By Béla Bartók | Arranged for Four Cellos by Luna Pearl Woolf | 10′
Title: First Rhapsody
Composer: Béla Bartók
Arranged by: Luna Pearl Woolf
Year Composed: 1930/2005
Instrumentation: Four Cellos
Format: Score + Parts
Catalogue Number: OM0117
Price: Contact us.
Bartók had a long and conflicted relationship with the United States. He first toured the country in 1927 as a piano soloist, performing mostly his own music. On that first visit, he was universally derided in the press as a musical heretic, with some critics not-so-politely inviting him to go back home to Hungary. Spurred on by this rejection, Bartók returned to Budapest with a renewed determination to embrace the musical heritage of his native region. Following his Fourth String Quartet (1928), he composed two Rhapsodies for violin and piano. The first of these he also arranged for cello and piano. The First Rhapsody, alternating episodes of bravado and nostalgia, sets mostly Romanian folk tunes from Transylvania in a typical form of slow and fast (lassú and friss) movements.
Luna Pearl Woolf’s arrangement for four cellos captures the flare and momentum of this virtuosic showpiece.
Bartók’s cello-piano version of this work is recorded on Oxingale Records’ album Goulash. Click here to go to the album page on iTunes.