Bartok Would Be Appalled

Bartok. Concerto for Orchestra. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Hungarian Sketches. Fritz Reiner. Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

At some point in the last month, horrified by the destabilization of Eastern Europe and, I don’t know, the continuing idiocy of mankind, I began casting around for a Ukrainian composer in dad’s collection to write about. This proved easier said than done, as the closest I could get was Prokofiev, who was born to Muscovite parents in Donetsk, which at that time was part of the Russian empire and as of this writing remains a fitful part of Ukraine. So is he Ukrainian? Um…It’s complicated, just like Ukraine itself.

But then I realized that in fact I had already landed, in my slow letter-by-letter progress through dad’s collection, on the perfect composer to express some of what I’ve been feeling: Bela Bartok. Continue reading