Aeolian. as in the opening section. 142. with minor changes. creating a perfect and augmented fourth in each hand. 119. 126. in both flute and clarinet.25 alterations on each hearing. The ostinato begins with two notes. on A Dorian. and with the dual entrance of flut*e and clarinet in m. and the middle section fades to pianissimo in m. 131. 119. a middle note is added. the transitory passage heard in m. and mounts to a climax in m. 100. After seven measures. and the gradual thickening and rapid thinning of the clusters strongly enhance the drama of the climax. It leads. The entire woodwind section is in force by m. Bart6k uses the ostinato to build up enormous chord clusters. and the clusters are diminished—three measures of five notes. Intensity gradually diminishes after this. into a melodic . 21 returns. and three of two. joined by the horns. 142. the tension begins to relax. This prevails for nineteen measures. three of three.

215. and the coda begins in m. A clos- ing section featuring the motive and echoes of the major seventh transitional passage begins in m.^.c_. Because its motives are so closely related. only. and side drums. and the material in meas.£_. 51-55. and a sixteen-measure transition leads into the finale without a pause. 165-169 is comparable to that in meas.26 line of major and minor seconds. this time heard in the woodwinds. and the movement is left to close with the three-note motive from which it started. respectively. 159. Meas. then left to piano and side drum ^. This leads to the D majorminor sonority in m. The basic plan is as follows: Exposition Meas. £. but is not as clearly constructed as the first movement. 357-387 388-396 396-462 Coda . 188. 39. timpani. and the recapitulation is changed greatly from the exposition. This time. 462-534 1st group Bridge 2nd group expanded . The tempo changes to Allegro in m. It is heard in stretto again among piano. and s^. it is often difficult to determine exactly what is being developed. The three-note motive is again treated in stretto from piano to clarinet to timpani to side drums. A brief recall of the middle section by the clarinet and bassoon fade quickly. 178. Its form is also the classical sonata form. 210-356 Recapitulation Meas. while the piano presents the three-note motive. similar to that of m. 1-50 51-88 88-116 117-147 148-209 Development 1st group Bridge 2nd group Transition Closing Meas. the two-part canon at the minor second is between piano and woodwinds. . The third movement of the concerto is truly remarkable for its economy. however.

27 The first motive is anticipated in the transition by the drums and timpani. Meas. 51). Meas. The movement proper begins at the Allegro molto. First Piano Concerto. Third Movement a. the motives are constructed in major and minor seconds. where the orchestra begins an ostinato that extends fifty-five measures on the tonal center of E.) of the first movement. Once again. The complete first section lasts through m. 5-7 b. but it is composed of three main motives (Ex. The piano enters with a rhythmic motive on E^ that is similar to the opening motive (a. 18) and up melodically back to the tonic (m. Example 10. 50. while the trombones make jeering glissandi. 10) that are repeated and alternated in interrupted phrases that move melodically to the dominant (m. It might be noted that motive b^ bears a resemblance to the sixteen-note motive d_ in the first movement. 11-14 .

Meas. Meas. Example 11. 57. 30-31 M. in m. 57-62 ^^1. the tonal level appears to be C^//. At this point. in the strings. 11). 53-56. stating it in canon at the seventh for six measures (Ex. In m. First Piano Concerto. due to the apparent dominant. The bridge motive returns in m. while the piano plays percussive chords (G#-D#-E^) in alternation between the hands. Third Movement. G^//. and. 63.28 c. 51. the piano presents a motive that will be the basis for most of the movement.-^. 65. with the strings overlapping the ostinato for five measures.i^ ^t±^ S^ The bridge begins in m. . it moves to B^ for a sequential statement of the chords heard in meas.i.

This contrary motion is an idea that will be of great importance in the course of the movement. Scalar material related to the bridge motive is heard in the oboes. The trombones have the motive next. Meas. the piano states a sequential canon at the twelfth. clarinets. 103. First Piano Concerto. based on the head of the bridge motive. The tonal level is not clear. 76-81. 12). but after each phrase. but it quickly begins to change and develop into a pattern of contrary motion between the hands (Ex. also derived from the bridge motive. one measure apart. there is a stepwise answering phrase in fifths in the oboe and English horn. which is stated first in the trumpet (Ex. the piano and woodwinds rise to an apparent resolution on A. and the clarinet enters another Example 12. This is promptly treated in canon by the bassoon one measure later.29 initially in canon. and bassoon in contrary motion in meas. The principal motive of the second group is a free inversion of the head of the bridge motive. Beginning in m. Third Movement. in imitation at the fourth. The accompanying figure in the piano in m. In meas. 88 prepares the entrance of the second group. 84-88. 13). 68-71 .

180. 110. the level seems to have moved to C//. Closing material is again taken from the bridge motive. material. This passage never really resolves. in canon at the fifth between piano and strings. and the closing section begins. in m. but. 163. The key signature is that of F#. In m. I^&^R4 measure later with similar. 117. In m. 148.30 Example 13. but not exact. . First Piano Concerto. This lasts for seven measures. and. although their lines are similar. In m. Third Movement. at which time the bridge material is again treated in canon between the hands of the piano. but moves into a transition in m. Meas. 92-95 ^ ±. and this seems to be the tonal center of the passage. r__#. The woodwinds state contrapuntal material based on a perfect fourth. one measure apart. the piano is again treating the bridge motive in contrary motion. oboe and clarinet participate in a canon at the octave with bass clarinet and bassoon. they are not exact. and no real imitation is taking place. this time at the interval of a diminished octave and lasting for seven measures.

The timpani turns the motive into a two-measure ostinato pattern that will continue for twenty-six measures. It is undoubtedly derived from the bridge motive. 256. As the timpani presents the motive. put the various elements together into a long development theme. and the timpani picks it up to lead into the development in m. coming to a climax in m. Beginning in m. but it is almost as if BarttSk. The motive is treated in imitation between the hands. but subsequent statements are shortened. not only for the unique sound effect. it is eighteen measures long. the trombone states . the piano breaks into sixteen measures of an oscillating chord cluster. then heard in the strings. 208. answered by the piano. practically the only real theme in the movement. 222. 182.31 the material is expanded into octaves in each hand. but also because the horns are presenting what is almost a new theme on I^ (Ex. Here the rhythm suggests the opening motive of the movement. and the line rises steadily by step. Continued statements of the same motive are heard in piano and strings until m. which creates a fantastic shimmering effect. still in contrary motion. and it serves as a basis for the next thirty-two measures of the piano part. a form of the motive is stated in con- trary motion in the woodwinds. indeed. after a highly motivic exposition. 210. the piano plays motive c^. As it is initially stated. with chromatic sixteenthnote flourishes in the flutes and strings. In m. This is a truly remarkable moment in the piece. 14). At this point. In addition to this. the piano presents motive b^.

300. In meas. the strings enter with the theme once again on F^. In m. and the piano is accompanying with playful sixteenth-note figures. 256-272. apparently not associated with any previous motives. but only the oboe completing it. l^^-ni (Truncated) I t^M-^^l- ^&- ftW^' « ^^WW^. 290. in a stretto with the strings. oboes. tP counterpoint that is also based on the bridge motive (Ex. while the piano accompanies with more sixteenth-note figures. This is heard in a different instrument every time the main development theme is stated. and clarinet carrying the counterpoint. Third Movement. the piano's sixteenth-note figure states the theme in the upper octave on Bb. (Meas. 284. . In m.32 Example 14. the first flute takes over the development theme on the level of Bb. and. the flutes state a treatment of b^ that was previously stated in the piano. 272. the woodwinds state a compressed version of the theme on F#. with flutes. The bassoon is carrying the counterpoint. First Piano Concerto. In m. 15). in m.

After a gentle accompanying figure. it is worth noting the apparent significance with which Bartok treats the timpani. beginning at m.33 Example 15. as the strings have a three-part stretto on the first three measures of the theme. stating it in descending sequence. the piano takes over the motive at m. on the levels of A. 353 signals the approach of the recapitulation. adding rhythmic reinforcement to the ideas being presented. Rhythmic compression creates an accelerando effect. At this point. in a greatly altered form. 338. the piano states sixteenth-note figures of a minor ninth. It is used in dialogue with the piano in the first group. lbl-111 (Truncated) }rorr\lot.rse. and Bb. A timpani entrance in m. while the brass instruments state the three quarter-notes that start the development theme. F//. 320. First Piano Concerto. and does not . D. each entry a quarter note closer to the preceding one. which occurs. 357. A lyrical passage begins in m. [~-^^ ^ b^- 3^ ff- In m. 312. It drops out at the bridge. as the development theme is reduced to a motive harking back to the bridge. Third Movement Meas.

Both motives a and b are treated by the piano. ornamented with sixteenth-notes in the right hand of the piano. again. 419. This factor. the timpani again drops out. an ostinato in the strings (and timpani). The second group appears in m. 388 the bridge begins. Here it is present so long as mater- ial from the first group is being treated. Once again. 462. and it plays its final note in m. and the flutes take up the material in m. the left-hand material is strikingly similar to the introduction theme of the first movement. as the timpani drops out gradually and the piano moves into a bombastic octave passage. as well as the closing momentum following suggests that the coda begins in m. The material in meas. The oboe joins in m. The development theme returns in the trumpet on C in m. as well as an integral part of the first group material. and b^ is heard further in the woodwinds in m. The hands move in contrary motion. In m.34 reappear until the development. Bartok seems to regard it as a herald of the important sections. 376. 452. 407. this time resting until it is called upon to signal the recapitulation. just as the woodwinds are moving in contrary parallel thirds. 256. 462. the bridge . When the development theme is stated in m. The timpani has been struck and rolled intermittently throughout this section. 413. while the piano concerns itself with a variation on the countersubject. In m. but it is also the first three notes of the bridge motive. 435-451 is based exclusively upon the bridge motive in its original form. The piano carries the principal material over. 398 in the English horn with an accompanying figure in the piano.

482.35 motive in contrary motion is the essence of the material through m. . and still is. and. a final statement of the durable bridge motive is heard. Whether or not one considers the concerto a pleasant piece to listen to. and soloist move in contrary motion to the final open fifth. sure of pirpose almost to the point of defiance. E-B. trills. Its percussive treatment of the piano. with changing meters and offbeat doublestops in the strings providing characteristic Bartokian excitement. move one to question its musicality. it would be difficult to deny that Bartok communicates through the work. and arpeggios in the upper registers. Although it employed concepts of sound not familiar to most listeners. From m. In a manner reminiscent of Beetho- ven's middle period. In meas. The entire orchestra. while the woodwinds present material resembling that of the bridge. not his full maturity. the inter- est is entirely rhythmic. with virtuosic runs. it does not come across as an experimental work. and a master of compositional technique. especially. a controversial piece. 519 to the end. the vio- lent nature of almost every measure of the work. Bart€k's First Piano Concerto was. again in contrary motion. The woodwind material is decorative in this passage. rising rhythmically in the piano. and the foolishness of debating such a question is obvious. 491-519. including timpani. but it is in no way a young piece. Here the piano plays glissandi. But this brings us to the inevitable question of just what music really is. Bartok emerges in complete control. It is a product of Bart<^k's maturity. to be sure.

