Bartók’s Piano Concerto No 1 premièred 90 years ago

Reading time: 1 min. Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók wrote the first of his three piano concertos in the autumn of 1926. The Concerto No 1 was intended for Bartók’s own concert appearances, and the first performance was given exactly 90 years ago, on 1 July 1927, in Frankfurt am Main as part of the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival, with Bartók as soloist under Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Due to its technical difficulty and its innovative approach – the instrument is treated rather like a percussive instrument than a piano – the work only slowly won recognition, which led the composer to defend it: “The piano concerto is far better and significant than the Dance Suite.”

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