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Books

Bartók would have made history even if he’d never composed a note

Béla Bartók cannot really be considered Hungary’s ‘national’ composer at a time when borders were constantly being redrawn — but he was an undoubted hero when it came to collecting folk music

6 June 2015

9:00 AM

6 June 2015

9:00 AM

Béla Bartók David Cooper

Yale, pp.436, £25, ISBN: 9780300148770

‘All my life, always and in every way, I shall have one objective: the good of Hungary and the Hungarian nation.’ Ask any musician for a one-sentence summary of Béla Bartók (1881–1945) and they will probably tell you that he is Hungary’s national composer — a musical modernist who passionately championed his nation’s folk music tradition.

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