The most obvious manifestations are the derivation of most of the third movement materials from the first movement and the closeness to arch form of the second movement. thus making the entire work identifiable as a middle point in Bart6k's activity with the piano concerto. The chorale of the second movement looks toward the Adagio religioso of the third concerto. due to Bartok's omission of strings from the scoring. But. It is generally less percussive and not quite so intense. The Life and Music of Bela Bartok. 241 36 . p. It is indicative of the fascination with sym- metry that characterizes the composer's later works. and it is conceived in a more virtuosic manner. the melodic devices of con- trary motion and inversion of themes is present to a great degree as well.CHAPTER II THE SECOND PIANO CONCERTO The Second Piano Concerto was completed in 1931. The sound throughout the movement is very bright. with a rhyth9 mic vitality not unlike that of Bach. when Bartok was fifty years old. The over-all character of the work is very different from that of the first concerto. 9 Stevens. on a smaller scale. The violent rhythms so prevalent in the first concerto are used to a far lesser degree here. although many of the same techniques are employed. The opening movement is extremely contrapuntal. and the motion seems to be perpetual from beginning to end.

with motive b^ in one-measure sequences on C. and oboe. The piano takes the forefront again in m. a. 180-199 200-211 212-221 222-253 254-283 Meas. c_. 8. stated by the trumpet.F# 95-118 119-135 136-154 155-172 173-179 Recapitulation (Themes inverted) Coda Meas. states motive b^ in D. In m. respectively (Ex. The prevailing tonal level is G through m. 18. Meas. 10. £) G 32-57 Bridge G-Bb 58-74 2nd statement (Motives b^. 25 is almost comic—the horns have developed an ostinato-like pattern of continuous eighth-notes. reinforced on the afterbeat by timpani and woodwinds. the flutes begin an imitative passage on motive £_. 284-307 1st group (Motives b. The effect from here to m. Gb. a.G 1st statement (Motives a. one measure later. 1-73 1-31 1st group . including major tonal centers: Exposition Development Meas. 13. c) G Bridge G Stretto on a. the piano In m. 31. and it seems as if. and Ab.)-Bb-G 74-81 Transition Ab 82-94 2nd group . ternary first group. then sequences it in C. V/G Solo cadenza 2nd group (Modified) The first theme is composed of three motives. is diagrammed below. followed at the distance of a measure by the oboes and. piano. the piano discovers that . featuring a large. clarinets. b^. at m.37 The formal plan. Eb. although the motives are heard on many other levels in the course of the section. 16).

follows. and third trumpet. until the eighth-note accompaniment fades out at m. The piano regains his poise and makes a fortissimo statement of motive b^. Entrances begin falling one beat apart. First trumpet states it first. followed two measures later by first horn. Meas. and two beats later. 23. second trumpet. third horn. Second Piano Concerto. second trumpet. A unison statement of the ascending figure in the woodwinds signals the beginning of a bridge passage. first trumpet. 1-7 he is expounding upon the motive without any orchestral support or interest. first trumpet. again on the level of G. followed by fragmentation in stretto: the four ascending sixteenth-notes at the end of the motive played half a beat apart by the brass instruments for two measures. to close the first statement of the first theme group. first horn. with third trumpet.38 Example 16. A stretto passage on motive a. First Movement. . He flounders with fragments for two measures.

It is constructed of sixteenth-note triplets. in flute and clarinet. Second Piano Concerto. the bridge motive is heard again in oboe and bassoon and. 17). with sixteenth-note quadruplets in the woodwinds and horns. 32 to m. although it is not an exact statement of any of them. It bears a close resemblance to all three motives of the first group. Measures 33 and 34 are in almost exact mirror imitation between the hands. The piano ornaments with more sixteenth-note triplets. extending from m. however. 34 that is heard throughout the bridge (Ex. Measures 44 and 45 contain a mirror canon at the octave in the piano. one measure later. At m. First Movement. Another passage of mirror imitation takes place in the piano in measures 36 and 37. The tonality is apparently shifting.39 The bridge is quite lengthy. usually in contrary motion in the piano. 57. 41. the clarinet has been emphasizing a tritone ^-D-Ab since the beginning of the bridge. The ambiguous nature of this interval may be a deliberate effort to avoid establishing a clear tonality. The oboe states a motive in m. as no definite level seems to be established at any time. Meas. 33-34 ^ ^ - . at the distance of half a beat. 46 begins a sequence Example 17. and m.

at which point the sequence drops every half-beat for twd beats. which normally would be expected at this point. Because of the instability of the tonal level. again in G. this time with the flute answering on the variant. Instead of a new theme. another stretto passage. At m. At measure 68. and D in the three measures after. The sequence moves from G to Db by m. motive c is treated accordingly. 55. G.40 between the hands. as Bartok is using motive b^ in a surprisingly traditional circle of fifths. and in the second half of the measure. the dominant of the key in which this section began. Bassoon and oboe carry the motive again. the piano establishes an ostinato pattern that lasts for six measures. it appears that the bridge has not ended. takes place. In measure 69. drops a third on every half-beat. this time on the level of Bb. 25-30. where the piano breaks the ostinato pattern and presumably winds up the bridge passage with a continuously repeated four-note pattern that comes to an abrupt halt in m. Oboe and bassoon state it one beat apart. followed by a variant of the motive in the clarinet in m. Bartok brings back motive b^ of the first thematic group. 57. 48. moving from Db to Ab to Eb. comparable to that in meas. 49. The oboe and clarinet imitate at the distance of one beat after each statement of the motive in the piano. each figure dropping a half-step every beat. It does not remain on this level for long. moving to F in the following measure. while the woodwinds once again state the bridge motive. 50. then to C. the first imitation at the . Repetitions of the motive and fragmentation extend to m.

Meas. At measure 82. The section ends on a chord built in fifths sounded in the brass instruments. The chord is picked up immediately by the piano and used in an exciting rhythmic dialogue with timpani (Ex. First Movement. another example of his concern for symmetry.41 distance of three beats. Second Piano Concerto. 74-75 I i/y^^^n I . and the remaining three at the distance of one beat. 18). This transitional episode lasts for eight measures and is reminiscent of the percussive style of the First Concerto. the mood is suddenly Example 18. Bartok's construction suggests a ternary first theme group.

Meas. respectively. oboe. Second Piano Concerto. 86. 74.42 Tranquillo. the hands moving in an almost exact mirror pattern. the horns enter with motive d_ and an extension that appears to be derived from the bridge motive (Ex. and four beats. First Movement. Beginning in m. two. in unison. 99. The woodwinds repeat the first fragment of Example 19. 95 which begins with the percussive material of m. motive d. Again. The sequence leads directly into the development section in m. 20). 82-83 ^'^' ^ . This figure. it is treated in stretto by bassoon. it is based on fifths. It is repeated a fifth higher by the horns in m. and the second theme group is heard in the piano (Ex..5 - . two beats later. clarinet. entering at distances of one. 19). the piano treats the motive in canon between the hands in a descending sequential pattern. In m. In measures 89-93. will be of great importance in the development. 103 and heard in close stretto by the woodwinds. and flute.

112 and up an augmented second in m. Piano and woodwinds begin a descending sequence on the last four sixteenth-notes of the motive. the piano treats the material from m. The flute echoes the statement on a level a tritone away from the piano's (Db-A_) . progressing D//-C#-B-A-G-C. 118. The momentum continues with the support of the orchestra. it breaks into a two-measure canon at the octave. 114. Motive b^ is stated by the piano in a complete change of mood. In meas. until it comes to an abrupt halt at the end of m. SH nsB 4^' the motive an octave higher in m. and before it is complete. First Movement Meas. which is again followed by the A .43 Example 20. followed by the piano on F^. The oboe states motive a. and the horn enters in the middle of the measure with a fragment from the second part of the motive. the piano states just the first measure on the level of D. Second Piano Concerto. trombone horn. Throughout the section. marked leggiero. The horn answers on G//. 128-131. and at m. 110. using sixteenth-note material loosely based on the second part of the motive. The canon is sequenced up a half-step in m. 106. 74. but it is cut short by a unison Bb in the orchestra and the four descending sixteenthnotes. 99-103 ikthdT_t •S. and trumpet have a short reference to the stretto passage on motive a_ that twice closed the first theme group.

The oboes state motive c_. The return begins with an inversion of motive b^. 165. 151. left hand. after which a single fragment is sequenced between piano and woodwinds. material from m. followed by clarinet. each at the distance of one measure. 146. oboe. with a subject derived from motive c_ being treated imitatively by piano and woodwinds. Right hand imitates left to begin. Beginning in m. the motive is fragmented. right hand again. and in m.44 four sixteenth-notes. 142. a statement of just the first four notes of the motives by each of the woodwinds. the entries occur one beat apart. \ Beginning at m. the piano begins. beginning in m. and finally. less percussively this time. Entries occur in right hand. The brass section enters quickly . After a pause full of expectation at m. Beginning in m. 135. This leads to a climax in the winds at m. followed by a statement of the same by the clarinets. some with the head of the motive inverted and with the statements gradually being cut short from the original motive. and the piano sweeps up to the recapitulation. until m. The piano has motive c once again at m. 173. where the piano states the entire motive. 74. flute. It does indeed sound very Bach-like. clarinet. 155 is a passage that has been compared to the invention style of Bach. and bassoon. oboe. 169. reminiscent of the Fifth String Quartet. bassoon. at which point the piano takes up the motive in its inverted form. Fragmentation occurs through m. 159. This is one of the most striking examples of Bart^k's symmetrical design. continuously sequencing. The orchestra states the motive in five-part stretto. 180. an inversion of the head of motive a is heard in the bassoon and horn.

The orchestra builds. in contrary motion. 231-234. the clarinets present motive £ in inversion. although the entire passage is based on motive a. 200. 212 one finds one of Bartok's most creative strokes with regard to symmetry. 21). Meas. and from meas. Second Piano Concerto. The piano makes a descending glissando to the beginning of the bridge passage in m. First Movement. The passage that goes to m. marked fortissimo. and in m. being tossed about imitatively as in the exposition. Only the first part of the motive is used in the first eight measures. Meas. 193. is a stretto section based on a retrograde inversion of the motive (Ex. The first section lasts through m. All the woodwinds join in treatment of £. In m. Another piano sweep comparable to meas. 212-213 Ho r JI 5 . 220. leading to the cadenza. 178-179 leads to another statement of b^. and the triplet figure of the bridge is also inverted. the four ascending sixteenth-notes are developed in imitation.. the left hand inverting the motive.45 with motive a in stretto and also inverted. The bridge motive in the woodwinds is inverted as well. 234 and is concerned with stretto between the hands. to an open fifth on A-D^-A. The second Example 21. while the piano ornaments with running figures. 182-187 reveal more Hdrror writing between the hands of the piano. The solo cadenza falls into three principal sections.

