Cover image for Allegro barbaro : and other short works for solo piano
Allegro barbaro : and other short works for solo piano
Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Piano music. Selections
Publication Information:
Mineola, N.Y. : Dover, 1998.
Physical Description:
1 score (102 pages) ; 31 cm
General Note:
"Originally published separately by Universal Edition. Allegro barbaro, Romanian Folk Dances, Romanian Christmas Carols and Suite, op. 14, were originally published in 1918; Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs, and Etudes, Op. 18, in 1920; Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Tunes, Op. 20, in 1922"--Verso.
Allegro barbaro -- Romanian folk dances. Stick game ; Peasant costume ; Standing still ; Song of the mountain horn ; A garden gate in Romania ; Little one -- Romanian Christmas carols. First series ; Second series -- Fifteen Hungarian peasant songs. Four old tunes (nos. 1-4) ; Scherzo (no. 5) ; Ballade : theme with variations (no. 6) ; Old dance tunes (nos. 7-15) -- Suite, op. 14 -- Etudes, op. 18 -- Improvisations on Hungarian peasant songs, op. 20.
Format :
Musical Score


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
M25.B28 A63 1998 Musical Score Grosvenor Room-Oversize

On Order



An outstanding authority on the folk music of Central and Eastern Europe, Hungarian composer B#65533;la Bart#65533;k (1881--1945) explored the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic vocabulary of these regions, evolving a terse, vibrant, and unique musical language in his own works.
This important compilation of Bart#65533;k's short works for piano contains the Allegro Barbaro, a sonorous, boisterous piece of power and bravura; 6 Romanian Folk Dances; 20 Romanian Christmas Carols; 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs, a connected cycle of short folk-tune settings; the 4-part Suite, Op. 14; the Three Etudes, Op. 18; and 8 Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20. Highly dissonant, individual, and marked in character, the tunes in the connected cycle of the Improvisations represent a high point in Bart#65533;k's treatment of folk materials.
These short pieces are an ideal and fully representative introduction to the music of one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century -- an attractive repertoire for intermediate and advanced pianists.

Author Notes

Bela Bartok, one of the outstanding composers of the twentieth century, was born in Hungary in 1881. When he was five years old, his mother began to teach him to play the piano. By the age of nine, he had begun to compose his own music. Between 1899 and 1903, he attended the Academy of Music in Budapest; in 1907 he was appointed professor of piano.

Bartok's early compositions were complex and not well received by the public. In 1905 he turned his attention to collecting and cataloging the folk music of his native Hungary. With the help of his friend and fellow Hungarian, composer Zoltan Kodaly, Bartok produced a series of commentaries, anthologies, and arrangements of the folk music that he had collected. Bartok's interest in folk music had a profound effect on his compositions. The influence is seen in the unadorned power of his music, especially in the rhythmic drive of fast movements and in his use of folk melodies, rhythms, and harmonic patterns.

Throughout his life, Bartok had to struggle to make a living. Yet he refused to teach musical composition, believing that this would inhibit his own composing. Instead, he earned a living teaching piano and performing. During the 1920s he traveled throughout Europe giving piano recitals, and, in 1927 and 1928, he made a concert tour of the United States.

In 1940, after the outbreak of World War II, Bartok left Hungary to settle in the United States, where he continued to perform and compose music. Among his most famous compositions are the Mikrokosmos for piano (1926--27), Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (1936), and Concerto for Orchestra (1943). Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge became his patron and supported him.

Bartok died of leukemia in 1945.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Allegro barbaro
Romanian Folk Dances: Román népi táncok
I Stick game: Joc cu bâta
II Peasant costume: Braul
III Standing still: Pe loc
IV Song of the mountain horn: Buciumeana
V A garden gate in Romania: V Poarca Româneasca
VI Little one: Maruntel
Romanian Christmas Carols: Román Karácsonyi dallamok
First Series
"10 short pieces, including concert versions of selected carols"
Second Series
"10 short pieces, including concert versions of selected carols"
Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs: Tizenöt magyar paraszt'dal
Four Old Tunes (Nos. 1-4)
Scherzo (No. 5)
Ballade: Theme with variations (No. 6)
Old Dance Tunes (Nos. 7-15)
"Suite, Op. 14"
1 Allegretto
2 Scherzo (No. 5)
3 Allegro molto
4 Sostenuto
"Etudes, Op. 18"
I Allegro molto
II Andante sostenuto
III Rubato
"Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20: Improvizaciok Magyar Nepdalra"
I Molto moderato
II Molto capriccioso
III "Lento, rubato"
IV Allegretto scherzando
V Allegro molto
VI "Allegro moderato, molto capriccioso"
VII "Sostenuto, rubato ("In memory of Claude Debussy")"
VIII Allegro