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Bela Bartok and Turn-of-the-Century Budapest

Overview

Bartók's music is greatly prized by concertgoers, yet we know little about the intellectual milieu that gave rise to his artistry. Bartók is often seen as a lonely genius emerging from a gray background of an "underdeveloped country." Now Judit Frigyesi offers a broader perspective on Bartók's art by grounding it in the social and cultural life of turn-of-the-century Hungary and the intense creativity of its modernist movement. Bartók spent most of his life in Budapest, an exceptional man living in a remarkable ...

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Overview

Bartók's music is greatly prized by concertgoers, yet we know little about the intellectual milieu that gave rise to his artistry. Bartók is often seen as a lonely genius emerging from a gray background of an "underdeveloped country." Now Judit Frigyesi offers a broader perspective on Bartók's art by grounding it in the social and cultural life of turn-of-the-century Hungary and the intense creativity of its modernist movement. Bartók spent most of his life in Budapest, an exceptional man living in a remarkable milieu. Frigyesi argues that Hungarian modernism in general and Bartók's aesthetic in particular should be understood in terms of a collective search for wholeness in life and art and for a definition of identity in a rapidly changing world. Is it still possible, Bartók's generation of artists asked, to create coherent art in a world that is no longer whole? Bartók and others were preoccupied with this question and developed their aesthetics in response to it.
In a discussion of Bartók and of Endre Ady, the most influential Hungarian poet of the time, Frigyesi demonstrates how different branches of art and different personalities responded to the same set of problems, creating oeuvres that appear as reflections of one another. She also examines Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, exploring philosophical and poetic ideas of Hungarian modernism and linking Bartók's stylistic innovations to these concepts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520207400
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 367
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Judit Frigyesi is Associate Professor at Bar-Ilan University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 History and Aesthetics
1 Organic Artwork or Communal Style? 19
2 The Historical and Social Context of Hungarian Modernism 43
3 The Romantic Roots and Political Radicalism of Hungarian Modernism 61
4 Hungarian Modernism and the Organicist Theory of Art 89
Pt. 2 Poetry and Music: Ady and Bartok
5 The Formation of Bartok's Aesthetics 119
6 Ady's Mystical Symbolism 168
7 Loneliness and Love: The Literary Context of Bluebeard's Castle 196
8 Bartok's Stylistic Synthesis: The Dramatic Music of Bluebeard's Castle and Its Antecedents 230
Afterword 295
Notes 299
Index 333
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