’ … masterworks in minature’

’ … masterworks in minature’

found a lovely quotation by Bela Bartok (1881-1945), song collector and folklorist :

‘Each folk-tune is a model of high artistic perfection. I regard them as so many masterworks in minature, as i do a Bach fugue, or a mozart sonata in the world of the larger forms.’

ref : Janos Manga (1969) ‘Hungarian Folksong and Folk Instruments’ Budapest : Kossuth

so which of ‘our’ tunes could be considered ‘masterworks’?

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

-Dr Gilbert’s
-Skylark
-Cliffs of Moher
-Garret Barry’s jig
-Star of Munster
-some of Paddy Fahey and Ed Reavy’s tunes

I’m tempted to put in Jenny’s Welcome to Charley and the Gold Ring (the flute one) - - but I think those tunes maybe are not elegant enough
— I like the ones that are like Greek temples, or maybe Swiss watches?
Blah, blah, blah …

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

I had remarkable CD (I lent it to someone and they lost it, doh) consisting of three versions of each piece of music. The first version is a quartet by Bartok that was inspired by and includes a "folk" tune or tunes. The piece is played by a top professional classical string quartet that specialises in Bartok. The next version is the same top proffesional classical string quartet playing just the "folk" tune/tunes as collected and transcribed by Bartok from the piece. The third version is the tune/tunes played by traditional eastern European musicians as they were passed to them orally/aurally.

Gues which version is the best?

Posted .

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

Both of it?

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

1st and 3rd. Each in their own right.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

Yes, that was my thought also, first and third. And the contrast is very interesting and exciting. The second is there merely to bridge the other two, but I can’t help feeling that it would have been farer if they’d have let the traditional musicians have a shot at the Bartok. Or maybe the traditional musicians knew they couldn’t play the Bartok?

Posted .

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

oh it’s Kathleen Ferrier all over again. Good voice, wrong manner.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

The masterworks? I’d go with those where the immortal souls of poor players are routinely and irreversibly spirited away:

• Rory of the Hills
• The Pretty Girl/Maid Milking Her/a Cow
• Return from/to Fingal

And Hup’s right: I’d throw in Cliffs of Moher, too.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

just go to the members tab and look under tune books, you will find plenty there.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

I love it when classical composers take a traditional melody and play with it. You get the strong melodies of folk music combined with the intricacy of classical—in the right hands, the best of both worlds. For example, I always felt Aaron Copeland was at his best when working with folk melodies or folk inspirations.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

Stravinsky too - see l’Histoire du Soldat - has wonderful stuff in it for
fiddle (including some scordatura) and clarinet. I had the opportunity to
perform this one (clarinet part) - probably the high point of my somewhat
disappointing clarinet career.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

i’ve always thought copeland’s orchestral treatment of ‘gift to be simple’ was a classic example of oxymoron. most of my life was spent in a town with a strong academic music bias — you know; "SERious" music, and i have developed a very low tolerance for that attitude. if you can’t understand that robert johnson made serious music, you really have missed the point. nothing could be more serious than ‘hellhounds on my trail’. in my reflective moments, i realize that it’s just a matter of understanding the vocabulary, or the idiom, but that often didn’t help when confronted with that foolishness. and when i hear academic treatments of fine traditional tunes, i’m often left with a feeling of sadness and outrage that the music has been injured. except in the case of ‘swedish rhapsody’, but we all have our quirks.

Re: ’ … masterworks in minature’

Stravinsky stole folk tunes wholesale for the ‘Rite of Spring’.

Anyway,just for you,lisaniska-one of my favourites is George White’s Favourite.