In m.46 section is a continuous statement of the motive in the right hand against parallel triads in the left. with fragments of the development motive in the flutes and oboes. corresponds with the stretto sections that closed important sections in the bulk of the movement. Flute and clarinet state d_ next in m. The development motive is in stretto in horns. A two-part stretto between the two trumpets. The third section begins at m. 281. 256. The piano plays a virtuosic scale of ascending triad . 260-261. The flute states motive a^ to begin the coda. the left hand leading this time. 243-244. Motive d_ is in three-part stretto in horns. followed by a statement of the same by the piano. 258-259. 238. the section closes with the last four sixteenth-notes of the motive in descending stretto. The piano maintains a continuous sixteenthnote accompaniment throughout: this section. and the motive that was added to it in the development is treated in imitation and inversion in meas. 261-262. and in meas. bassoons. The same motive continues to be heard in stretto at various times through m. bassoons. one of them with an inversion of the a_ motive. 247. and this treatment closes the cadenza. and clarinets in meas. Measure 282 contains a piano trill that makes the transition to the coda. the motive is shortened to the first five notes for purposes of stretto. The recapitulation continues at m. 245 with close stretto on the inversion of a_. just the opposite of the close of the previous section. and clarinets in meas. 254. The right hand begins to fragment the motive at m. where the clarinets and bassoons state motive d_.

chords, while the trumpet plays a closing fanfare.

The piano plays a

sweeping ascending scale, and the ensemble ends on a G Major chord.
The second movement could be analyzed as a ternary form, but
it is suggestive of the arch form that Bartok found so appropriate
for the inner movement of his most symmetrical works. The initial
and closing sections of the movement consist of a strangely beautiful
chorale constructed in fifths, alternating with a dialogue between
piano and timpani. These sections enclose a frantic scherzo which,
in turn, encloses a section of Bartok's characteristic night music.
The following diagram outlines the formal plan:
Opening section (A)


Central section (B)

Meas. 1-88 Scherzo
89-165 Night
166-208 Scherzo

Closing section (A)

1- 9


The opening of the movement is a beautiful contrast to the
bright timbre of the first movement. Whereas strings were totally
absent from the former, they are the sole participants in the first
twenty-one measures of this movement, a chorale opening on the vertical structure of £-C-£-£-A-E^ (Ex. 22). The first violins and violas
are divided, creating a seven-voiced structure, and the upper three
voices move in contrary motion to the lower four. The chorale is in
ternary form, the opening phrase returning in m. 17. The effect is
one of tranquility, as the lines move almost exclusively in whole and


Example 22. Second Piano Concerto; Second Movement,
Meas. 1-5


i_l 11'. C-




half steps and create an atmosphere of immobility.

The section begins

on a chord with jF as the bass note, and it ends on a chord built up
on C^, definitely suggesting a tonic-dominant relationship.
Measures 21-29 are a dialogue between piano and timpani, each
entering on C^, which closed the opening section. The piano twice
states a slightly ornamented version of a simple melodic descent,
answered each time by a muffled roll from the timpani (Ex. 23). The
next three measures are slightly more dramatic and introduce a significant motive, the minor third, in both piano and timpani.
The return of the chorale in m. 30 is shortened to nine measures;
the piano is already beginning to override its importance.

This time it

begins on the level of Ab and ends on Eb, again a distance of a fifth.
It is of the same character as before and is again answered by a roll
of the timpani, followed by dialogue with the piano.


Example 23, Second Piano Concerto; Second Movement,
Meas. 23-26





- ^

V- (•»•


t '/pj-j-v



Again in accordance with the strings, both timpani and piano
enter on Eb. This time the piano inverts the ascending motive of its
first statement and brings the minor third into play immediately.


section is greatly expanded, the first statement made three times and
the second drawn out into a dramatic piano recitative with continuous
accompanying roll on the timpani. The latter begins at m. 45, consisting of three phrases that center around A.

Each phrase reaches a

higher peak (B^, D^, and G, respectively), and the passage ends dramatically on C-Eb-B.


18. most importantly Eb. but rises only a diminished fifth. Oboe and clarinet have a seven- measure eighth-note theme that is heard in inversion in flute and horn ." This type of musical excursion was often used by Bartok as the central feature of a movement. the central point of the work. It is eight measures in length and is answered by a single note from the timpani and an echo of the alternating section from the piano. The Presto is also in ternary form. The first seventeen measures are concerned primarily with chromatic elaboration around certain notes. and finally coming to an eighth-note resting spot on E^. or even as the center of the entire work. indeed. The horns and clarinets provide emphasis on the weak beats and occasionally participate in chromatic dialogue. The first section of the Presto lasts until m. Precise analysis of this section is difficult.50 The chorale returns once again to roimd out the first major section of the form. _D. and £. the center section being characteristic of Bartok's "night music. to Ab. The Presto marks the beginning of the second major section. It begins on E. as it seems to go by in an instant and we are far more aware of an over-all effect than of any minute details of construction. 89 and is a perpetuum mobile for piano. as in the third of five movements in the Fourth String Quartet. completed only three years before this concerto. Here it is. as in the second and fourth movements of the Fifth String Quartet. In m. the piano begins thirteen measures of running sixteenth-notes in seconds and thirds in each hand. a demonic scherzo-like area of the piece.

carry a dimi- nution of the t r i p l e t figure being s t a t e d in oboe and c l a r i n e t . the winds are p a r t i c u l a r l y a c t i v e . and mysterious t r i p l e t figures in the horn and trumpet. by means of t r i l l s in the s t r i n g s .s t e p between the hands. while the winds t r e a t fragments of the theme. The f i r s t horn joins i n with the o r i g i n a l again in m. 103- 115.51 beginning on the l a s t h a l f . a t 89.c a l l s in the high woodwinds. Rising chromatic sequences i n the piano lead to i t s statement of the theme i n large c l u s t e r s i n m. 78. Curiously. has returned to single-voiced chromaticism i n each hand t h a t t r e a t s this i n meas. the piano part changes to single run- ning sixteenth-notes in groups of five with only a h a l f . b i r d . As i t progresses down the key- board. the piano resumes i t s c l u s t e r s for three measures. 24. then changes back to running f i g u r e s . u n t i l only a single note remains in each hand in m. At m. 121. chord c l u s t e r s make the t r a n s i t i o n into the s e c tion of night music. 26. some of them covering every note in a given octave in one hand. a t m. 108. 36-44. m. and the'two versions of the theme compete through measure 30. The trombones then carry a s l i g h t l y varied form of the theme through m. in the meantime. 107. The f l u t e and p i c c o l o . the horn At . 35. 62. beginning in m. with ascending chromatic sixteenth-note figures in the upper p a r t s and t r i p l e t figures in the lower. Bartok t r u l y creates the sounds of the night in t h i s passage. 124. however. The chords j u s t as rapidly increase from h e r e . All of t h i s i s accompanied by enormous sixteenth-note chord c l u s t e r s in the piano. The piano.b e a t of m. In meas. the chords diminish in s i z e . and.

on which it started. the motive does not stop at this point. varied and shortened to about half its original length. along with the bird calls in oboe and clarinet. The muted horn triplet from the beginning of the night music section reappears in m. This time. but continues to reiterate the same pitches both up and down over a period of thirteen measures. particularly. 204. where the piano joins in a varied form for four measures. in m. on the same level. 155. but what makes the similarity particularly interesting is the fact that Strauss and. 182. The woodwinds are reveling in trills and grace-note figures throughout this passage. 166. corresponding to m. 140. seventeen measures long. The first part is the same length. when he was floundering in his compositional efforts. These references to the opening of the night music bring the section to a close. employing basically the same materials as before. The section ends. This observation may very well be nothing but speculation or a coincidence. and the strings have set up a four-bar pizzicato ostinato pattern that lasts until m.52 speaks forth a motive (£-C-p. but at times the motives are in a different order or inverted. the piano retains its single-line accompaniment rather than going into the seconds and thirds of the previous time. the first section of the Presto returns. In m. Zarathustra had served as a source of inspiration to Bartok in 1902. the eighth-note motive returns in the woodwinds.) that calls to mind the motto of Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra. . Eb. however. However. and at m. 17 of the Presto.

The third movement has little really new thematic material. the same length as in the first section. It is no longer in tremolo. and the piano carries its trill over the strings.53 A three-measure transition and a trill lead to the return of the Adagio. and the timpani participates by bold eighth-note statements in what sounds almost like a rhythmic stretto with the piano. The piano enters with one last echo of its descending motive in its original form. The piano-timpani dialogue is in one section. as the strings tremolo each chord. and accompanied by tremolo in the strings. It might best be described formally as a developmental rondo. The effect is unsettling. preserving the tonic-dominant relationship. expanded into a primary theme group. but it has a submissive sound and lasts only five measures. nervous atmosphere. . the diabolical has somehow won out over the sacred. as if. beginning on Db and ending on Ab. and with the piano take an unexpected turn to C Minor for the final chord. The low strings play the first six notes of the E Major scale. The chorale lasts nine measures. by subordination of the chorale. In m. The descending motive of the piano is highly ornamented and is heard twice before the piano proceeds into the phrase that presents the minor third. not separated by the chorale. leading directly into the It is even more dramatic this time than in the opening section. The chorale has lost its sense of tranquility. but draws upon themes from the first movement and the minor third motive from the second. creating a tense. Following this passage. 17. as the minor third motive. shortened and somewhat changed in character. the chorale returns. recitative. the figure ascends. as the string tremolo heightens the tension.

54 alternates with the first movement material. hMcif^Ji-X t): y- 7-14 g l-liSM^isf«r-H . 24). the timpani enters with a minor third figure on C-Eb. Second Piano Concerto. the formal plan is as follows: Introduction A (m 3rd theme) B^ (i»£) Transition A Meas. After a fortissimo minor third (^-_F) is sounded in the full orchestra. played by the piano. This is closer to the Example 24. After a three-and-one-half measure introduction. 1-6 7-44 78-93 94-137 Transition A 45-73 73-77 £ (£>£) p_ (d. Retaining the motive labels designated in the first movement to indicate the transformed version of first movement motives. Third Movement Meas. the piano enters with a minor third theme (Ex. 138-143 ^44-161 162^206 ZtlTAf''^^^ ^^^'^^^ 207-303 The movement opens with an ascending pentatonic scale. minus one note.a) A (Accompanied cadenza Coda Meas.

