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Didier François and Marco Ambrosini
'Bela Bartok, 44 Duets for Violin on the Nyckelharpa'
Didier François - nyckelharpa
Marco Ambrosini - nyckelharpa
Label - Wild Boar Music, Netherlands
Marco Ambrosini and Didier Francois are both active in the classical as well as the traditional field. By performing these classical
compositions based on traditional melodies- on a traditional instrument (the
nyckelharpa), they wish to mix these two musical aspects even more.
The nyckelharpa is a violin-related stringed instrument with a keyboard, especially known for Swedish music. Even though they follow
Bartok and the Hungarian tradition as far as interpretation and style are concerned,
Marco and Didier wish to approach this music in a non-conventional way.
Bela Bartok, composer, pianist and educator, one of the strongest personalities of modern music, was born on
March 5th, 1881 in the small Hungarian town of Nagyszentmiklos, (now Romanian). Listening to Hungarian folk songs as a child, his artistic calling manifests itself. He studies music, becomes a teacher at the Royal Academy of Budapest, performs as a concert pianist and composes.
Bartok is guided by Zoltan Kodaly, his friend and fellow musician. Both will embark on the same artistic mission: to record, inventory and analyse traditional Hungarian music - not so called gypsy music- but the
authentic local music. In 1903 they travel across Hungary, mostly together Armed with recording equipment they attempt to record and note down the folk songs and
rhythms in their original form. They did not confine themselves to Hungarian traditional music. Especially
Bartok broadens the field of research to include music from the Balkan and even Turkey and Africa.
In the course of many years a treasure of nearly 10,000 songs are collected.
In 1931 Bartok receives a letter from Erich Dolfein, professor at the University of Freiburg. The latter, along with his wife, was working to develop a new method to teach young pupils violins using beautiful and simple melodies of modern composers. He requests
Bartok to write a number of compositions. The composer, interested in new pedagogic challenges, sees in this opportunity to bring traditional Hungarian music closer to aspirant musicians and accepts the assignment.
The first example he sends is what is later to become the Transylvanian dance nr.33 Because of its high degree of difficulty, professor
Dolfein asks for simpler melodies. That same year Bartok completes a series of 44 melodies, subsided into 3 parts. with increasing degree of difficulty.
Even though this composition was initially not intended as a concert piece,
Bartok noted on the score that this pedagogic order need not to be respected when performed. The piece is soon appreciated by professional violinists and is performed for the first time on the zoth of January 1932 by
Lure Walbauer and Gyorgy Hannover.
Didier François and Marco Ambrosini
'Bela Bartok, 44 Duets for Violin on the Nyckelharpa '
|1. Transylvanian dance
2. New year's song
3. Serbian dance
6. Midsummer nicht song
7. Teasing song
8. Maypole dance
9. A fairy tale
10. Hay song
11. Wedding song
12. Play song
13. Ruthenian song
14. Cradle song
15. Pillow dance
16. Soldier song
17. Comic song
18. Ruthenian kolomeika
20. New year's greeting
21. Prelude and canon
22. Rumanian whirling dance
23. Hungarian song
24. Bride's farewell
25. Walachian song
26. Slovakian song (2)
28. Hungarian march (t)
29. Harvest song
30. A rhythm song
31. Walachian dance
32. Hungarian song (t)
33. Arabian song
35. Teasing song
36. Limping dance
37. New year's greeting (3)
38. Dance from Maramaros
39. Hungarian march (z)
40. Enumerating song
42. New year's greeting (3)
43. Mosquito dance