“The Night's Music” and the Pastoral Roots of a Modern Style
This chapter focuses on “The Night's Music”, the fourth movement in Béla Bartók's December 1926 piano recital. It suggests that the acceptance of this work even among the conservative Hungarian audiences of Bartók's day is perhaps surprising for a work that would come to be seen as the locus classicus of a uniquely Bartókian contribution to the language of musical modernism. It explains that Bartók used a highly dissonant but very soft tone cluster made up of five adjacent semitones as a static background throughout most of the work.
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