In Bartók’s earliest works the influences of Liszt and Richard Strauss are never far away. In the early 1900s the young composer had studied many of Strauss’s scores, attempting a symphony in E flat. Gradually the music of his native Hungary began influence his musical voice as can be heard in the E minor violin sonata. The Austro-German musical hold on him was slipping. He took to wearing Hungarian national clothes, and rebelled at speaking German at home. Shortly after completing the violin sonata in 1903 he left for the countryside where he became interested in the folk music and songs of his countrymen. His research with fellow composer Zoltan Kodaly of Hungarian folk music is famous, but Bartók went beyond national boundaries for inspiration, as can be heard in the Transylvanian, Romanian and Slovak folk material featured on this disc of his early works for violin and piano.
- Little-known Bartók music, from the beginning of his career provide fascinating insights on his development as a composer, and the importance of folk music in his compositions.
- New recordings, the first volume of an exciting 4 CD project: the complete works for violin of the great Hungarian 20-th century composer.