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Béla Bartók: Concerto No. 2

  • for piano and orchestra
  • 3 2 2 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), str
  • Duration: 25’
  • Soloists:
    piano
  • Instrumentation details:
    piccolo (+3rd fl)
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    1st oboe (+c.a)
    2nd oboe
    1st clarinet in B/A
    2nd clarinet in B/A (+bass cl(Bb))
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    contrabassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    bass tuba
    timpani
    percussion(2)
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    contrabass
  • Composer: Béla Bartók
  • Editor: Peter Bartók

Work introduction

Bartók might have protected his first piano concerto but with time, he was obliged to accept that “the facture is somewhat – even very – difficult for both the audience and the orchestra. That is why I decided some years later, 1930/1931, to compose my second piano concerto as a counterpart to the first one, thematically more agreeable and with fewer difficulties for the orchestra. This intention explains the more folk-like, lighter character of most of the themes.” Further, the composer describes the orchestration: “The orchestra consists of winds and percussion in the first movement; it is made up of (muted) strings and timpani in the Adagio; the Scherzo uses strings, a group of winds and percussion, and only the third requires the full orchestra.”

Bálint Varga

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Frankfurt am Main (DE)
Date:
23.01.1933

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