A new release this month from JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra presents a lesser known side to the Hungarian nationalist composer Béla Bartók. Serving as his passport to the vast new world of orchestral music prevailing at the beginning of the 20th century, all the works on the disc reveal a young composer on the threshold of greatness. The romantic spirit is felt both in the inspiration Bartók took from Richard Strauss’ ground-breaking tone poems, and in the real-life romantic ups and downs the composer was experiencing at the time. Peter Hall discusses here this largely neglected period in the life of one of the 20th-century’s greatest composers with conductor JoAnn Falletta.
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