Peter Bartók casts a fresh eye on the "Petite Suite", originally published as an excerpt of five pieces from the composer's "44 Duos for Two Violins" (1938). A 1943 second publication added a sixth piece, and today's third edition returns to the original sketches and proofs to create a definitive, corrected version. For intermediate to advanced pianists.
Here is a real find for students who are approaching diploma level but not quite able to cope with the technical demands of works such as Bartok's Op 14 Suite or Out of Doors. The Petite Suite is in fact a reworking of material originally used by Bartok in his 44 duos for two violins. Bartok reworked some of this material into a five-movement piano work in 1938, but this version dates from 1943 and includes an additional piece, "Walachian Dance". Though lasting less than seven minutes in performance, the suite contains an impressively wide range of moods. Beginning with the slow, sonorous "Lingering Melody" and continuing with lively dance rhythms, evocations of string instruments and lyrical counterpoint, it concludes with memories of the last movement of the composer's ever popular 'Bagpipes' Sonatina. The material is memorable and beautifully laid out for the instrument. How strange that such attractive music has remained relatively underperformed, even obscure, for so long. International Piano 5/2013