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Lot #564
Béla Bartók

BARTÓK IN THE BIG APPLE: The composer outlines musical activities in his final year

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BARTÓK IN THE BIG APPLE: The composer outlines musical activities in his final year

Hungarian-born musician (1881–1945) who, through his far-reaching endeavors as composer, performer, educator, and ethnomusicolgist, emerged as one of the most forceful and influential creative personalities of the twentieth century. ALS in Hungarian, signed “Béla,” one page both sides, 6.25 x 9.25, October 4, 1944. Bartók writes to his friend and fellow composer/pianist Erno Balogh (1897–1989). Bartók sends greetings and personal news and reports on his recent activities, mentioning that he is looking forward to negotiations with [music publisher] Elkan, and that he is hoping to record a number of his own piano works (including the Suite Op. 14, Sonatina, Burlesques, and Romanian Dance No. 1). He goes on to complain about his poor health and has been busy exclusively with “certain Romanian lyrics” and has written a study on them, even though no one seems to be interested. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in Bartók’s hand, including the return address with his block printed signature “B. BARTÓK.” Bartók had fled Europe at the outbreak of World War II and settled in America. Though he was diagnosed with leukemia shortly thereafter and was plagued by illness in his final years, he managed to produce some of his greatest works, including the Concerto for Orchestra and his unfinished Viola Concerto (completed by his pupil, Tibor Serly). Faint show-through of ink, otherwise very fine, clean condition. R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #333 - Ended May 14, 2008