b Riding East: Evening in Transylvania I

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Evening in Transylvania I

Bela Bartok wrote 10 Easy Pieces for piano. "Evening in Transylvania" comes from this set, #6 I believe. We listened to a Bartok recording of this piece in Dr. Barth's master class.

My previous piano teacher, Mr. Adolph "Ushu" Baller, knew Bartok. I think he and Yehudi hung out with Bartok in New York in the early 40's, after Mr. Baller escaped Austria (via Budapest and Turkey), and prior to Mr. Baller and his wife Edith moving to the bay area. I wish I could talk more with Mr. Baller about Bela. And I regret not studying more of Bartok's music with Mr. Baller. I remember Mr. Baller once told me that he knew two words in Hungarian: "I do".

I want to set this to a song cycle. Here is the first attempt, but in chamber form following the previous prelude #14 with flute, clarinet in b-flat, trumpet in C, two violins, viola, and one cello. I have several ideas for expansion here, but need to button up this iteration for classes tomorrow. The piece is yet another experiment in polytonality.

Evening in Transylvania, first movement


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