Bela Bartok, BARTOK: String Quartets (Complete)

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The raw, unadorned side of concert hall folk music.

Many composers have been inspired by folk music, neatening it up somewhat for the concert hall, but Bartok was particularly drawn to its raw, unadorned side. His six quartets, written between 1908 and 1939, include astringent harmonies, asymmetrical rhythms, harsh, driving, thrilling fast movements and the shadowy, uncanny flutterings of a style he called "night music," all drawn from the vernacular music of his native Hungary and other Balkan states.