24- 31 in the first movement. 66-73. The comic effect of indecision in the piano is here also. The remainder of the . 42. In m. just as in the corresponding passage (meas. The strings take up the minor third at the end of the piano phrase. it travels through C. with motive b^ from the first movement. The timpani has been active throughout this passage with a continuous eighth-note ostinato on C-Eb. in m. and when the piano enters with it in m. In meas. 78. and finally back to G. Gb.55 rather barbaric nature of the first concerto than anything else in the work. The figure in the strings (Ex. the piano moves to G#-B for a canon at the octave between the hands. although the piano will make some tonal excursions in its various statements. the woodwinds again play D-Y_. as the orchestra closes the first major section on an ambiguous F#-G#-A//-C# chord. and the sixteenth-note triplets give it a characteristically Bart6kian rhythm. 45 the second section begins. answered again by strings and woodwinds on D-F^. The piano states a consequent phrase from m. 25). This brass stretto is directly comparable to meas. 27. Ab. This pattern moves to Bb-Eb in m. lasting nine measures. The timpani and low strings reintroduce the minor third motive in m. 73. on X~Ab. 18. 26) continues in accompanying the stretto section based on motive a_ in meas. 54-65. 13-25) in the first movement. 32. just as in the first movement. 19 to m. transformed rhythmically (Ex. Its two-measure statement in the piano is answered by the strings in stepwise contrary motion with each other. and. The key center is firmly G. Eb. In m. it is on the level of Bb-Db.

but moves quickly into a development of motive c from the first movement. The theme does not last as long this time. 47-49 115^ r\<fs P ^F^ 3 m i ^3^^^ -4. also rhythmically transformed (Ex. < 1?. but the rhythmic vitality is the same.56 Example 25. Meas. -J 4 # 4 <P tet theme is changed slightly. 45-47 'iaho 0 Example 26. 27). Second Piano Concerto. Third Movement. Second Piano Concerto. Third Movement. . Meas.

G. Bb. A-£. an imitative sequence touching on Ab. 95 This one-measure figure is sequenced five times. another sequence takes place on the inversion of £. Eb-Bb. D. B. Ab. One more sequence begins on the last beat of m. It is heard first in the woodwinds. B. Third Movement. The tonal progression in the left hand is Eb. Measures 113-115 emphasize a tritone range. the clarinets and bassoons inverted to create contrary motion with flutes and oboes. hands in contrary motion. while the right hand moves F//. beginning with ascending and descending thirds in each hand. After a transitional measure of octave triplets. Db. 118 and ends on the first beat of m. 127. This developmental section is closed by another stretto passage on motive a. 110-112. Ab. Meas. and after . and in meas. The following two measures empha- size fifths a minor third apart. E. Db. The piano enters two beats later. F. Eb. C. each time down the interval of a third. Second Piano Concerto. £-Ab. Gb-Db. Cb. A. and E. A. Measures 107-127 are treatment of the octave triplet pattern. this time sequenced four times. Db. Gb. and Cb. Fb. and the last three statements shortened to only three beats each. G.57 Example 27. and C. up a fifth each time. Gb.

At m. 187-191. the brasses state the motive. clarinet. oboe. the piano states motive d^ from the first movement. in the original form. bassoon. Starting in m. imitated two beats later by piccolo and trximpet. 174. 153-156. 133. The piano rests at m. and bassoon state the motive. where the imitation is taken between the hands of the piano.58 two more beats. and low strings. 162. a two-part canon at the octave. 167. Measures 182-185 contain three twomeasure units of canon in retrograde inversion. 178 is a rhythmic trans- formation of the passage beginning in m. oboes. Flute. the trumpets enter with the motive down a fifth. 170. and in m. Immediately upon the piano's completion. 47 (see Ex. This continues through m. 26). and bassoon. changed rhythmically (Ex. by horn. one beat later. and a canon at the octave takes place in meas. . timpani and low strings introduce the minor third motive once again. it is in inversion in the woodwinds and first horn. The passage beginning in m. this time on E-G. making this return similar to the inverted recapitulation in the first movement. the strings play the material from m. there is a canon at the fifth in the piano. followed one beat later by imitation in the original form by the flutes. 138. and at m. trumpets pitting an inversion against the horns. Six measures later. In meas. 132. the last five notes of the motive are treated in inversion by the piano. and. as the winds continue with the last four notes of the motive. the piano joins with an inversion of the theme. 28). In m. 110 of the first movement. followed by free imitation in the next four measures.

207 to m. followed after one beat by second violins. with rhythmic and motivic support from various instruments. in retrograde inversion. presenting motive a. and eventually among the woodwinds. 212-221 in the first movement (Ex. The section through m. 162-164 9^S. just as it was in meas. It is indeed a virtuosic vehicle for the solo piano. 29). Measure 196 begins the conclusion to this development on motive d_. violas. Third Movement. building to a climax to introduce the cadenza. The section from m. and woodwinds after still another. Second Piano Concerto. The motive is again treated in stretto among the brass. 254 has the effect of being an accompanied cadenza. 229 is based entirely upon the minor third motive and receives additional . Meas._ ej^^h^ The motive is inverted by the first violins after two beats. and cellos after another beat. if such a thing is not self-negating.59 Example 28.

meas. It begins on A_ in the viola. Chromatic sixteenth-note octaves are the basis for the remainder of the cadenza. as the piano is engaged in wide leaps in both hands. The section that follows. with echoes and comments being made by the strings and woodwinds in meas. 262272. 196-197 ntrp^s Y^rn^Pn ^^^^^mm rhythmic excitement from the use of the bass drum. . Certain fragments from the motive are present.60 Example 29. the viola states a theme which does not have an obvious predecessor. but no so obviously. but it does not appear to have a direct relationship to anything that has gone before. Third Movement. 275. The fragment is more clearly seen in imitation and inversion in meas. 255-303. In m. 239-242. the orchestral material is not so clearly derived from motive d_. Meas. It is highly unlikely that Bartok would introduce a totally new theme at such a late stage. and a contrary motion sequence in meas. The timpani lends support beginning in m. Second Piano Concerto. 244. 273-275. is strangely rhapsodic. 254-281 in the first movement. and while it corresponds to meas. and 246-254. 236. The orchestra has no independent material in this passage. so it appears that the cadenza is actually still in progress. 230.

is picked up on £ three measures later in the second violin and again
on A after three measures in the first violin. The flute states it
on E^ after two measures, and this appears to be its final exposure.
In m. 290, a different but similar theme is played in English horn and
clarinet, a fifth apart (Bb-F^), echoed three measures later in the
bassoon on Eb, and two measures later, on C// in the flute. In meas.
292-301, the piano has what begins as an inversion of the theme in the
woodwinds, but in the process of being sequenced twice, changes somewhat intervallically.
After two rising arpeggios built in fourths, the orchestra
enters, in m. 304, with the closing stretto section, again on motive a_.
Whether the coda begins here or at m. 255 is debatable, as the section
beginning at m. 255 is difficult to classify, but m. 304 parallels the
beginning of the first movement coda.

In any case, the stretto passage

at m. 304 is a brilliant display of brass, with the first trumpet stating the motive in inversion in m. 307. The motive is quickly fragmented
making use of the last four notes. The trombone and trumpet solos in
meas. 311-315 are rhythmic variations of the solos in the directly corresponding place, meas. 295-301 in the first movement, and the piano
again ascends on triads. The delicate sixteenth-note figure given to
the piano as the accelerando begins in m. 322 is an absolutely charming touch, assurance of a happy ending after the trials of the entire
concerto. With the strings playing a reminiscence of their answering
figure from m. 47 and winds doubling on most parts, the piano plays an
ascending pentatonic scale to the final G Major chord.

In overall sound and content, the Second Piano Concerto is a
more pleasant piece than the First Piano Concerto.

It is a work of

great virtuosity and vitality and more immediately appealing than its

If at times it sounds less purposeful, it must be because

it is, indeed, a work of transition.

Through this and other works of

the same period, Bartok developed the principles of S3mmietry, balance,
and expressiveness with which he would concern himself for the rest
of his life.

Upon first hearing B^la Bartok's last completed work, one is
immediately impressed by the fact that this is a work in an entirely
different vein from either of its predecessors, indeed, from practically every other major work by the composer.

Bartok was criti-

cized by many of his admirers for the nature of the work, as they
considered it a compromise for the sake of a more readily acceptable
work. On paper the concerto does appear far less creative and
detailed than the first or second, yet a closer look reveals that, at
the end of his life Bartok was still the master that he had proven
himself earlier.

It displays the same command of contrapuntal devices,

the same sense of construction and unity, but in an even subtler manner.

The aura of the entire concerto is one of serenity and assurance,

diametrically opposed to the fierce struggle of the first or the brilliant vitality of the second.
Although Bartdk calls for an orchestra close to the grand
proportions of the first two concertos (piccolo, English horn, and
contrabassoon are absent), the scoring is extremely light and conveys
the impression of being written for a much smaller orchestra.
Once again, the opening movement is in sonata form, quite
straight-forward this time, the only ambiguities being the distinction of transitional passages from primary and subsidiary theme groups.


Harmonies are simpler and more tertian than in the first two concertos. although fluctuation of mode does occur. including tonal centers. contrapuntal ingenuity. The writing is clear and much simpler than that of earlier works. 118-127 128-136 1st group E Becomes transitional 137-161 Bridge 162-174 2nd group E 175-187 Closing E The simple design of the movement. 75-88 Ab 87-98 Bb 99-110 C-D-E-F# 110-117 G// Recapitulation Meas. yet all subtly present beneath a tender. and tonal relationships are quite traditional with regard to subsidiary themes and recapitulation. as well as omission of a coda.64 Tonalities are clear. and the solo part is not especially virtuosic. interrelation of thematic materials. The general formal plan. reveal a neat and classically-conceived piece. with the movement centered primarily in E Mixolydian. including a brief and clearly designed development. not unlike most sonata-form works of Mozart. One of the most remarkable things about the work is that Bartok's trademarks are undeniably present: some inversion of themes in the recapitulation. is outlined below: Exposition Meas. romantic mood atypical of his other works. 1-11 11-17 18-53 54-67 68-74 Development 1st group E Becomes transitional Bridge 2nd group G Closing G Meas. .

is firmly centered in the Mixolydian mode on E. The tonality is never in doubt. the timpani establishes a tonic-dominant relationship with ^-£ on beat three to beat one. both divisi. indeed. just prior to the piano entrance. 30). Meas.65 This last point is exemplified at the outset. despite numerour chromatic alterations. but does not cadence and proceeds to become transitional in m. The melody is heavily ornamented and. as. and the clarients sustain E-G. doubled two octaves lower in the left hand (Ex. The orchestral scoring is still very thin at this point. it will remain. 11. with gentle supporting tones. as have flute and horn. In addition. throughout the entire piece. as the piano presents a one-voiced theme. relatively. First Movement. Third Piano Concerto. as the accompaniment in the second violins and violas. A quintuplet motive evolves in the piano out of the ornamental figurations of the Example 30. 1-11 ^-3^^ m ^ -h^f . Cello and contrabass have joined. The melody proper lasts approximately eight measures. fluctuates rapidly between an open fifth on E-B and a minor third.

66 theme and at m. 31). prevents the establishment of Example 31. The orchestra strikes the chord again on beat three of m. as a dominant. 27. The motive in the first violins at m. and the piano enters with an inversion of the motive from m. combined with the chromatic material in the horns and bassoons. Once more the chord is struck on beat three. 15 it is centered on B Major. 28. Third Piano Concerto. and the piano enters on the downbeat with the same material as previously. 22 . 24-26: horns on Cb. The head of the first theme is imitated by various instruments in meas. bassoon. on the level of C. the bridge proper begins. which. 22 on the level of Db. and the piano enters on the second half of the beat. 19. and first violins on Ab. With the first theme in a new key and stated by the first violins. and in m. back to E. This parallel motion. as the piano introduces a C//. 21 the opening figure is heard in oboe. trumpets on Ab. oboe and second violin on F^. clarinets. and viola. 22 is a transitional motive that will be significant in the course of the movement (Ex. however. First Movement. Meas. and flute. The theme is quickly modified. The entire orchestra has a complete Db7 chord on the first beat of m. This it never does. giving the impression that it will resolve. creates a D7 chord that resolves to G in m. this time continuing the material into a series of parallel thirds."second violin. with the £-A-£.

and in meas. This moves up by step to cm7. It is of interest that the key Bartdk chose for the second group is a minor third above the tonic. the parallel motion is in fourths and fifths. and another section of the bridge begins in m. the one first recognized and . but quickly moves through an F7 to a Bb7. 37-39. "the movement ends with two successive minor thirds in the top voice of the piano. It is not within the scope of this analysis to propose what the significance of this interval is with regard to the concerto. That interval appears to be important in the movement. It is primarily on an E7 sound and falls into a graceful four-measure phrase that is taken by the orchestra in a varied repetition beginning in meas. 22 as it also anticipates the second theme group. The material at this point is still too unstable tonally to be \ considered a second theme group. 52 is on a D7 that leads into the second theme group key of G Major. in the course of scientific musical study carried on by Bart<5k and Zoltan Kodaly. indeed. 35-36. 4043. an octave passage in contrary motion provides perhaps the only spot in the movement that could be termed virtuosic. 51. 48. the theory was propounded that the primary interval. as the B and related closing material are based upon it. it is interesting that. 44. On the repeat. and the material in m. Chromatically descending sixteenth-note figures in the piano ornament the eighth-note descent of the woodwinds in meas. the oboe and clarinets state a motive that relates to the bridge motive of m. In meas. In m. the first measure is again on E7.67 any tonality. However.

answered by an inversion in viola. is the initial substance of this passage. A major third. 67. The harmony is C Major (the subdominant) in m. p. In any case. cello. The similarity between the bridge motive from m. 66. cello (in inversion). 66 and the first half of m. although it moves to other levels before settling back for the closing section. 22 and the second group is very clear in m. which is also noteworthy for its simplicity of style. 64 there is a short imitation. Both hands continue the motive in m. a minor third makes the descent. 68. and viola (in inversion). an octave lower. Major thirds close the Lendvai.^° For this reason. descending chromatically against chromatically ascending eighth-notes. respectively. 62. the piano moves to the level of Bb.68 imitated by the human child is the minor third. 58. and violins in m. At m. the clarinet answers the piano figure in inversion. the second group is centered in the key of G. cello. and woodwinds. which lasts only seven measures. one beat apart. 48. In m. another minor third relationship. it seems especially appropriate as a significant interval in this movement. B€la Bart6k. 65. among right hand. left hand. . 56. changing to a D Major (dominant) chord which resolves to G in m. The motive sounds like the second group due to the rhythmic and inter^/allic similarity. and second violin. derived from the second group and the bridge motive. This affirmation of G Major may be taken to signal the beginning of the closing section. where the bridge motive is treated in imitation one beat apart by piano. In the second measure. and in m. viola.

The key is Ab Mixolydian throughout. flowing lines. but rather a beautifully effective use of the major subtonic chord. The piano sustains a third. the key of the next section. 75. . only forty-three measures. From its initial Ab tonality. The first section lasts through m. partly due to the augmented triad that is created (Eb-G-B) and partly due to the en dehors sound of the muted horn. The final cadence in Ab is not an authentic cadence. £-B^. £-D^-G-£. It neatly divides into four distinct sections and bears very little resemblance to the developments of the previous two concertos. 86 and is concerned with the principal theme. played in unison by the woodwinds and accompanied by sweeping two-octave arpeggio figures in the piano. diatonic to the mode. as the final sound of the exposition. while the timpani further substantiates the key center of the closing with four quarter notes. and is remarkably romantic in its long. all tonic harmony.69 section. and tonal clarity. There is a quick Ab7-Db movement in m. The Eb sound is totally foreign until the piano begins the development on the level of Ab in m. which resolves to Bb Mixolydian. with almost The theme is varied somewhat from its original form and the double-dotted notes and thirty-second notes have been smoothed out into less jagged rhythmic patterns. while the horn enters with the first four notes of the first theme on the pitches Eb-Db-F-Eb. resolving to the tonic. The moment has a Debussylike sound. The development section is quite brief. alternating between piano and clarinet. richly arpeggiated accompaniment. the development moves by step back to E. 86. followed by a diminished seventh chord on A.

The arpeggiated accompaniment is continued in the left hand. respectively. and cellos. 96. This is changed when a Bb chord. leads to a brief establishment of Eb as the tonality. against an inversion in the piano. The bridge motive and second group constitute the propelling force in this section. and the right hand carries the theme in a manner similar to the woodwind statement. there is a three-voiced canon at the unison and octave. The oboe then enters into dialogue with the piano. In m. acting as a dominant function. The entrances are one beat apart and the imitation is exact (with the exception of the first two notes of the second violin) for six beats. 91. Thus. while the horns state the opening motive of the first theme in imitation. This unit of three and one-third measures is sequenced up a step to D Mixolydian in m. the . another Mixolydian cadence of a major subtonic to tonic ushers in a new tonality and the third section of the development. which is the most exciting part of the development harmonically. or slightly over two measures. 99. On the last half of the second beat in m. 102. as the motive is varied slightly and the entire unit is compressed into only two measures. 104.70 The second section is also based on the first theme. resolves deceptively and very beautifully to a C Major chord. imitated at the distance of a beat by first and second violins. violas. among piano and first and second violins. a half-diminished seventh arpeggio in the piano. It is not repeated exactly. The flute states the motive at m. Beginning at the end of m. but in a new key and stated by the piano.

Violins and violas play three chromatically descending triads in . which is reiterated in meas. 107-109. This resolution. 111-112. The trill has descended accordingly and stands on G# as first violins and violas play a final pizzicato G# triad. in meas. then speeding up once again just before the piano enters with the recapitulation of the first theme. This compression of harmonic movement leads to an arrival on F//. First vio- lins take the trill in m. harmony. in m. suggests another subtonic to tonic cadence into another Mixolydian key a step higher. 112 serves as the leading tone in the key of E. . 110. entirely on the F// harmony. the dominant of the dominant. The Dj^ in the bass in m. making use of the minor dominant. 110 and m. the trill drops to B^ . The bridge motive is used in dialogue between piano and strings. The £// becomes the third of the E Major chord. In meas. the horn announces the bridge motive in eighth-notes and enharmonically spelled in Ab. 111-112. which is merely an eight-bar transition back into the recapitulation. inversion. in m. 105. creating a deceptive resolution into the return of the first group. The tonality is established by four authentic cadences. the piano plays an ascend- ing triad arpeggio which resolves. to a G# Major chord on the downbeat of m. still spelled in Ab. while the second violins sustain a high B# trill. with the orchestra. 109. and the horn begins an inversion of the bridge motive. ending on a G#. 117. In m.71 motive is heard in E Mixolydian for one and one-half beats. The arrival on G# marks the beginning of the final section of the development. After the second cadence in G#. 112. slowing it down as it moves to Fx.

second violin and oboe after three measures. it serves three traditional developmental functions very effectively: it pre- sents old material in a new light (in particular. and trombones in meas. and the figuration more . the bridge. The theme is presented in its entirety. which is a fifth below the key of the corresponding point in the exposition. 143-144. provides harmonic excitement. 27 of the exposition.72 Although the development section is not lengthy. and creates conflict and climax that are satisfactorily resolved in the recapitulation. viola and bassoon after five beats. trumpet. beginning with the upbeat to m. beginning in m. 137. the only major change coming in m. an additional voice is present beneath the melody. 118. cello and contrabass after two beats. As in the exposition. This relationship of keys is traditional and classical. The material is treated in the same manner as was the bridge motive in m. Most importantly. The bridge proper begins in C. The sixteenth-note bridge motive is anticipated on a Bb7 harmony in imitation among horns. This serves as a fanfare for the entrance of the piano in Eb. the first theme). and the tranquillity of the resolution into the recapitulation is absolutely breath-taking. When the piano states the first theme. as the sixteenth quintuplets continue their stepwise descent to the tonality of C. but the entries are progressively shorter and enter at progressively shorter intervals: first violin. but the movement is descending. opens with an orchestral statement of the first theme. The orchestra attempts to create a fugue from the theme. both voices doubled at the octave. 132. it is a section of compellingly beautiful music.

