24 January 2013

Bartók's Romanian Dances: two versions

The Romanian Dances by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók have long been one of my favourite pieces of music. Decades ago I heard pianist Gellért Módos play this near Chicago, and it was an electric experience, perhaps not unlike that generated by violinist Janine Jansen in this video:


Jansen's performance is, of course, in the classic western tradition. Compare hers with the following performance by the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks, known in Romanian as Taraful Haiducilor. This is a remarkable performance that situates Bartók's famous piece clearly within the native folk tradition. Why the audience did not roar with approval at the end I don't know.

1 comment:

David Koyzis said...

Someone suggested to me that perhaps there was no audience as such, only the studio crew helping with the recording. That would make sense.

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