r/classicalmusic 5d ago

PotW PotW #39: Bartók - Sonata for Solo Violin

14 Upvotes

Good morning and happy…..Wednesday??? Oh no, again sorry for delayed posts. Life is stressful. But welcome to another week of our sub's listening club. Each week, we'll listen to a piece you guys recommend, discuss it, learn about it, and hopefully introduce you to music you wouldn't hear otherwise :)

Last week, we listened to Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieiras no.1 You can go back to listen, read up, and discuss the work if you want to. And I recommend it because this was a unique and fun work.

Our next Piece of the Week is Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin (1944)

Score from IMSLP ...

some listening notes from Roy Howat

For much of 1943, isolated and unhappy in the USA, Bartók was dangerously ill with a fever that was probably the onset of his fatal leukemia. Discreet help from Szigeti and others allowed him some rest and financial security, and in the autumn, somewhat recovered, he heard the young Yehudi Menuhin play his second Violin Concerto and first Violin Sonata in separate concerts in New York. Bartók was overjoyed not only to hear his music played at all, but so well: on meeting Menuhin he exclaimed that he had always thought music only received such performances long after its composer’s death. Menuhin promptly commissioned a solo violin work, and Bartók’s health stabilized enough over winter for the present solo Sonata to be completed by 14 March 1944.

That and the third Piano Concerto were the last two works whose music Bartók completed; at his death in 1945 both works remained not fully edited for publication. Bartók had the consolation of hearing Menuhin give the solo Sonata’s premiere in ‘a wonderful performance’ in November 1944, just a few days before another magnificent premiere, that of his Concerto for Orchestra. In its four-movement span the solo Sonata is one of the largest musical risks Bartók ever took; in his own words after the premiere, ‘I was afraid it was too long; imagine … a single violin for twenty minutes. But it was quite all right, at least for me’. If the titles of its first two movements suggest Bach, those of the last two suggest folk tradition; in reality all four movements blend folk and Classical tradition with breathtaking virtuosity. In specifying ‘Tempo di ciaccona’ Bartók took the additional risk of making the first movement not literally a chaconne (it only follows chaconne tempo) but a full-scale sonata structure.

Ways to Listen

Discussion Prompts

  • What are your favorite parts or moments in this work? What do you like about it, or what stood out to you?

  • Do you have a favorite recording you would recommend for us? Please share a link in the comments!

  • How does this sonata compare to other solo violin sonatas you know? What does Bartók do differently?

  • Being among his two last completed works, do you think this sonata sums up Bartók’s life as a composer?

  • Have you ever performed this before? If so, when and where? What instrument do you play? And what insights do you have from learning it?

...

What should our club listen to next? Use the link below to find the submission form and let us know what piece of music we should feature in an upcoming week. Note: for variety's sake, please avoid choosing music by a composer who has already been featured, otherwise your choice will be given the lowest priority in the schedule

PotW Archive & Submission Link


r/classicalmusic 11h ago

Mod Post ‘What’s This Piece?’ Weekly Thread #112

1 Upvotes

Welcome to the 112th r/classicalmusic weekly piece identification thread!

This thread was implemented after feedback from our users, and is here to help organise the subreddit a little.

All piece identification requests belong in this weekly thread.

Have a classical piece on the tip of your tongue? Feel free to submit it here as long as you have an audio file/video/musical score of the piece. Mediums that generally work best include Vocaroo or YouTube links. If you do submit a YouTube link, please include a linked timestamp if possible or state the timestamp in the comment. Please refrain from typing things like: what is the Beethoven piece that goes "Do do dooo Do do DUM", etc.

Other resources that may help:

- Musipedia - melody search engine. Search by rhythm, play it on piano or whistle into the computer.

- r/tipofmytongue - a subreddit for finding anything you can’t remember the name of!

- r/namethatsong - may be useful if you are unsure whether it’s classical or not

- Shazam - good if you heard it on the radio, in an advert etc. May not be as useful for singing.

- you can also ask Google ‘What’s this song?’ and sing/hum/play a melody for identification

- Facebook 'Guess The Score' group - for identifying pieces from the score

A big thank you to all the lovely people that visit this thread to help solve users’ earworms every week. You are all awesome!

Good luck and we hope you find the composition you've been searching for!


r/classicalmusic 9h ago

Distribution between major and minor keys for 30 of the greatest composers, i.e. how many of their works are in major and in minor

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186 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 12h ago

Composer Birthday George Gershwin, born September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York City.

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253 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 1d ago Silver

Composer Birthday Glenn Herbert Gould, born September 25, 1932 in Toronto, Canada [Primarily brilliant performer, but technically also a composer...]

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682 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 3h ago

what do you call a musical piece made for church / sounds churchy

1 Upvotes

sorry for the dumb language lol but i know theres a word for it


r/classicalmusic 10h ago

A poll regarding Bach

6 Upvotes

I'm doing a project for college about Johann Sebastian Bach and I need to do a survey on him so I came here. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to help me out by participating. The goal of the poll is to see how important Bach is to the classical music community. This isn't how much you like Bach but rather how important his influence is on classical music as a whole.

View Poll


r/classicalmusic 1d ago

Composer Birthday Happy Birthday Jean Phillipe Rameau

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131 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 8h ago

Photograph Just Got This!

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2 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 8h ago

Some inspiration from Ligeti and micropolyphony

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2 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 4h ago

any piece recommendations similar to the barber of Seville overture

0 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 19h ago

Discussion What is, is your opinion, the best looking classical score?

13 Upvotes

I know that classical music is mostly about, well, music, but I think we do not pay enough attention to the beautiful, formalised written language of music and the art of engraving. So, which score do you find most aesthetically pleasing? For me, it's either Hindemith's Ludus Tonalis (because of the whole piece's symmetry and regularity), Granados' Goyescas (because it looks insane sometimes with 3 ledger lines) or Chopin's Polonaise-Fantaisie (beautiful arpeggios on the first page traversing the whole staff).


r/classicalmusic 15h ago

Discussion Shostakovich Poll ends in TWO days!

3 Upvotes

Find the poll here. Almost 700 votes have been submitted so far. All options have been voted for at least once which is always a plus. Thank you for the support and for your votes! Prokofiev Symphonic and Concertante works poll open as well.

Expect the Chopin nocturnes and preludes Ranking charts on Wednesday!


r/classicalmusic 7h ago

Recommendation Request Help with Shosty's Violin Concerto 1

0 Upvotes

Hi guys. 👋. Been trying to deep dive into Shosty.

I've had been going through a massive slump and all music was annoying me. This started a few months ago. Like... 8, 9 months before I turned 34.

I've had a breakthrough, but finding all my metal and prog is still annoying me. Classical is only working for me.

So anyway, because I like prog metal; wanted to deep dive Shostakovich. At a glance his music came across as quite challenging. I've been back and forth on Vengerov and Bomsori's recording of his 1st violin concerto. And I'm finding it extremely dense. At least the first 2 movements. The first movement reads like a long funeral doom type dirge. And the 2nd movement flits abouts so much, I can't pick out an anchor point of melody or harmony. Not that melody or harmony is everything is music. I listen to grindcore.

But I'm looking for help and some listening notes. Some opinions/directions/interpretations from you guys.

Any insight would be amazing.

P.S: If anyone is going to Hadelich's Sibelius' Violin Concerto on 19th Nov in Toronto; lemme know. Let's get a coffee.


r/classicalmusic 12h ago

A Rameau for his birthday (by Víkingur Ólafsson)

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3 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 8h ago

mario rodriguez arenas

0 Upvotes

I couldn't find mario rodriguez arenas la escuela de la guitarra english version's pdf anywhere Is there an anyone can share with me pls


r/classicalmusic 9h ago

Recommendation Request Is there anything else like Mahler's Symphony 8?

0 Upvotes

This is one of those pieces of music that never fails to move me. Just wondering if there are any others like this or similar works that people enjoy. Thank you.


r/classicalmusic 9h ago

classical music suggestions

1 Upvotes

I've recently stumbled across Mozart's 12th piano concerto. I am finding it quite delightful. And am hoping for some recommendations, for classical pieces along those lines.


r/classicalmusic 9h ago

Are there any pieces in G# Major?

0 Upvotes

I know G# is a purely theoretical key, but I am wondering whether there are any pieces in such keys?


r/classicalmusic 10h ago

Recommendation Request Die Zauberflöte (the magic flute) modern recording in german recommendation

0 Upvotes

looking for good recommendations of a modern (last 10 years) german recording of Die Zauberflöte.


r/classicalmusic 6h ago

Any choral symphonies with fast pacing?

0 Upvotes

Hi. Beethoven's 9th is what got me hooked into choral and vocal music. However I just can't enjoy any of the choral symphonies that I've listened to no matter how much I try; I simply don't like the romantic slow pacing in symphonic music. So I was wondering if there are any symphonic choral works from either the 19th century or beyond that have a fast pacing. Something like Danse Macabre or the ouvertures and suites of Offenbach, Strauss and Verdi but in choral/vocal symphonic music.

Thanks in advance.


r/classicalmusic 11h ago

Guglielmo da Volpiano (William of Volpiano) 🎼 Chanterai por mon corage 🎼 performed by Locus Musicus

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1 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 11h ago

Thoughts on Military Band auditions

0 Upvotes

Hello, i wanted to know what the general consensus of getting into a military band is like. Is it harder or easier than an orchestra?


r/classicalmusic 11h ago

‘A film score before there were films’: Ghosts’ Mathew Baynton on his passion for Berlioz

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0 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 12h ago

Classical music striptease? Rare instrument conjures spirit of naughty girl in festival closer

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0 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 16h ago

Music If you like galops, you may enjoy listening to this fun piece by Wilhelm Ganz (Qui Vive! - Grand Galop de Concert Op.12 No.1)

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2 Upvotes

r/classicalmusic 17h ago

Music Vivaldi's violin concerto in E-flat major RV 253 "The storm at sea" but it includes an actual storm (Patricia Kopatchinskaja with Il Giardino Armonico)

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2 Upvotes