Bartók as a composer had no use for padding. Every note does what I’d call heavy lifting. However, he also sought other limitations..the 44 Duos have a pedagogical function. Bartók arranged the last into four volumes, with each piece slightly more difficult than the previous one. However, the duos go beyond this, becoming little haikus of folk material in highly sophisticated, even advanced, musical settings. Few of these pieces exceed a minute-and-a-half, and many run less than a minute. One of the signs of a master miniaturist is that the material seems neither too big nor too small for its frame. With Bartók, each little piece satisfies, no matter how long it takes. – Steve Swartz, Classical.net
To celebrate Hungarian composer Bela Bartók’s birthday (b. 3/25/1881), our Video of the Week features two of the “master craftsmen” of our Heifetz Institute violin faculty. Take a look and listen to Elmar Oliveira and Hagai Shaham tackling these tasty – and occasionally funny! – little bits of Bartók. Enjoy!