180 the major third dialogue between piano and woodwinds is extended. another drop of a fifth from the exposition. As before.73 closely resembles the chromatic pattern that follows. 27-39 has been eliminated in the recapitulation. in free inversion of the exposition figure. The thirty-second note motion descends. 160-161 brings back the tonality of E for the return of the second theme material. 170 through m. through octave displacement. then ascends. 154-157 corresponds directly to that of meas. Cello and horn give the answering motive this time. 174. It should be noted here that the bridge material in meas. 166 the woodwind section takes the motive for a measure. but beginning in m. That chromatic pattern is the ascending line in meas. and in m. thus relieving this section of what little disquieting material there was in the exposition. this time on an A7 harmony. now on C//7. 147-152. The orchestra prepares imitatively for the closing section. the orchestra states an answering phrase. the transition to the closing parallels closely the corresponding passage in the exposition. Flute. 175. The four-measure phrase in meas. except that here the piano does not participate. and the chromatically rising bass line in meas. The character of the section is like that of the exposition. which is an inverted expansion of the material in meas. which is expanded to thirteen measures. 44-47. and the chromatic eighth-note figure that . the interval is a minor tenth rather than a minor third. beginning in m. From m. The second theme presents no major changes. oboe. 40-43. The theme is in octaves and. and clarinet all participate.

the form is ternary. 175-176 is treated imitatively in the strings in meas. and pianissimo thirds in the piano bring the movement to a close. but it was to appear again in his only subsequent composition. The serenity of the Adagio religioso is an outgrowth of. piano and orchestra alternate peacefully. whether or not the word religioso need be taken in the literal sense. the night music is bright and cheerful rather than fearsome. As in the second concerto. rather than a contrast to. without a coda. with comments by strings 58-67 68-71 72-75 76-78 79-85 86-88 a. The striking contrasts in mood and orchestration between first and second movements in Bart6k's first two concertos are not present in the third. A Meas. but it presents an outline of the entire movement. 180-184. the incomplete Viola Concerto. the outer chorale-like sections enclosing a central core of night music. A solo flute recalls the opening theme. the effect is entirely different. nearing the end of his life. b^ a.74 appeared in oboe and flute in meas. his thoughts should turn reflectively. and the total result is one of profound inner contentment. However. there is no demonic scherzo. Bartdk had never used the word religioso before as an indication. ("bird calls") b^ (Transition) a. The following diagram is particularly helpful in recognizing the structure of the central section. . the preceding movement. B 1-15 16-57 Imitation in strings Statement of chorale by piano. It is natural that. b^ A 89-137 Return of c h o r a l e i n woodwinds with piano c o u n t e r p o i n t .

the harmony is presented through five-voiced imitation (first violin is divisi. and subsequently in others. 15. is performed by strings and piano. The final statement on C lasts four measures. and A minor receive two-measure units. The tonalities of E. beginning on C and cadencing on a G Major triad. The piano enters with a placid. 4-6). F. contrabass absent). 3-13. 57 and the almost complete G Major scale in the clarinet in meas. and the entrances accordingly fall one beat apart. F. with the exception of the single note E in the horn in m. 1-3) and G (meas. the harmonic movement following and expanding that of meas. 57 between piano and answering strings. 16-17). In true Bartokian fashion. Free inversion is present in the imitations. a relationship that is disguised by the lyricism of the lines. In the first fifteen measures. 57. through m. the strings outline the harmonic course that the piano will take in stating the chorale: C. but so rhythmically and harmonically conceived as not to sound contrapuntal. Another four-measure phrase by the piano cadences in E by means of tritone root movement from Bb. four-measure chorale phrase. The first four soprano notes of the phrase are an exact inversion of the first four notes of the opening chorale phrase (meas. An answering fourmeasure phrase based on the imitative opening material confirms the G tonality in the strings. 1-14. initially in the second and fourth voices. and the cello stating an ominous Eb in m. A minor.75 The first section. C. The voices enter from top to bottom at the distance of two beats for three-measure units on C (meas. G. Now Bartok begins a dialogue to m. E. the entrances again two beats apart. This time the strings .

The strings in meas. culminating with a BbmM7 resolving deceptively to a C Major chord. almost macabre atmosphere of those.76 confirm the tonal level with a three-measure phrase. just as the horn signaled the development section in the first movement. 46-47 provide ascending motion into the most passionate phrase of this first section. although the third measure is expanded in meter from ^ to ^. Fifth String Quartet. 41 and £# in m. but totally free of the mysterious. Music for Strings. creates the tension in the sixmeasure phrase. Tremolos in the violins at the outset sound every note within the fifth A-£. 60-61 (Ex. and answered by a three-measure phrase in the strings. Tension builds in the fol- lowing eight-measure phrase in the piano. 32) will be used for subtle contrapuntal . as appoggiaturas (£# in m. Here is Bart6k as the lover of nature. The motive in the piano and its inver- sion in meas. Oboe and clarinet begin by stating the particular "bird sound" that is theirs throughout most of the section. A whole-note E^ from the horn suggests a change of material. each a third lower than the preceding. cadencing on F. A series of four unresolved seventh chords. inclusively. and Celeste). Percussion. The central section is a passage of nature sounds that is strongly reminiscent of other night music sections or movements (the second concerto. This is serenely confirmed by the strings. with a slight variation on the rhythm of the opening motive. The meter returns to ^ for another four-measure phrase in the piano. 45) threaten the peace of the section. to establish some semblance of a tonality on A. utilizing woodwinds and piano to create bird sounds and other effects.

and the answering motive is heard again in flute and piano in m. the piano plays its motive again and is answered in inversion and augmentation by viola and cello. 34). 64. Second Movement Meas. flute and oboe state the motive. 33). Its answering motive. 72-73 (Ex. is stated by piano and flute in m.77 Example 32. 67. pizzicato. diminution of the piano. Meas. Example 33. Third Piano Concerto. which bears a resem- blance to the closing motive of the first movement. In m. Third Piano Concerto. In meas. 63 ^ . Second Movement. The piano expands the answering motive into a transitional and rather rhapsodic passage in meas. This is followed by imitation in the cello that is an augmentation of the flute. The inversion of the motive in m. as oboe and clarinet give their sounds. imi- tated in augmentation by the piano. 65 is treated similarly. 60-61 rkpt-fi'^k fe i X^ ^ tr ^ treatment in the section. 63 (Ex. 68-71. leading to further treatment of the piano bird sound.

The passage from m. Bartok*s contrapuntal skill is evident to the score-reader. The answering motive is heard in flute. 175. The four measures that follow have an impressionistic sotmd. Third Piano Concert£. 72-73 fluh 6 S . p. Iowa: Wm. answered by the augmented Tieon Dallin. and oboe. \ ^ -y^ ^ The viola then imitates the cello. Brown. in m.78 Example 34. the entire process is inverted. 78 is again transitional and rhapsodic. fe J. 1 J I > Ae^ CA''/? i and an inversion of both. piccolo. 19575". In m. . 76 to m. while the piano plays four-note whole-step patterns in contrary motion. C. not in inversion. Techniques of Twentieth Century Composition (Dubuque.^fihnJ. ^ . then in the piano. Meas. high repeated notes sounding in the woodwinds. yet so subtly done as to be scarcely noticeable to the listener. 84. the oboe states once again the piano motive. 75. Second Movement. although In the next measure.

answered again by the woodwinds. The strings enter again for a measure. while the piano plays ascending sweeps and trills. as they attempt to state the impassioned fifth phrase of the chorale. As before. increasing in intensity just as in the first section. 16-54 returns. The third and fourth phrases are treated in the same manner. 89. The piano has been accompanying with ascending triplet arpeggios. At m. The first phrase is answered in the piano. then are interrupted by woodwinds stating the same two measures. 85. begins its complete statement of of the fifth phrase. The piano answers the fourth phrase in meas. and even more dramatic than its statement in the exposition. 128. the piano chorale of meas. 46-47. 122-123. The second phrase is another exact restatement by the woodwinds with piano counterpoint followed by an expanded cadenza-like passage that is not unlike passages in some of the late works of Beethoven.79 inversion in the low strings. not with the imitative material used by the strings in the opening section. now stated by the woodwinds with lovely two-part imitative counterpoint in the piano. but with a transitional passage on the two-part counterpoint. not with the cadenza-like material. changed somewhat. They complete only two measures. Strings make their first appearance in the return section in meas. and a brief reference to the transitional section by the piano brings the section to a close. it moves to a Bb7 chord and The strings re-enter with the imitative material . but by cadenza-like figurations and trills. resolves to C Major. and at m. The answering motive is heard a final time in piccolo and oboes in m. corresponding to the orchestral transition in meas. 120-121.

which he left in the form of a sketch. with the cello and contrabass. Tibor Serly. section in the center 3 of the movement and the . The form is a rondo. undertook the task. in the spirit of the classical concerto finale. then cadences unexpectedly but tranquilly on an E Major harmony. with the exception of the last seventeen measures.80 from the beginning of the movement. in two-voiced imitation. Bartok left the third concerto complete. techniques that are typical of Beethoven and Brahms. again slightly transformed rhythmically to ^sound as if in three. representing major sections with corresponding letters and including tonal centers: 12 At his death. with others. section that begins the coda. Unlike the strange close of the corresponding movement in the second concerto. The serene and meditative character of the movement has remained intact. The piano makes its only statement of the material. rhythmic excitement is generated through fluctuation of meter across the barlines and duple versus triple subdivisions. thus. Bartok gave no tempo indication at the opening. The meter is o and 8 2 remains so with only two exceptions: the . The following diagram shows the formal plan. with the final return of A and the coda both greatly expanded. The last seventeen measures and most of the dynamic and expressive indications in the third movement are those of Tibor 12 Serly. this cadence is clearly at rest. the Allegro vivace is Serly's addition as well. of completing the score and. despite the anguish in the fourth and fifth phrases of the chorale. . Without the meter changes characteristic of Bartok's fast movements. providing it with additional editing. His friend and pupil.

the momentum is taken by octaves to an E Major chord in m. The first phrase is eight measures long. and in m. . At m. 36). 161. the eightmeasure phrase of £ returns in a higher register and changed and suggesting a center on C. 188. firmly set in the tonality of E. and is designated as £ (Ex. The material in b^ is also changed slightly. from meas. 191. the units shortened to three and two measures. The following twelve measures are comprised of three four-bar units based on the iambic unit and employing intervals of a second and a chromatically moving inner voice (Ex. chromatically rising major seconds in the piano build toward a climax for ten measur-es. and the octave descent in the piano on a minor dominant seventh resolves the section in E. The passage. 178.81 A 138-203 E A B 2Qi^-221 228-321 Transition C// 321-343 Transition 344-375 A Transition E 376-391 (Expansion) 527-641 E Transition 392-426 Bb 427-472 Fugue-like 473-482 Bb 483-526 Coda 644-720 721-768 E The rhythmic basis of the opening section is best described as an iamb followed by a trochee. Beginning in m. 191-203 serves as a closing for the opening section of the rondo. 35).

142-148 2 i^=\P ¥ f-^ :A dTU TU I -— A transition follows for the next ten measures. At m. the piano enters with the second thematic material. a highly contrapuntal section based on C// Dorian. with strings and woodwinds participating in alternating rhythms based on the preceding material. Third Piano Concerto. Third Movement Meas. As this dies out dynamically.82 Example 35. \ The passage from . the timpani begins a fifteen-measure rhythmic interlude with support from the bass drum. 213.

