Donald Maurice

in Bartók's Viola Concerto

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156904
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868339 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Musical Genesis and Structure


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This chapter presents a survey of the critical writings of the Bartók/Serly Viola Concerto by concert reviewers and music scholars, and includes reviews of the first performances in both the United States and Great Britain. The New York Times review by Olin Downes was enthusiastic in regard to the performance though reserved with regard to the authenticity of Serly's reconstruction. While the British reviews were generally favorable, with the passage of time and the opportunity to study Serly's score in advance, the later reviews were better informed and tended to be less enthusiastic about the work of Serly. The scholarly writings, from Halsey Stevens in The Life and Music of Bartók (1953) and from Sándor Kovács in Bartók Remembered (edited by Malcolm Gillies (1994)), are the most significant and provide the best informed comment from their respective times. The chapter also discusses reviews of the many recordings made in the latter half of the 20th century.

Keywords: Bartók/Serly; United States; Great Britain; New York Times; Olin Downes; Halsey Stevens; Sándor Ková; Malcolm Gillies; recording reviews

Chapter.  6235 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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