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These arrangements of "Rumanian Christmas Carols" for recorder ensemble have the same pedagogical aim as the "Hungarian Dances" (UE 17574) which are set for the same instruments. Among other things, what sets Béla Bartók apart from most of his European contemporaries is the constancy of his contact with folk music. His research of Hungarian peasant music began out of purely musical motives. It extended gradually to the folk music of the neighboring countries in order to study relationships and dissimilarities, sources and influences, and led finally to his "essential concept of the fraternization of the nations". Bartók began collecting Rumanian folk melodies in 1908 and in 1915 his "Rumanian Christmas Carols" for piano (UE 5890) came into being. (Christa Sokoll)