Performed by the Brodsky Quartet at their 'Fugues' concert for CMNZ, Auckland Concert Chamber, 13 May 2019.
While he was composing this piece, Bela Bartók was also engaged in preparing an edition of Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier with its sequence of Preludes and Fugues. Throughout the quartet, he displays his fluency as a contrapuntal writer – although there isn’t any real fugal writing until we get to a section in the middle of the third movement.
We do hear his indebtedness to Hungarian folk music though. And the whole work is a journey from sombre reflection at the beginning through to exuberance at the end. Bartók’s colleague Zoltan Kodály called it a “return to life”.
Recorded by RNZ in the Concert Chamber of Auckland Town Hall, 13 May 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay