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Bartók's Viola ConcertoThe Remarkable Story of His Swansong$
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Donald Maurice

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156904.001.0001

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Circumstances, Commission, Composition, Influences, and the Manuscript

(p.7) CHAPTER ONE Genesis
Bartók's Viola Concerto

Donald Maurice

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the circumstances in New York in which Béla and Ditta Bartók lived, including health issues, the process of the viola concerto commission from William Primrose, the period of composition, influences in the work, and a description of the actual manuscript. It also places the concerto into context with other works of the American period. Tibor Serly's recollection of the events leading to the composer's death is revealed, as written in a later article. Attention is drawn to the possibility that there is Scottish influence “hidden” in the work and this chapter speculates on where this is and whether the melody of The Wife She Brewed It may be its origin.

Keywords:   New York, Ditta Bartók, Bartók's health, Primrose, American period, Scottish influence, The Wife She Brewed It

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