Four more measures con- clude the piano exposition. r i s i n g by s t e p . Meas. and. ™»!f«ii|||a The piano s t a t e s another sequence . a two-measure p a t t e r n based on the f i r s t motive i s sequenced three times. Third Piano Concerto. beginning in m.83 Example 36. 228-252 i s not unlike a t y p i c a l Bach fugue. The lower voice continues in free counterpoint. while the f i r s t v i o l i n continues with the same counterpoint as was in the piano. and the f i r s t v i o l i n s enter with the subject in m. 243. The v i o l a provides the answer. and the piano reinforces the harmonies with two-voiced chord-type rhythms doubled at the octave. the lower voice s t a t i n g an eight-measure subject that i s answered tonally by the upper voice. 149-156 I ^ ^%e=-e m f a ijSL f*t=«)f icm T: r meas. Third Movement. 253.

Material taken from meas. The passage from meas. both in inversion. followed by oboe. is engaged in sparse free counterpoint. enter with the subject in its original form. 210-211 ^ this time on a four-measure pattern. Flute and first violins. Bassoon. 292-305 is a four-part stretto in the woodwinds. and four measures. At m. two dotted eighth-notes per measure. doubled at the octave. 306-313 which is also a four-measure unit sequenced up a fifth. . It is constructed this time in three phrases of eight. 314-322.84 in meas. cellos. respectively. although it retains its characteristic rhythm and is centered on E. a transition begins. The opening material is varied somewhat. at the distance of two measures. oboe and second violins. A new rhythmic figure. Seven more measures of free two-voiced counterpoint lead to a statement of the subject in F Mixolydian. The first six measures of the subject are stated in octaves by the strings. then a fugato ensues for the entire orchestra. and contrabasses are the last to enter. eight. 322. 334-343 that leads into a return of the first section (A). each voice entering at the distance of two measures. The brass section The third measure of the sub- ject serves as the basis for the rising sequential passage in meas. The piano plays a canon at the minor tenth in meas. clarinet and violas enter respectively at tiie distance of one measure. 280-282 is the substance of meas. and clarinet and bassoon. respectively. Flute is first. still treating the subject of the second group.

Beginning in m. In meas. 412. and the entire figure is in imitation at the second in meas. The second part of the piano material is treated in meas. 421. the melody is treaced in free imitation at the distance of a measure in meas. 392. at the same time. the entries are one measure apart. with a lilting trio-like melody in second violin and viola. . This provides a contrast of duple versus triple meter between the measures. and first violin and cello continue in free imitation. In the strings.85 is introduced in the last two measures of each phrase. In both cases. The b^ material is omitted in this return. and meas. Cello and second violin make false entries in meas. begins at m. 406-409 imitatively. the tritone key of E. It is accompanied by gracefully arpeggiated chords in the piano. A new section. 413-420. but do not continue. The five-measure phrase is answered by a five-measure phrase by piano alone which is an answer to its own material rather than to the tune stated in the strings. At this point the timpani again bridges the gap to the next section. 404-410. 364-376 is the closing passage of the section. viola and second violin make false entries. presenting the motive that is the basis for the fugue-like central episode in this ternary section. the piano begins imitative treatment of its material. while the strings treat their melody in imitation. by first violin and viola. 402-420. respectively. 402 and 403. The woodwinds enter in m. A short transition based on the earlier one lasts until m. 382. C. and the tonality in Bb Major. ternary in design. this time for only ten measures.

The rhythmic character of the opening section is present here. until m. and for six measures instigates a transition into the central episode. beginning a transitional passage. The transition is quite lengthy. 37). employing a long ascending chromatic sweep into m. 459-472. which is accompanied by ascending scales and trills in the piano. 443. In m. The meter changes to ^ (in order to "slow down" the motive) . The melody is in imitation in the piano for the first four measures. At m. It is expanded into an eight- measure phrase. they are so diatonic and classical in sound. The first four bars truly sound like a phrase from a trio sec- tion of Beethoven's. the opening section. In m. this time in the piano. Free imitation is present A transitional passage based on the last four notes of the phrase lasts through meas. forte and in octaves. At this point. then settles into parallel thirds. with light accompaniment in viola and cello and continued scales in the piano. and after a measure. In meas. 473 the trio-like melody. returns accompanied by fifths in the horns. the piano finally states the phrase in contrary motion between the hands. Dynamics mount as the piano continues its scale passages. 527. 452. in the woodwinds. and the motive is presented by viola and cello. the phrase is taken by the first violins. 483-490 an imitative four- measure pattern is sequenced up a fourth. 502. a tritone in the piano signals a return to E and thus. the woodwinds enter with the phrase in inversion. but the tonality has not yet reached E. con- firmed by the C//-F// movement in the low strings.86 The motive is based on descending and ascending fifths (Ex. The phrase is then stated by the second violins. The tonal center is F//. Preparation for the .

Violins state the dotted eighth-note figure in meas. 427-430 m )lrnU Mi ms^m T i. there are four phrases based on b^. and in meas. The piano plays eighth-note quintuplets in meas. In m. and even after the piano enters with the opening section material in E. the low strings maintain the F//-C# for ten measures. Third Movement Meas. 553-556. 542. 588. The first eightmeasure phrase in the piano is complete.J^r 87 Example 37. Two more measures of the dotted eighth-note pattern follow. Beginning in m. and another series of phrases on b_ begins in m.*" i real return of the opening section lasts through m. Third Piano Concerto. 605-606. the series of phrases closes with a full orchestral tutti. while the woodwinds state material derived from b^. all being eight measures in length with the exception of the third. the orchestra makes two eight-measure statements of £. 559. These are played by piano and woodwinds. the latter stating the basic material and the former embellishing. For two five-measure . which is six measures long. 590-605. 607. followed by two measures of the dotted eighth-note figure sounded in the brass and oboe.

e d i t o r i a l l y ) as Tempo I . The f i n a l s e c t i o n of t h e concerto begins with t h e two t h r e e - bar p h r a s e s based on t h e opening s e c t i o n motive. The meter i s changed to 3 . as t h e piano begins a t h r e e . i n t e r s p e r s e d with t h e t h r e e . (editorial) The f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h e coda i s r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t to r e l a t e d i r e c t l y t o what has gone b e f o r e .o c t a v e descent in octaves. the opening motive and f i g u r e from the c l o s i n g of A . Thematic d e r i v a t i o n i s n o t c l e a r . The second p h r a s e grows i n t o an e x t e n s i o n t h a t moves i n t o the keys of C. The t o n a l i t y a t m. 733 i s E Minor.88 p h r a s e s . 705-720 provides a t r a n s i t i o n i n t o t h e second s e c t i o n of t h e coda. b e f o r e the piano begins a twenty-five-measure passage of perpetual eighth-notes. however. Again. and t h e m a t e r i a l i s n o t r e a d i l y t r a c e a b l e to any themes i n the movement. although t h e rhythmic momentum i s w e l l i n keeping with t h e r e s t of the movement. 178-191. t h e coda b e g i n s . and t h e tempo marking is Presto. The octave passage i n meas. The t o n a l i t y i s u n c l e a r . which i s back i n 8 meter and marked ( a g a i n . 616. F//. in e i t h e r piano o r woodwinds. t h e e n t i r e force comes to a complete h a l t . t h e m a t e r i a l i s taken by t h e piano for two five-measure p h r a s e s . A f t e r a pause equal to two measures. piano e m b e l l i s h e s t h e m a t e r i a l i n t h e woodwinds. A t h i r d p h r a s e i s expanded i n t o r i s i n g chromatic sweep p a r a l l e l to t h a t of meas. but t h e r e are c l e a r l y two eight-measure p h r a s e s s t a t e d i n the piano of a r i s i n g s e q u e n t i a l n a t u r e . In m. and D. I n s t e a d of r o a r i n g i n t o a new s e c t i o n a t the top of t h e p a s s a g e .n o t e descending f i g u r e from the c l o s i n g .

has risen above the struggle.89 are heard in two short phrases. In m. The remaining measures are merely cadential (Mixolydian cadences. wish to write a legacy that would be viewed with favor after his death. The piano ascends in octaves as the orchestra plays the dotted eighth-note motive. 752-755. It is difficult to understand why he would forsake a path he had followed for so long and against so much opposition. V7-I^ cadences are played back and forth between piano and orchestra in E Minor. with a minor dominant). . 756. as in the late works of Beethoven. and an ascending chromatic octave scale in the piano leads to the final cadence on E Major. indeed. It is not within the scope of this thesis to determine whether Bartok remained true to his compositional principles or conceded in the hopes of gaining wider popularity. creating an E Major chord. It may be that he did. particularly since he must have known he was close to death. however. the £// appears in the viola. but the closing figure is augmented rhythmically at the end of the second phrase. and in meas. one almost senses in this concerto the serene and indomitable spirit which. On the other hand.

CONCLUSION The desire to delve deeply into the piano concertos of B^la Bartok was awakened upon my first hearing of all three. is constructed almost entirely upon one motive. there was far more to come in the way of his stylistic evolution. Although it is impos- sible to trace a definite course of development through only three works. However. the same reaction remains as strong as at the outset. the piano concertos suggept Bartok's direction in his mature years in much the same way as the string quartets exemplify the stages of both his early and later development. 90 . The use of form carries out this concept. striking in its originality. stated in the introduction. The first movement. 1931. and its percussive idiom. The many faces of the motive constitute the principal materials of the exposition. repeated hearings. After close analysis. and 1945. The concertos are drawn from the years 1926. Bar- tok's development was constant. and care- ful consideration. in sonata form. although his first concerto for solo piano was completed at the age of forty-five. My initial response was the obvious—that they are works in striking contrast with one another. its acrid dissonances. The relentless rhythmic nature. placing all of them within the realm of mature works. subtly present even in the second movement. and. conveys the impression that the entire concerto is the result of a single stroke. The first concerto is a bold work.

but it is subjected to numerous false starts before the recapitulation is achieved. The central section of its ternary form is a natural outgrowth of the first section and is related to the introduction motive of the first movement. and. however. the climax is reached. distinct tonal levels are difficult to hear. and the result is seemingly motivic and rhythmic. rather than real themes. revealing another side to percussive writing that than of the first movement. tonal conflict is an important fac- tor. The sheer size of the development (204 measures out of 482) reveals a similarity to Beethoven's concept of the developmental struggle. conflict. In a subtle manner. There is something enigmatic about the movement.91 Rhythms and intervals are developed. yet it is unwavering in its expressive direction. rather than tonal. The expressiveness with which the percussion instruments speak is extraordinary. The intent of purpose is equally strong here as in the other movements. through contrapuntal intensity and rhythmic propulsion. Because of the harshness of the harmonies. and the recapitulation of the first theme exhibits a defiance not unlike Beethoven as well. the second movement is rhythmically incessant and thus forms the perfect bond between the outer movements. The closing of the movement leaves no doubt that the conflict is not yet resolved. . Rather surprisingly. for the first theme tries desperately to establish its return on the correct level. despite a slower tempo and a subdued dynamic level.

At the point of recapitulation. unequivocally. 57. What better example of continuous development of one motive is there than the opening movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony? The Sonata in ¥_ Minor. but it is difficult to hear a work of such driving energy without recalling the latter's middle works. The percussive style. and one experiences it with a sense of emerging from a battle in which there is no victor. it appears that neither the recapitulation nor the coda is able to provide a satisfactory resolution to the struggle. almost in one breath. and it too is related to the first movement's introduction motive. The ending is at best a compromise. but there is no relaxation. developed to its height . as well as in combination. and contrary motion. What he had to say he said boldly. and the driving rhythm is again the propelling force. The First Piano Concerto is a work of a man at the height of a style period. imitation. until the very end. Treatment is principally contrapuntal. The actual development is not as long as that of the first movement (146 measures out of 534) . but the movement itself is almost entirely developmental. a single motive is the basis for most of the movement. Op.92 The third movement enters with the intention of resolving the conflict. is a classic example of the victorless battle and tension that will not be laid to rest. heard in fragmentation. there is no resolution of conflict. Perhaps the parallels between Bart6k and Beethoven are often overemphasized. Once again. and the material is greatly modified. Just as the development section. rather than shifting tonalities.

The greatest degree of contrast in elements is found in the third movement. reverts to the primitive character of the first concerto. Following a highly contrapuntal development. as the barbaric theme is silenced. The beginning of the recapitulation is the resumption of the perpetuum mobile that permeates the movement. for it lies in a loose ternary form. closing. the forces of diatonicism and relative lyricism have the last word. after tonal diversion. For example. merging more appealing. With regard to form. diatonic elements with traces of the percussive style of its predecessor. In this concerto. the large first theme group in the opening movement exhibits a sense of symmetry. the first theme group is heard in inversion.93 in this and the third quartet. also for the sake of a symmetrical design. Tension leading into the recapitulation is created not so much by rhythmic propulsion as by stretto and a ritenuto that almost brings the motion to a halt. The first theme is quite diatonic and centered on G. The second concerto is a hybrid. was not abandoned by Bart6k but was employed in combination with a more melodious style. in the original key. in which a barbaric first theme alternates in a rondo with the diatonic themes of the first movement. beginning in m. The heterogeneities are obvious. The early stages of this further development is evident in the second concerto. transformed rhythmically. but they do not subtract from the overall attractiveness of the work. however. but the transition to the second theme group. . this concerto is an example of Bartok's adaptation to the principles of symmetry. 74.

That the second concerto is a transitional work can hardly be disputed.94 The second movement is perhaps the most masterful stroke of the concerto. with the diatonicism of the first movement material emerging the victor in the optimistic spirit of the Classical rondo. The rondo form enables him to pre- sent sharply contrasting materials in the various sections. . Here Bart6k again poses diverse elements against one another. and. the struggle ends quietly and ominously. one senses an uneasy relationship with the string chorale. no less quieting than what has gone before. lyricism and percussiveness. At the first entrance of the piano-timpani dialogue in the opening section. It looks backward in its harshness. Even after the scherzo subsides. forward in its lyricism and symmetry. and it is appropriate that Bart6k begins the following movement with a barbarous theme rather than the sunny G Major material that opened the first movement. heterogeneous in its use of diatonicism and chromaticism. this time in an arch form. ~ With subordination of the strings by the piano and timpani. This is perhaps the greatest single movement in the three concertos in the sense of purely musical drama. despite its diverse element. This nightmarish whirlwind slips easily into the central realm of night-music. This tension is quietly in- creased and eventually explodes into the scherzo. the calm of the opening is lacking in the return of the chorale. remains remarkably unified through Bart6k's characteristically motivic relationships .

and straight-forward. In the case of both Bart6k and Beethoven. its predecessors. and piano and orchestra speak as one. reveling in . whether or not by intention. when comparing the C Major sonata. as opposed to only five between first and second. The character is affirmative throughout. and in which the central section is not an intrusion but a further inspiration. Op. the same might be said of sonata-form first movements of Beethoven. However. Although the union of religion and nature might seem too programmatic for an abstract work of Bart6k. That serenity is again expressed in the second movement. and it is expressed in the very simplest terms. The sense of serious conflict is absent. 109. it is certainly suggested and effectively achieved. the later example is not conceived as a contradiction of. Just as one must experience grief to comprehend real joy. Following the storm and bravura of the previous concerto's opening movements. The opening sonata-form movement_is compact. Op. so he must know conflict in order to achieve such a profound serenity. The lyricism that found lim- ited expression in the second is the very soul of the third. and the change in aesthetics is vast. unassuming. The vitality of the third movement is of a nature quite different from that of any movement in either of the two preceding concertos. 53 or the F Minor sonata. with the E Major sonata. 57. but a final result of.95 There is a span of fourteen years between the second and third concertos. Op. the third does not appear to be in keeping with Bartok's style. in which piano and orchestra are not competitors but allies.

The two forces are primarily on equal terms. in most cases. there is scarcely a real melody in the work. Thematic material is shared and eventually stated or treated contrapuntally in every section of the orchestra. and maintaining a rhythmic excitement free from harsh irregularity. whether in conflict or agreement. the lively episodes and expanded return of the principal section creating a striking similarity to the typical rondo of Beethoven. The finale is an uplifting affirmation. The movement is unquestionably classical in spirit. Not one of the works could be regarded as either a solo for piano with orchestral accompaniment or as a symphony with piano obbligato. It is important to recognize the roles assigned to piano and orchestra in each of the concertos. The third concerto is supremely classical. Although the other two concertos are classical in form and procedures as well.96 seemingly spontaneous counterpoint. the lyricism and clarity of the third make the analogy more pronounced. and the points at which the orchestra is merely supporting the piano are isolated. as this is a problem with which every concerto composer is faced. In the first concerto. Independence of parts is an integral element. the second and third more closely akin to Beethoven. the entire orchestra becomes a percussion ensemble as does the piano. following the delicacy of the first movement and the spirituality of the second. . are treated in the same manner. and excepting the woodwind counterpoint in the second movement and very occasional passages in the first and third. the first movement approaching a Mozartian aesthetic. and.

as well. piano. The third concerto is scored for a large orchestra. strikes an excellent balance between soloist and orchestra. creating tension not through conflict with each other. and woodwinds join for the . but these are readily answered by the orchestra. for the texture of the latter is delicate as well. but the texture is transparent. The brilliance of the pianistic writing in the first movement is complemented by the brass stretto that occurs throughout. however. In the scherzo of the second movement. Perhaps the most beautiful example of compatibility between piano and orchestra is the second movement. although the piano reintroduces the rhythmically transformed motives of the first movement. The soloist is charged with the initial statement of themes. It is not subordinated to the piano in any way. and. Variety in color is achieved through the absence of strings in the first movement. the timpani anticipates the minor-third theme prior to the statement in the piano. In the finale. and the development is a joint effort. the piano and orchestra are conceived inseparably. chromaticism. and the combined forces of the full orchestra in the third. exclusive use of strings. participating in continuous imitation and stretto. and timpani in the opening of the second. and the ultimate effect of the entire section upon the return of the chorale. Both piano and orchestral materials are conceived contrapuntally.97 The second concerto. but through nervous figuration. in which strings and piano answer and enrich each other. it is answered in turn by a transformed version of the stretto by the brass.

as architect. always direct and never wavering in their purposes. in turn. savage. . Bart6k's piano concertos are.98 "bird songs" in the central section. The finale reveals the orchestra again answering the piano and participating in spirited counterpoint after the initial solo statements. works in striking contrast with one another. and Because of their differences. we are allowed varied glimpses of Bartok the man—as individiialist. In capturing the essence of each. it is difficult to grasp their essence as a whole. certainly because this work is more diatonic. bravura. the orchestration is more chordally conceived in the third concerto than in either of the others. ethereal. In general. They are. indeed. and as poet—and in so doing it becomes apparent that one is not at variance with another. perhaps most important is that they are works of conviction.

1932. Andre. dissertation. B€la. Ltd. B^la. Brown Company. Jack Edwin. 1946. Record notes for The Six String Quartets. Lendvai. Leon. Concerto II for Piano and Orchestra. Bart6k. B4la Bart6k: A Memorial Review Including Articles on His Life and Works Reprinted from Tempo. The Piano Music of B^la Bart6k.W. Trans. D. Hubert J. 1950. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Music In My Time. James. William W. 1957. 1971.BIBLIOGRAPHY Austin. B^la. as quoted in Slominsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective. Unpublished Ph. Foss. Cincinnati Enquirer. Concerto No. Goodfriend. D. Noel Burch. Techniques of Twentieth Century Composition. E m o . 1954. 26 Feb. Michigan State University. Music in the 20th Century. 3 for Piano and Orchestra. New York: Boosey and Hawkes. Concerto 1_ for Piano and Orchestra. Columbia Records D3L 317. Hodier.. 1928. New York: Norton and Company. BarttSk's Concertos for Solo Piano: A Stylistic and Formal Analysis. Bela Bartok. 1965" Dallin. Guerry. and Warburg. London: Sacker London: Kahn and Averill. New York: Philosophical Library. W. Fenyo. Iowa: Wm. Graf. C. Bart6k. Vienna: Philharmonia Scores. 99 . 1956. Modem Music. University of California at Los Angeles. 1966. Max. 1961. Thomas. Since Debussy. New York: Boosey and Hawkes. Unpublished Ph. London: Rich and Cowan. 1965. dissertation. 1933. New York: Boosey and Hawkes. Bart6k. Dubuque. 1947.

W. 1953. Boston: Crescendo Publishing Company. New York: W. 1961. 1964. New York Times. Nick and Choate. Joseph. New York: Oxford University Press. Seattle: University of Washington Pre'ss. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Robert A. Ivan F. 1969." Musical Quarterly. Moreux. Stevens. Rossi. Nicolas. . 18 Feb. H. "Bartok's First Piano Concerto: A Publication History. 1965. 126 (1928). Musical America. The Life and Music of Bela Bartok. as quoted in Slominsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective. 51 (1965). Waldbauer. 478-492. Strauss. Music of Our Time. "Music. ed. 1928.100 Machlis. 1965. Halsey." The Nation. 275. Henrietta. Introduction to Contemporary Music. Serge. Slominsky. Lexicon of Musical Invective. Bela Bart6k. Norton and Company. London: Harvill Press. Noble.

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