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Bartok - Violin concerto N2

Bartok - Violin concerto N2. You can download the PDF sheet music Bartok - Violin concerto N2 on this page. The Violin Concerto was commissioned by Zoltan Szekelv, to whom it is dedicated. It was composed in Budapest between August 1937 and December 1938. In form and spirit this concerto conforms to classical ideals: although the violin part requires a high degree of technical perfection from the performer, the virtuoso element is always controlled by primarily musical considerations. A similar subtlety is evident in the thematic interrelationship that associates the two corner movements, and also the ideas of each of the two movements taken separately. In fact, Bartok orignially proposed to write a concerto in the form of variations, but Szekely insisted on a proper concerto. The composer apparently gave in; yet on examining the thematic material of the two movements it will be obvious that his original intentions prevailed.

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Instrument part: 24 pages. 1503 K


Piano part: 59 pages. 3563 K


Bartok - Violin concerto N2 - Instrument part - first page Bartok - Violin concerto N2 - Piano part - first page
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Apart from the analogous thematic material, the unity of the composition is ensured also by the key-relationship of the separate movements. The B major—G major—B major sequence corresponds entirely to classical principles, if allowance is made for the G major of the middle movement that replaces, in consideration of the solo instrument's limitations, the true dominant F-sharp. But the principle of unity goes deeper than this: there is a subtle relationship between the tonal centers of the two corner movements whose B major shows a pronounced inclination to G, and the middle movement whose G major is pulled in the direction of B.

In the first movement, Allegro non troppo, six bars of orchestral introduction, set for harp, soft pizzicatos of the lower strings, and horn, precede the solo violin's entry with the noble first sentence of the principal theme. The paragraph divides into three parts of which the third repeats, with modifications, the first, and the second, from bar 22, contains brisk semiquaver figurations in contrast to the dignity and smooth continuity of the first. The development section begins with a dreamy, lyrical passage of the solo violin, recalling the introduction both in its melodic configuration, which derives from the pizzicato motif in the basses, and the accompanying chords of the harp. After an extensive orchestral interlude, and the recapitulation of the remaining material of the exposition, the solo violin comes to rest on D, which ushers in the cadenza. The coda is given over to combinations of various thematic fragments, providing a suitable background to the solo instrument's brilliant flights.

The ternary formal pattern of the second movement, Andante tranquillo, is comparatively simple: the statement of a thematic strophe and its recapitulation at the end embrace six variations of strongly contrasted character. The theme itself, in its melodic profile and harmonic implications (most important of which is the Lydian — augmented — fourth), is extremely suitable for musical transformations. In the first variation the violin is largely left alone; the second variation witnesses a dialogue between the harp and the solo violin; the third variation belongs again largely to the solo violin, showing a version of raucous double-stops, well in contrast to the previous section's lyrical confessions. The fourth variation, again in contrast to the decided rhythm of its predecessor, is rhapsodic in character, containing scales and melismatic passages; the fifth variation is a scherzo that combines motivic fragments and figurations in a brilliant filigree work; in the sixth variation the gist of the musical argument — canonic entries of the substantially altered theme — is relegated to the orchestra, the solo violin's contribution consisting mainly of shakes, turns, and similar devices. Towards the end, however, the solo violin joins the orchestra's canonic texture, and prepares its own entry with the reprise of the variation theme.

The principal thematic group of the third movement, Allegro molto, like that of the first movement, consists of three sections. The relationship of the opening theme to the nohle melody of the first movement is obvious even at first hearing; it is introduced, like its prototype, by the solo violin. There is excitement in the second section that consists mostly of brilliant violinistic figurations: the climax of a crescendo is followed by the third paragraph given over entirely to the orchestra that elaborates the dance-like opening theme. The rest of the thematic components are all easily recognizable variants of their opposite numbers in the first movement. The closing group is omitted, and the exposition runs right into the development section, which opens on F. This section is mainly concerned with the menacing succession of chords that first occurred in the first movement; here, however, their dynamic control makes them less alarming than previously. Nevertheless they gather momentum towards the end of the section, and their tension is relieved by the entry of the principal theme, inverted, on the solo violin later, which corresponds to the pseudo-reprise of the first movement. An orchestral episode intervenes, which elaborates its head-motif and issues in a canonic passage on the brass. After the inverted transition passage the subsidiary group follows, and an extensive ostinato passage prepares the short cadenza of the solo violin. The fairly long coda is chiefly concerned with motives of the principal theme.


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